Review: Monsters in the Dark: The Making of X-COM: UFO Defense

X-COM holds a special place in my life. It was one of if not the very first computer games I bought. I played the heck out of that game; I bought the strategy guide (and got one for Apocalypse, even though I didn’t yet own it) and still fire up an emulator to give it a try every year or three. It’s just a wonderful tactics game, the like of which I’ve never really managed to find again—at least to my tastes.

So when I saw the Kickstarter for a Monsters in the Dark, I knew I had to give it a go.

Readings though it, I see a lot of myself in Julian Gollop. I love games, including taking them apart and putting them back together. At the same time, it’s hard to imagine spending so many years of effort to finally make something like X-COM.

I never really made the connection to Sid Meier (I only got into Civilization with Test of Time), but it makes sense in hindsight. There’s even a comment about the advise Meier was given to brand his games with his name. Given that I couldn’t have told you Gollop’s name before reading this book, it seems good advice.

Overall, it was a bit more about the people behind the game rather than the game itself, but in hindsight, that makes sense. If you ever played X-COM, it’s worth the read.