Independence Day: Resurgence will debut in theaters in about a month, bringing about the rebirth (er, resurgence) of arguably the most popular alien invasion franchise in cinematic history. Though the sequel will be without Will Smith and seems likely to suffer at least a little bit from rehashing a lot of the original content, it’s sure to be one of the biggest movies of the summer. And if you’re a sci-fi or action fan, you probably can’t wait to see it.
But wait you must, unfortunately, so in the meantime I’ve come up with a few easily accessible alien invasion games that might keep you busy and get you in the spirit. These are all mobile app games, so if any of them strike your fancy you can be playing before you get to the end of this article.
Designed as a co-op third person shooter for smartphones and tablets, Star Warfare: Alien Invasion was originally created in 2012 but got a nice update as recently as this January. From a graphics standpoint it’s the tiniest bit crude, something like a cross between old Halo games and the colorful experiences of so many popular N64 titles. Yet it says something for this game that despite the old school graphics it might still be considered one of the best shooters on mobile. Compare it to GAMEVIL’s Afterpulse, for instance (which was branded as the most console-like shooter ever made for mobile), and you might appreciate the focus on action rather than beauty.
The game features 48 levels, a huge range of enemies, and a satisfying upgrade system through which you can obtain new weapons, suits, etc. It also has particularly satisfying boss fights, which you can go into with up to three players connected by WiFi in co-op mode.
It’s actually somewhat surprising that Area 51 isn’t more popular in gaming, particularly in apps where a familiar atmosphere can go a long way toward making a game stand out in a crowded market. Yet aside from this one, the only noteworthy Area 51-related game to come out in recent years is probably Gala Bingo’s themed bingo room online. That game’s actually called “Area 75” instead, and invites players to “forget Area 51 and UFO conspiracies.” Nevertheless, it’s clearly a play on the Area 51 concept, turning a bingo room into a mysterious setting glowing with green lights.
But Escape From Area 51 takes a more direct approach, setting up a game in which aliens trapped at Area 51 just want to go home, but need to collect power to fuel their UFOs first. Your job is to help them out while the government tries to shoot you (and them) down. It’s basically a side-scrolling flying/shooting game that plays like an old school arcade SHMUP, but the concept makes it kind of a blast to play.
This is probably the farthest cry of all from Independence Day-like graphics and action, but it may be the most enjoyable game on the list. Designed as a traditional tower defense game with tracks reminiscent of Ninja Kiwi’s Bloons TD series, it’s essentially a chance to gun down as many cartoon aliens as you can manage before you’re overrun by the horde.
Originally created in 2014 but updated last month, Alien Creeps TD has become a big, satisfying tower defense experience. The characters, actions, and even background settings are all fun to look at, and the levels are progressively more challenging. There are also 42 different two-minute challenges aside from the normal tower defense efforts to keep things interesting. And naturally as with most good tower defense games these days, it works pretty well on a mobile screen.
They’re not necessarily the most cutting edge games out there, and none really resemble the tone or atmosphere of Independence Day. But if Hollywood’s greatest alien invasion saga is to become the story of the summer, you may as well have a few of these on hand in case the mood strikes you.