No Nauts: XenoSquad

In your xenoface, xenotile

They’re coming out of the great steaming vents in the floor! They’re waiting around every corner, scuttling in the shadows! They’re standing nonchalantly in the middle of empty rooms waiting until we open the door. ‘They’ are the assorted xenonasties that must be xenocided by your XenoSquad in XenoSquad. XENO. Free, turn-based tactics, aliens exploding into meaty chunks. All these things and not a great deal more! But who needs more? Play it here.

I like finding turn-based games that sit comfortably in my browser. There’s not a great deal to XenoSquad, but if you’re anything like me, the phrase ‘turn-based tactics’ made you click the link already and you’re not even reading this because you’re already playing the game.

The phrase was actually slightly deceptive because XenoSquad starts to play out more and more like a puzzle game. A puzzle-tactics game. Good for whiling away a half hour or so on a slow afternoon, even if everything is a bit too small to read properly. Bring a magnifying glass.

The main reason I’m posting this is because it brought about severe Incubation flashbacks, which first of all made me happily think of Battle Isle, and then put this tune into my head.

IN-CU-BA-TION! I’m pretty sure I used to think that was awesome. It isn’t awesome, is it?

Via Jayisgames. Not the Incubation song though. That one’s all on me.


  1. Jim Rossignol says:

    Gosh! *plays*

  2. JackDandy says:

    Woah.. this is in Flash? Technology’s progressed quite a bit lately, huh.

    Anyway, this is pretty cool!

  3. d32 says:

    Incubation definitely is awesome. Song? Well, terrible, but the game still is perfect example of good squad – tactical turn based thing.

    • Premium User Badge

      Adam Smith says:

      I’d like to write a history of “songs in games that have lyrics and that I also remember”. It wouldn’t take much research. Just remembering. But it would be full of terrible Youtube clips.

    • d32 says:

      Take me down to the Paradise City ;)
      Which is not original for-game material, but is stuck in my head possibly forever now.

    • Alien426 says:

      @Adam: I listed some game songs here and here.

    • Big Murray says:

      “Gooooal scoring superstar heroooooooo” …

    • Premium User Badge

      Hodge says:

      This and this are both criminally absent from those lists. SAYS ME.

    • outoffeelinsobad says:

      FAKK the rest of those songs.

  4. Premium User Badge

    Bluerps says:

    Incubation has always been my favored Battle Isle game. The only one I finished, actually…

  5. DrGonzo says:

    It is awesome! Not in the way they intended though.

  6. Joe Duck says:

    Incubation was really awesome!
    I understand that the beginning was really confusing specially if you were coming from XCom, but it was awesome anyway. Where XCom was procedurally generated and sandboxy, Incubation had heavily scripted levels. And yes, they were very much like puzzles.
    This game was all about level design. The mechanics were rather clumsy and the tactical game lacked the depth that destructible terrain can provide, but when the levels were good, it created situations that XCom could not. Specially created choke points, weird machinery that had to be operated and rooms with carefully placed monsters, those were all the benefits of scripted versus procedural level design. I am a big XCom fan, but found this other kind of game very enjoyable too.
    For me, the best part has to be the mid to late game as it had more interesting and intricate levels and you could outfit your team with better weapons. This allowed more possible tactics and more interesting gameplay. The last boss fight was very cool and big monsters were BIG.
    I loved Incubation, yes

  7. Khemm says:

    Incubation is so awesome… Bought it from GOG recently. We need more Battle Isle/Jagged Alliance type of games, why doesn’t anyone make them anymore? :(

    • TheBigBookOfTerror says:

      Nuh, what? It’s on GOG?! TO THE INTERNET. Oh, I’m already here…
      The demo got played to death, I was a very happy lad once I got the full game.

    • LostViking says:

      Incubation is on GOG?
      Why, cruel world, didn’t I know this!

      I have spent countless hours trying to get it to work, trying to emulate Win 95 (it wouldn’t start otherwise), but the game would always crash when reaching a certain level.

  8. Belsameth says:

    Incubation! I forgot about that game.
    Shame I wouldn’t be able to live with the graphics anymore :(

  9. jalf says:

    I started replaying the Incubation expansion a month or so ago, after it was made available on GOG.

    Still an amazing game.

    That is all.

    • blind_boy_grunt says:

      that is hardcore, never gotten too far with the expansion. But it had an awesome comic. With a nice looking lady. (but after hearing that song and thinking i once thought it was good, i can’t be too sure about the comics quality anymore)

  10. RogB says:

    i love stuff like this.

    ps, quake 1 or 2 textures? :)

    • oldfart says:

      I was about to comment… Looks like a mix of Quake 1/2 textures, with maybe a bunch of community work, too. Looks legally shady to me.

    • hjd_uk says:

      Ninja’d, quake 2 textures : Quake2 is open source so i guess its legally fine, hope they credit Id Software for the textures.

  11. Enzo says:

    God damnit, I love Incubation. Great stuff.

  12. aircool says:

    Hoohooo – Incubation was a quality game. It was very Space Hulk in the way you really had to plan your moves; like a puzzle as you mentioned.

  13. blind_boy_grunt says:

    love how they list their influences:
    – unreal
    As if they’d thought they had to add other games so it wouldn’t be too obvious what they were taking inspiration from. (edit: as someone already pointed out: quake textures)
    But that song. I think i can remember a time when i thought that this was awesome. But to look up when incubation was released would make me either depressed because i’d realize that i was way older than i think i was (and still listened to objectively awful music) or made me depressed because i’d realize how old i have become. Probably both.

  14. PJMendes says:

    Just spent 4 hours playing this to the end.

    Great game, very well realized, and probably the best free turn-based squad tactics (that isn’t animu).

    • NooklearToaster says:

      I was really hoping that survival level wasn’t the end, it’s too easy and drags on forever :/

      Blade wall = boring 20 turns.

    • Nidokoenig says:

      You don’t even get any special recognition for destroying all the spawners on that level. Even if you clear the map before turn 20, you still have to sit around and wait for the final whistle.

      Did anyone else park someone with a assault rifle next to a spawner and just have them bayonet everything that came out of it to death? Lovely little trick, that.

  15. Hoaxfish says:

    I keep running out of ammo…kinda stuck by the 3rd level.

  16. Ankheg says:

    Shit, it IS incubation, by all means. That’s great.

  17. ZephyrSB says:

    Wait, Incubation was a good game? I seem to recall that it was met with mild indifference when it appeared…and consequently have been absorbed by the other Battle Isle goodness available from GoG and not given it any attention. Guess I know what I’ll be giving a go tonight…

  18. NothingFunny says: