A selection of recent free to mid-price games for the relaxing holidaymaker, whether traveling or at home. Today, defend the world from alien invasion and get a beach body for your brain cells with this polished title for PC, console and mobile, "XCOM: Enemy Unknown."
Platforms: iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, Linux, PS3, 360
Aggregate ratings: Metacritic - 89, Gamerankings - 89, ReviewTrax - Excellent, Allgame - 4/5
"XCOM: Enemy Unknown" won plaudits for not only looking good and playing well, but reviving a genre once thought confined to history and forever tied to the PC.
Don't be intimidated by the Turn-Based Strategy label or historied franchise reputation, though, as "XCOM: Enemy Unknown" will lead you through a series of carefully balanced introductory missions, letting you get a feel for your small squad of international bug hunters as you rescue hostages, retrieve artifacts, and repel alien interlopers.
Between missions, you can research new technology, build out your underground base, and try to win (or win back) key international allies, while a timeskip function lets you skip ahead until the next significant event occurs.
There's a long-game at play here too, as you attempt to turn your team of male and female squaddies into an elite fighting force, capabale of defeating the alien menace once and for all. An achievable challenge, but certainly easier said than done.
First released in 2012, deployed to Mac and iOS in mid-2013 and then Android and Linux for April 2014, it's relatively easy to find a device that'll play "XCOM: EU." The more recent part-sequel, part-expansion "XCOM: Enemy Within" is also available on PS3, 360, Windows, Mac and Linux. So if you missed it the first time or fancy giving it a spin on mobile, now's a great time to catch up.