Four generations of alien games on Android

Promotional image for Alien Isolation, featuring the Xenomorph.

Sometimes it’s great to see how things have changed over time. When you look at something as long-running as the Aliens franchise, it’s pretty cool to see its progression. Games range from the janky 2D face-huggers to a fully rendered xenomorph that looks very impressive even if you don’t dare get too close. With ports and emulation, you can see more than two decades of sci-fi horror revolution on one device. In a Reddit post, a user demoed their Android phone running four different titles from the Alien series, ranging from 1992’s Alien 3 through Alien Trilogy and Alien: Resurrection to 2014’s Alien Isolation.

Get the right tools

Getting four twenty-year-old games and three different platforms on one Android device takes some work. Alien Isolation is covered by Feral Interactive’s excellent Android port, but the other three require emulation to work. In this case, Alien 3 used MAME, short for Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator. As the name suggests, it is an open-source arcade game emulator and a version is available on the Play Store. Alien Trilogy and Alien Resurrection were recreated using Duckstation, a PSX emulator for Android. You can get Duckstation from the Play Store for free.

A mixed bag of games

It’s hard to talk about space horror without thinking about the absolute titan that is the Alien franchise. It redefined the genre and made an entire generation nervous about vents. The games that have evolved from the movies have had their ups and downs. Critics praised Aliens 3 and Alien Trilogy for its exciting gameplay. These games leaned more on the action side of the movies and let you shoot the enemy aliens left and right. However, not everything was equally well received. Audiences watched Colonial Marines in 2013 and found it uninteresting and full of bugs. In 2014, the games would regain their good reputation with Alien Isolation, a panic-inducing survival horror in which the xenomorph that hunts you has advanced AI.

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