Original X-COM designer crowdfunds a spiritual successor, ‘Phoenix Point’

The X-COM franchise has seen a resurgence of popularity in recent years thanks to the success of both XCOM: Enemy Unknown and XCOM 2, but whoever said that there could only be one alien invasion turn-based strategy series? Julian Gollop, the creator of the original 1994 game X-COM: UFO Defense, is ready to return to the genre with Phoenix Point, but he needs players’ support in order to make it happen.

Phoenix Point‘s premise is remarkably similar to that of the XCOM series. Following the spread of a deadly virus that spreads a sickening scourge throughout Earth and the invasion of an alien force, the few human survivors are left scattered and disorganized. “Project Phoenix” — an emergency organization run, naturally, by you — must gather scientists and soldiers to combat the threat and save the planet.

The X-COM series’ influence extends to the game’s turn-based battles, as well. Four or more soldiers move across each map, taking shots at enemies and using the classic “overwatch” ability to make units pay for moving haphazardly. The game’s lore appears to be much deeper than that of XCOM, however, with multiple human factions that each contain secrets that could put an end to the alien invasion.

Gollop is asking for $500,000 to make Phoenix Point a reality. He’s using the crowdfunding platform Fig, which allows investors to receive a share of revenue, and has already received nearly $100,000 in the short time that the campaign has been live.

Gollop worked on a number of different projects following the release of the original X-COM, and his turn-based strategy expertise can be seen in a rather unexpected place: The campy 3DS launch title Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars. While far easier than any XCOM games, it uses the same excellent environmental design and special abilities to create a surprisingly engaging game.

Phoenix Point is currently planned for release on Steam and GOG, with PC, Mac, and Linux all supported.