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Video Game / Attack of the Earthlings

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Attack of the Earthlings is a Turn-Based Strategy game developed by Team Junkfish. It received a Steam release on February 8, 2018.

The Swarmers are a highly aggressive alien species, that devour other lifeforms and convert their biomass into more drones...and in this case, our protagonists. The human-led Galactoil energy corporation is hell-bent on harvesting the universe's energy for profit, and one of their colony-sized drills has chosen the Swarmers' world as a target. As the aliens, the player is tasked with eliminating all of the staff aboard the drill, starting each level with a single Matriarch and increasing their unit numbers through human consumption.


This game makes use of the following Tropes:

  • Alien Invasion: Inverted; you're an aggressive native species protecting your home world against humanity.
  • Armour Piercing Attack: Sulkers and Banshees go through armour like tissue paper.
  • Bad Boss: Both Pecker and Dennis, but bonus points go to Pecker for preparing to exterminate on the lowest level for sheer incompetence...before realizing your aliens are at fault.
    Pecker: Well, boys, looks like your disciplinary exercise has just become a bog standard alien elimination.
  • Black Humor: Plays the concept of an alien attack for all the laughs it's worth.
  • Bizarre Alien Reproduction: The Swarmer Matriarch can spawn numerous grunts, which can then morph into one of three different evolutions, after the species collectively consumes enough biomass (including fallen brethren).
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  • Camping a Crapper: The Matriarch's entrance into level 3
  • Close-Range Combatant: Swarmers by default,obviously, with the exception of disruptors, who can shoot spines. Also Banshees.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Regional Manager Dennis Dickinham, voiced by ProZD.
  • Dragon Ascendant: Pecker (literally) usurps Dickinham's chair in the final battle, and traps him in his own mech suit, preventing him from retaliating. Might have done him more good if the swarm wasn't breathing down his neck...
  • Death by Materialism: There are many regular, unarmed members of the staff too occupied with their own greed to notice approaching Swarmers.
  • Elite Mooks: Aside from the elite guards, which are just normal guards with more health, there are several on both sides, each with a rock-paper scissors relationship:
    • Banshees, Close Range Combatants who penetrate all armour and explode upon death. Countered by Disruptors, who can kill them from a distance without being counterattacked.
    • Heavies, who have armour and carry a minigun that can cut through even brutes. Countered by Sulkers, who have an Armour Piercing Attack and enough damage to one-hit them.
    • Scanners, who have 360 vision and 2 (weak) attacks a turn, allowing them to forstore all ambushes. Countered by Brutes, who can armour up enough to tank all their shots, leaving them open to retaliation.
  • Eat the Evidence: Devouring the humans' corpses prevent them from raising the alarm, in addition to providing delicious biomass for your enjoyment.
  • Explosive Breeder: The Matriarch can pump out one swamer a turn without impeding any of her other actions. Can be Exploited by placing another swarmer down to attack somethings just out of reach, for example.
  • Face Death with Dignity: At the end of the game, when his protective barrier finally breaks, Pecker admits defeat and accepts his fate. Unfortunately for him, that's when Dickinham's now-out-of-control mech crashes through a wall and crushes him.
  • Fed to the Beast: Occurs to a hapless henchman in level four, allowing the matriarch to escape containment. Parodied in that Dickinham set up a "Cellsharing" policy to build camaraderie between man and beast, without realizing the logical result of leaving the former with the latter.
  • Gatling Good: Heavy Troopers.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: The two prominent human antagonists, Dickinham and Pecker, are both references to male anatomy. And they're both huge dickheads to boot.
  • Hive Queen: The Matriarch, natch.
  • Horde of Alien Locusts: The Swarmers, as opposed to the humans, who are "mere" Planet Looters. Downplayed in that they haven't moved off-world, and it's implied the Matriarch's attack started in order to avenge her multi-jointed kin.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Naturally. At least when humanity is represented by a corporate incarnation of greed and ignorance, anyway!
  • It Can Think: The Game. You are literally outgunned and outnumbered at the start of each level, and have to use stealth and guile to get enough Swarmers to win.
  • Incompetence, Inc.: Glactioil. The only thing worse than their quality assurance is the employee life expectancy, and the only thing worse than that is your choice of bosses.
  • Manchild: Dickinham; his office includes a private movie theater, a mini-golf course, and a one-horse carousel (affectionately named Pearlie).
  • One Bad Mother: The Matriarch is the strongest unit you have at the start and only gets stronger with additional upgrades.
  • Only in It for the Money: The motivation of all encountered employees on the Galactoil drill.
  • Only Sane Man: Pecker immediately realizes the imminent danger, but is considered a coward by his boss.
  • Perspective Flip: Think Aliens, but from the perspective of said aliens.
  • Planet Looters: Galactoil's business model.
  • Pointy-Haired Boss: Dickinham.
  • Puzzle Boss: The final challenge. Pecker is holed up in Dickinham's office, while the boss himself is trapped in a large mech. The Swarmers need to activate three power switches so the defense systems are overloaded, which turns Pecker into a "Get Back Here!" Boss.
  • Spiritual Antithesis: To X-Com, specifically Enemy Unknown. In X-Com you play as the humans, but in Attack of The Earthlings you play as aliens. The former focuses on cover, the latter focuses on stealth. The former has a large number of randomly generated missions, the other has a small number of longer, set-pieces based missions. Finally, while X-Com's soldiers are each unique assets you want to keep alive for as long as possible, all the Swarmers (with one exception) are expendable and identical.
  • Stealth-Based Game: Placing your Swarmers in line of sight is a sure recipe to getting them shot at and killed: instead, you must focus on outmaneuvering and outwitting your foes.
    • Stealth-Based Mission: Level 4, where attacking your foes is not even an option until the lab's power goes out.
  • Rocket-Tag Gameplay: The swarmers or humans who can last for more than 2 of an average gun hits can be counted on one hand, and most are effectively one-hit-point wonders.
  • There Was a Door: In the penultimate mission, Dickinham wonders why his subordinates stuck around and fought instead of using the emergency ladder, which he activates right in front of the Swarmer Matriarch.
  • Villain Protagonist: The Swarmers. Lampshaded by one of the level titles.
    Things don't look good for our...Heroes?
  • We Cannot Go On Without You: If the Matriarch dies, it's game over.
  • We Can Rule Together: Following Pecker's death, Dickinham offers the Swarmer Matriarch a job at Galactoil...while lighting a cigar, and standing in oil spilled from his crashed mech.
  • We Have Reserves: While it's impractical to do so as a main tactic, you can afford to lose the occasional Swarmer in the line of duty as they can be replaced by the Matriarch.
  • Zerg Rush: Not encouraged, despite the obvious inspiration for the Swarmers. You lose Mutation points for every Swarmer killed, which could cost you upgrades, and on most levels you may not have enough Biomass to ensure you outnumber your enemies.

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