Here are all the original (and now old) X-Com RPG posts in chronological order. Some of the ideas and details in earlier entries have now been modified. Enjoy and please give me your feedback! I have compiled a workable System Reference Document, and am making some final decisions before alpha testing it.

If you’re not familiar with Cortex Plus, you can check out the Primer linked below the articles. Also, if you want to play the originals for computer, I believe you can find packages with the whole series on Steam for about $5 (I could be wrong). Another way to play this game is by downloading the free UFO: Alien Invasion (check out screenshots below).

X-Com RPG articles:

  1. Theory and Initial Ideas: Stories that Shape Us – Vulnerable Heroes
  2. Initial Ideas: Drop-Team Gameplay (with video)
  3. Theory: Design Decisions: Building Tension with Time
  4. Beyond Combat: Running the Organization
  5. Game Structure: So How Does this Work?
  6. Game Structure: Play Progression
  7. Game Structure: Campaign Considerations
  8. Research: Embracing an Infinite Tech Tree
  9. Character Generation: Making the Grunts Matter
  10. Trooper Combat: Mayhem & Madness: Morale & Injury
  11. One Roll Invasion Pool

Not familiar with CortexPlus?

Want to Play Some X-Com?

EDIT (Dec. 2012): The 2012 release of XCOM Enemy Unknown by 2K Games and Firaxis for modern consoles and computer is an extremely admirable remake of the original with a more modern, cinematic feel. Of course there’s always something about the original that can’t be replicated, but I will say 2K’s XCOM Enemy Unknown  goes a great way toward offering the agonizing anxiety and hard-won triumph to modern gamers.

Either snag the oldies on Steam on the cheap or check out UFO:Alien Invasion, which had its first stable release in Nov 2010. It looks neat, though I haven’t played it. See for yourself.

Geoscape and Sun (image from UFO:AI)

Farm Raid with Skyranger (from UFO:AI)

Night Mission at Bunker (from UFO:AI)

Geoscape Nation Overlay (from UFO:AI)

About the Author

I'm a husband, an explorer of the inexhaustible, and a hunter for unexpected synergies and collaborative potentials. My explorations into RPGs began with running D&D games, though lately I enjoy mining the potentials of diverse systems, especially Cortex Plus.