Review – Alien Hominid Invasion

Alien Hominid HD wasn’t the only release by The Behemoth this November. In fact, the re-release of its 2004 flagship title was actually more of a complimentary piece of content to accompany what was the company’s actual main dish for the year: an actual new Alien Hominid game… sort of. Though canonically (if you care, that is) touted as a sequel to Alien Hominid, Alien Hominid Invasion feels more like a spinoff take on the formula, taking a handful of steps forward and an equal amount of steps backs, resulting in a game as good as the original Alien Hominid, though vastly different in size, scope, and gameplay loop.

Alien Hominid Invasion cutscenes

We’re still getting adorable (and crass) animated cutscenes in Alien Hominid Invasion.

Alien Hominid was a child of its time. It was 2004, retro gaming nostalgia was in its infancy, so the game being a Metal Slug clone was pretty much what you’d expect from the very initial batch of pseudo-indie hits from that era. Nowadays, run-and-gun titles, as well as games just cashing in on nostalgia, are a dime a dozen, so making a mere sequel to the 2004 cult hit would have been appreciated, but wouldn’t have made that much of an impact. I do think that The Behemoth was actually really smart with making something completely different from the sequel. Alien Hominid Invasion is more of a multiplayer-focused mission-based shooter with some slight roguelite elements. It sounds confusing, but it works.

Upon booting the game up, you are presented with a cutscene with the same art style seen in the original Alien Hominid. It tells how more aliens from the first game’s protagonist did receive a distress signal to help him out, but getting to Earth would take exactly nineteen years. The world has changed, and their plan is to completely dominate the planet by conquering one chunk of land at a time.

Alien Hominid Invasion

Bring in a friend, wear a sombrero, go nuts.

You are thrown into a tabletop-ish map, where you can select one new level to invade at a time. You can only mode forward or sideways in this board, never retreating, almost like a reverse game of rugby. Select a level, and start shooting bad guys, whilst collecting purple-colored items, which need to be dispersed into a vault. Deposit enough of them, and you will unlock a random objective, such as defeating x amount of baddies, or collecting x amount of items. Complete an objective, and you’ll be told to repeat the process until you satisfy the minimum amount of objectives completed for you to “conquer” said area. Bear in mind the fact that, the longer you take to complete the level, the stronger enemies become as well.

Newer levels become harder in terms of enemies you need to face, as well as completion requirements, but the objectives themselves rarely change. The variety isn’t impressive, meaning that Alien Hominid Invasion becomes repetitive fairly quickly. Thankfully, there are two things that help the game out from becoming overly stale. It allows for co-op play, both local and online, and its missions are actually very short. Playing this game on a Switch feels like second nature, considering the portable’s “pick up and play” aspect.

Alien Hominid Invasion allies

Nineteen years later, and the kid hasn’t aged a day. Nor is impressed by the fact there’s an alien with a sombrero in front of him.

It almost feels like The Behemoth knew this game was better suited for portable play, meaning that it’s nowhere near as cumbersome to look at in portable mode as the HD port of Alien Hominid. Even if levels aren’t as creative as the ones in the original game, everything is much easier to discern. Enemy projectiles are slightly slower and much larger, giving you ample time to dodge with one of the many new movement-based mechanics, such as dodge rolling or digging.

These new mechanics make Alien Hominid Invasion feel more fluid than its predecessor. My favorite one, by far, is the ability to shoot down on the ground in order to reach higher ledges. Combine that with dodge rolls and high jumps, and you can basically play “the floor is lava” during a level. Furthermore, if you land on top of, say, an FBI agent, you can basically ride him like a bull for a few seconds. It’s not useful at all, but it’s idiotic and charming, exactly what I expect from a game like Alien Hominid Invasion.

Alien Hominid Invasion ride

Ride that robot like a bull on a rodeo.

There are elements in which Alien Hominid Invasion feels like an improvement over its predecessor, whilst it feels like a step back in a few others. It is vastly more accessible, being easier to detect and avoid enemy attacks, with slightly improved controls, and its mission-based structure makes it a perfect fit for a portable like the Nintendo Switch. On the other hand, it is a lot more repetitive, and its level design doesn’t feel as inspired as the sheer lunacy featured in the original Alien Hominid. If you have access to a Nintendo Switch, look no further, this one is tons of fun in short bursts.


Graphics: 8.0

The visuals look a bit more… professional-looking, if that makes any sense for a game like Alien Hominid. Less cluttered (and charming) environments allow for a better view of items and projectiles coming towards you.

Gameplay: 8.5

A few new movement-based abilities make Alien Hominid Invasion feel more fluid than its predecessor. Its mission structure feels like a setback, though.

Sound: 7.5

The soundtrack is just a tad bit better than before, with sound effects remaining mostly the same.

Fun Factor: 7.5

It is a lot more accessible and forgiving than the original Alien Hominid, but its mission-based structure is also a lot more repetitive. It’s great for short bursts, but a bit less memorable than its predecessor.

Final Verdict: 8.0

Alien Hominid Invasion is available now on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PC, and Nintendo Switch.

Reviewed on Nintendo Switch.

A copy of Alien Hominid Invasion was provided by the publisher.