It seemed like it was only yesterday when Fox announced that they’ll be releasing 6 different Alien-themed shorts on Youtube to celebrate the original film’s 40th anniversary

Watching them piecemeal on Youtube was really unsatisfactory, since they’re…well…short. Plus, watching an Alien movie (short film in this case) on Youtube seemed out of place. The ambiance, the atmosphere…it’s just lacking on the site.

Luckily Fox seem to feel that way too. They’ve now collected all the short films in one handy location; the Alien Universe website. The Alien 40th Anniversary shorts now have their own dedicated section on the site, with appropriately Alien-themed design.

It all just feels more like Alien somehow.

If you need recommendations on which ones to watch first, we suggest starting with Containment, then going on to Specimen and then Night Shift. These three are arguably the weaker of the lot (at least to us), but should set you up nicely for the final half; Alone, Harvest and Ore (in that order).

Containment (arguably the worst of the lot) feels rather tame and generic (both in plot and location), while Specimen seems a bit too outlandish in execution. Night Shift is pretty good, but it ends on a cliffhanger, which leaves a sour taste in your mouth.

Alone, on the other hand, feels different from regular Alien stories. The dark twist at the end is rather predictable (especially if you know the series’ history with crazy robots) but it’s still a nice, self-contained story.

Harvest is basically a version of Alien’s last act, with survivors trying to escape a doomed ship. The production value seems to be much higher in this one than most. There’s CGI, an adult Xenomorph, decent sets and props. Hell, it even manages a decent ending with you wanting more.

Finally there’s Ore, which is tied with Harvest as my favourites. It has a unique setting (reminiscent of both Hadley’s Hope and Fiorina 161) and has action and horror in equal (minute) doses. Plus, unlike some of the shorts, this one has an adult Xenomorph too!

So what are you waiting for? If you’ve not seen the shorts and are a fan of Alien, there’s no better time than now!

Sal's been in the industry since the early 2000s. He's written for a ton of gaming and tech publications including Playworks, Hardwarezone, HWM and GameAxis. Recently, Sal served as a juror for the Indie Game Awards at Taipei Game Show 2020. A geek and hardcore gamer, Sal will play everything, on any platform.