clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Xenonauts 2, original XCOM’s spiritual successor, launches a demo

Technically, it’s a sequel to the spiritual successor of...

If you buy something from a Polygon link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Goldhawk Interactive
Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Xenonauts 2, the sequel to the spiritual successor of the original X-COM: UFO Defense, has quietly released a free demo on You can download it and play it right now.

Way back before Firaxis announced it was rebooting the XCOM franchise, a little company called Goldhawk Interactive was doing the same thing. But instead of making something glossy in the Unreal Engine, it went much more old school. The result was the first Xenonauts, a very complex game built with a defiantly two-dimensional art style.

Reviews were mixed. For me personally, a huge XCOM and turn-based strategy fan, it was not my jam. Too slow. Too capricious.

Xenonauts 2 has been in the works for some time now, and Goldhawk has clearly gotten with the program and upgraded to a fully 3D style. The screenshots below look much more modern, but with the same rough edges as the classic bug-hunting game.

“This is the free public pre-alpha of Xenonauts 2,” Goldhawk states on GoG. “A very early build of the game intended for gameplay and stability testing. This demo requires GoG Galaxy to download and will not grant a copy of the final game.”

Goldhawk isn’t the only team working on another XCOM-inspired title. The father of the franchise, Julian Gollop himself, is working on an ambitious new title called Phoenix Point.

The next level of puzzles.

Take a break from your day by playing a puzzle or two! We’ve got SpellTower, Typeshift, crosswords, and more.