Attack of the Earthlings – Review
Follow Genre: Turn based strategy
Developer: Team Junkfish
Publisher: Junkfish Limited
Platform: PC

Attack of the Earthlings – Review

Site Score
Good: Fun alien stalking prey angle
Bad: Little unit customization and short story
User Score
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.0/10 (2 votes cast)

In alien movies and media, there are two narratives: that from the humans’ perspective, and that of the aliens’. Usually the human side of the story is that of triumph over a looming threat. Think the Alien(s) movies, where Sigourney Weaver eventually throws out the alien queen through an airlock and saves the day. Looking through the aliens’ eyes then, with a peaceful life until the humans arrive, it is one all about being invaded and change forced upon you. Which one is Attack of the Earthlings? let’s find out!

Attack of the Earthlings screenshot (3)


As the matriarch of an alien colony being ‘attacked’ by humans, you start the game at the business end of a drill mining your home for resources. The hivemind has decided that it is time to retaliate. Entering the first stage you’re taken through the tutorial as you dispatch some workers just outside of the drill as you enter the device, and from there on you’re on your own as you ravage through the levels of the drill, starting with the working class first. It is your job to work your way up the food chain (literally and figuratively) and kill workers, repairmen, office folk, and the rest, and decommission the drill.

Attack of the Earthlings screenshot (4)

Attack of the Earthlings is a game that does not take itself seriously, that goes for small details as well as the bigger ones. Every so often while playing you’ll get a small cutscene with the general manager of the drill forcing his employees to work with a generic funny line of the caliber “your job is only done when you die” or “at least now he won’t steal my lunch anymore”. One of the funnier moments is a little bit earlier in the game as you first start discovering the drill. There’s a board in one of the rooms with a ‘x days since last accident’ sign on it that will flip over to 0 when you kill your first enemy on that level. Small little details like that do make the game fun to explore.


The feel of the game is very 50’s atompunk, and reminds us of the Fallout 1 and 2 days. Attack of the Earthlings features lots of neon signs, vast uniform steel walls broken only by pipes and other utilities. The rooms are fairly busy with decor though, sometimes making it tough to see around the environment and to make your tactical decisions. As with any strategy game, there is a fog of war. While you can see the field of view cones of enemies while they are in the fog, the fog itself gets cut off abruptly, giving a jarring effect between what is and isn’t visible.

Attack of the Earthlings screenshot (1)


Underscoring your playthrough is a low and ominous melody, which goes really well with the game’s stealth elements. It really sells the whole ‘alien stalking its prey’ motif the game has going for it. The weird part about the sound effects though is that they don’t go well with it. The aliens’ footsteps sound like a woman in heels is walking around the metal floors. With the mechanic of doors and killed units making sounds this is a little bit odd to say the least. Other than that, there’s not a lot of audio, except for the narration by the drill’s manager in the first half of the game, and the banter between the manager and the boss in the latter half of the missions, which is quite enjoyable at times, though as mentioned before it does fall into generic one-liner jokes.

Attack of the Earthlings screenshot (10)


A turn based strategy, Attack of the Earthlings does the base things really well. Upgrade-able units? check. Variety of enemy types? Got that too. The depth however isn’t there as much as we want it to be, which is unfortunate, because the core gameplay loop is quite fun, and we wish there was more of it. A lot of the gameplay is about stealth, because when you enter an enemy’s view, they will shoot before you get to attack, making it important you sneak up from behind. Killing enemies also makes noise, which can alert other enemy units if they are in range of the sound, and leaving dead bodies on the floor will make them look for their murderer.

Attack of the Earthlings screenshot (2)

Your primary unit is the matriarch, which has the capability to spawn swarmlings, which are your main attack force. Those swarmlings can then upgrade to the specialized units you need to fight the variety of enemies. There are three upgrades to choose, a stalker which is the stealthy unit that does double damage from afar, the disrupter which is the only unit capable of ranged attacks, and the goliath which is your go-to tanking unit. That is all of the diversity you get during your missions. Outside of the storyline you get a little upgradability as well, all four of the units have their own upgrades that you buy with mutagen. Mutagen is obtained through your missions, which depends on your performance, the better you do, the more you obtain. That mutagen is then spent before each mission to upgrade your units, with each unit having three upgrades. There is no choice in terms of upgrades either, all upgrades are linear and require the previous upgrade to be unlocked.


While nowhere near exceptional because of some of the generic and simple features, Attack of the Earthlings is still enjoyable. Playing as the aliens is a twist on the genre that we don’t see often enough, and it allows us a moment to think about the implications of humans’ actions on an environment we are not native to. You get an opportunity to really contemplate the ethics of the rapid expansion the human race is making, and its impact on other life. The fantasy of the stalking alien fighting back against a (for them) alien invasion is a really fun power play, and the only real commentary we can give on Attack of the Earthlings is that we wish there was more of it.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.0/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Attack of the Earthlings - Review, 7.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

Bryan, Dutch, gamer, metalhead. 26, and been playing games for as long as I can remember. Pokemon gold for life!

No Comments

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.