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Shall we play a game?

How about Global Thermonuclear War?

About eighteen months ago, I mentioned a game called Darwinia from a small UK software company called Introversion Software. Not content with their success (Darwinia won some awards), they've now released their latest offering, a Wargames-esque game of nuclear armageddon called Defcon. Rather good, and very, very pretty, though with less humour than the Nuclear War card game from Flying Buffalo.

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Introversion are neither "the last of the bedroom programmers", nor actually that good, IMO. I found Defcon...dull. As usual for them, both the action and the strategy elements are disappointingly shallow. I wanted to like this one, becuase the basic idea should be good, but any game you can walk away from for an hour and come back to find that you've won is doing something wrong. The atmosphere was a nonexistant mixture of elevator music and trundling line-art (it might be tense if there were any real penalty to being nuked, but, as long as you've emptied everything on a higher-population enemy, you've won). Mind you, I thought that Darwinia was ugly, rather than "retro", too.

I think MAD did the whole global thermonuclear warfare game a lot better a few years back (although was likewise troubled by a fiddly interface). All this reminds me, though, that I must dig out a tenner for Armadillo Run, which is the result of a bedroom programmer with a good idea, a good implementation, and a lot less pretense.

Armadillo Run is a nice idea, but I've played something very like it before (can't remember the name of the game, though).

I'm still in the honeymoon period with Defcon; if it's as shallow as you suggest, it's not going to have much replayability (which for GBP10 isn't a problem).

I quite liked the Tron-ish look of Darwinia, but I think that Uplink was the better game.

Armadillo Run is frickin' awesome.

Defcon... well, didn't really grab me. The retro art has a nice style to it, and isn't that badly done but the game itself seems dull from my quick play at it.

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