Today we’ll be taking a look at the iOS version of Xenoshyft, which originated as a Kickstarter board game back in June 2014 and received huge success and raised over $210,000 in funding! It can be seen as a cross between Starship Troopers and Armageddon the movie, where you’re drilling down into this alien planet, trying to get them resources and end up in a hive of hostile insects…and now they’re going to come at you in waves, hunt you down and eat your face. And it’s all up to you and your comrades to defend your base, survive, and get out of there!

This game is perfect for those who would love a challenge, because we played this game on easy mode and yet it still turned out to be one of the hardest games we’ve ever played. So without further ado, let’s jump onto it and see how many ways in which we can die to insects, and boy oh boy there’s quite a few…

Multiplayer: Yes – fully cooperative gameplay
AI: Full
Universal App: Yes
Purchase for iPhone:  See link below
Purchase for iPad:

GameplayXenoshyft review menu screen

Xenoshyft is a cooperative board game, where players there are divisions to choose from and take on set roles. As each division has their own discounts and bonuses, such choices will have varying impacts on your gameplay.

The game has a total of 9 rounds, and if you manage to survive through it all then you win the game. It is essentially a deck-building game, and the longer you survive, the more higher-stat talents become unlocked and available for you to recruit. You can also purchase items to give your characters an additional boost and make them stronger. Some items also have certain abilities that you can trigger to deal with the pesky insects, such as passing on additional damage to other enemies, or giving yourself additional health.

Xenoshyft choose divisions menu

After recruiting your troops, cards are queued into a defensive line and the game will play out in a turn-based manner. Items and troops that are used or killed are placed into the discard pile and reshuffled back into your deck, although there are times when a card are ‘burned’ due to special effects, which effectively means that the card is exiled and gone forever.

On another note, we think that the game really needs to be played co-op to have the kind of communal decision-making and communal powers, and is where we think the game can really shine as a co-op board game.

Xenoshyft gameplay interface

You are allowed to gift cards to other players and let it permanently become part of their deck. For instance, if you’re playing with the barracks class, you get a free militia troop with each passing turn, and you can gift some of these additional infantries that you may not necessary need to your teammates and be able to fill out their timeline. This can be critical in co-op play, as each player has their own hive of enemies to deal with. On the other hand, everyone collectively shares the base HP, hence failures in any parts of the co-op partnership will negatively impact the state of your game.


In terms of implementation, we think one of the biggest downfalls in solo play is that it is amazingly difficult to get through on your own, and it’s not as interesting as you really miss out on some of the strategic decision-making, as well as the synergies that can be achieved by playing with others, which can be a huge attraction. The game is available on other platforms in addition to iOS, and we note that the game has been Greenlit in the Steam community recently.

Xenoshyft battle gameplay screen

The music created for this game is simply fantastic – we love how it sounds like a fuse between a big battlefield and digital dubstep-like soundtrack.

The artwork in Xenoshyft is absolutely beautiful; the pictures are well-illustrated, and the game is stunning to play on your device. The synergies between the cards are amazing, and a lot of the game comes down to discovering the synergies, the items and the possibilities to draw up a strategy to survive through the waves.

Final thoughts

Xenoshyft battle gameplay screen 2

We think this is an amazing game and you can really get the most out of it if you can set up for a co-op game. The gameplay can be really challenging, which we think a lot of players would love to try and get through. We also recommend those who like playing games solo to give it this a go as we think the game is very well-made overall, though don’t be disheartened if you only manage to get through the first few rounds (as that’s all we’ve been able to get through!). The game has really managed to set itself apart from other deck-building games like Dominion or Ascension by bringing forth its own style, and we think this would be a great game to spend some time with friends and have a blast together. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and show these insects who’s boss!

Go show these insects who’s boss!

Good Things

  • Stunning artwork
  • Great background music to fit the game
  • Co-op gameplay feature adds an additional layer to the strategic element of the game

Bad Things

  • Progression can be difficult, especially in solo play
  • There can be some load times, and may crash at times

The Breakdown


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