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Daxeria's picture
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Early '90s Mac adaptation of the licensed "Aliens" board game?

This request was posted on Reddit the other day:

[Mac] [1990s] Turn-based square-grid strategy game with aliens and Marines ripped off from Aliens

Platform(s): Mac

Genre: Turn-based strategy

Estimated year of release: 1991-1995

Graphics/art style: Black and white, overhead view of square grid, side view of characters

Notable characters: Your squad were Colonial Marine types with names from Aliens (Hicks, Vasquez, etc) (although there's a possibility they had generic names and I just renamed mine, I can't recall). The characters' weapons suggested their film counterparts: shotgun (Hicks), smartguns (Drake and Vasquez), flamethrower (Apone and Dietrich), pistol (Gorman), etc.

Notable gameplay mechanics: You're looking down at a grid of squares, some populated by aliens (who look just like the xenomorphs from Aliens) and some with your squad of Marines. Goal was to move left to right across the board to an exit, killing aliens and/or avoiding losing your people. It was quite challenging.

Other details: I want to say the title had "alien" or "xeno" in it, but I've spent hours searching online and found nothing. This was a small game that could have been made by one person and for all I know it was shareware or a floppy sold to a single computer store by some local. It came preinstalled on a Mac I bought used from a somewhat sketchy guy in New York in probably 1994 or 95.

Thanks!

In the comments, the OP confirms that the graphics were "black and white, Dark Castle type stuff", and says that while Breach is not the game, this screenshot of Breach "looks fairly similar in terms of the perspective (overhead view of building, side view of characters)".

In 1989, Leading Edge Games published an "Aliens" board game that strongly resembles the above description. A Usenet thread from 2000 about the best Mac shareware claims that this tabletop product directly inspired what must be the same game described recently on Reddit. Unfortunately, the Usenet post still doesn't name the title or developer:

...there is also a really great conversion of the Aliens board game (by Leading Edge Games based on the James Cameron movie) available for the Mac, but I have no idea where to find it. [...] I have it (one of my favorite Mac wargames), but if my hard drive were to crash I'd have no idea where to go to find it again. I've tried to find the author, but the AOL account listed for him in the 'About' is no longer active.

So far, I haven't been able to find any other mentions, let alone the software itself. Does anyone else recognize it?