Think ahead or die in Los Aliens for Windows Phone and PC

Los Aliens is a puzzle game that is available for both Windows Phone and PC where you explore the depths of space in search of new planets and civilizations. The sci-fi-themed puzzle game has 170 levels of play that are performance based.

Graphics are colorful and while gameplay isn't overly complicated, it can be deceptively challenging. The game has a slight chess-like feel — you have to plan for your next move as you are sorting out your current move.

Los Aliens joins a fantastic gaming portfolio from the creative minds at Game Troopers and a fun title to pass the time with.

Los Aliens greets you with a fairly minimal main menu that includes options to jump into gameplay, access the game's settings, connect the game to your Facebook account and view the help screen. Settings cover muting sound and music, restoring purchases, language selection and viewing the About screen.

Los Aliens

While connecting to Facebook isn't required, it does allow you to store your gaming data in the cloud, view your Facebook friends' gaming progress and share your results with Facebook friends for bragging rights. If you begin playing without having connected to Facebook, you can always revisit this option on down the road.

Gameplay is spread across 170 levels of play and mapped out in planetary fashion. Each level is performance based with a set of goals that appear before each level, such as collecting a number of alien species, eliminate rows of fuel cells, and so on. While this sounds simple, some levels have a limit on the number of moves your explorer can make or have a time limit to reach your goals.

Los Aliens

The first level of play is filled with tutorial pop-up windows to guide you through the basics of gameplay. As new features or challenges come into play, additional pop-up windows appear.

The gaming screen is wonderfully drawn up with your goals and moves displayed in the upper left and right corners. An animated scene fills the upper half of the screen to illustrate your ship's journey and the bottom half is the gaming field. The space explorer you control is beamed down to the gaming field where he has to move about, filling squares with quarks or energy units to complete rows or columns and collect alien species. When you complete a vertical or horizontal row of quarks, that is considered "burning a line" that earns you points and fuels your ship.

The gaming field is constantly changing with each line you burn and alien you collect. New items are shifted into play as other items are removed. Your explorer can only move in an L shape and any available landing spaces are highlighted. If you tap and hold these highlighted spaces, any potential moves that are available from that particular space are highlighted. This is a critical feature because if you run out of moves or have no available moves, you fail the level.

Los Aliens

Along with the challenge of meeting your performance goals and avoid running out of moves, Los Aliens also includes different alien species and landing pads that can help or hurt your gaming efforts. Aliens can provide bonus moves, provide extra time to the game clock or can eat up the quarks (energy squares). Landing pads can add new quarks to the gaming field or remove them.

As you advance in the game, Los Aliens has a small collection of space ships and explorers that become available. You can get a jump on unlocking these additional ships and explorers through in-app purchases that range from $.99 to $9.99. You can also remove the ad support for $1.99 (if you buy a ship or explorer that purchase removes ad support as well).

Overall, I enjoyed playing Los Aliens. Gameplay isn't overly complicated, but you need to plot your moves out in advance to avoid landing in a space that you cannot leave.

You do need to be careful while tapping/holding to see potential moves. If you tap/hold on a square without any moves, slide your finger off that space instead of lifting your finger. More times than not, when I lifted my finger, the game registered it as a move, sending me to the undesirable square.

Los Aliens is a game I can see picking up from time to time when I'm in the mood for a game to challenge my sense of strategy. I did like the mixture of move limits and timed games. The move limit style offers a casual pace for this strategy puzzle game and the timed games toss a sense of urgency into the mix.

Los Aliens is a free game, available for both Windows Phone and PC and an entertaining time waster of a game.

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George Ponder

George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.