Something for the weekend?
After watching Chris Delay from UK games company Introversion Software presenting at Playful last week, I went digging around their back catalog. I’m excited about their upcoming game, ‘Subversion‘, but I was pleased to be able to download demos of Uplink, DEFCON and Darwinia.
DEFCON is already a personal favourite. I was glad to see that, as with their other games, as well as a Windows version it’s also been ported to both Mac and Linux (the Mac version is being distributed by Ambrosia GTames).
It’s strikingly beautiful. Based on a gorgeous world map (with nostalgic Cold War era national borders) the careful placement of silos, airfields, radars and naval units, the escalation of hostilities and eventual all-out nuclear war. Timing is everything. It’s actually pretty tense.
The gameplay is simple, with defined countdowns from DEFCON 5 all the way to 1, at which point (as we all know from watching War Games) the use of nuclear force is authorised. You can accelerate time at will, unless you’re playing the real-time ‘office mode’ game mode.
Unlike most war games, DEFCON doesn’t glorify it. The ambient background music interlaced with atmospheric sounds include a very disconcerting coughing noise and the messages which pop up when a city is hit, telling you how many million people just died, are shockingly stark.
After playing 3 games, I’m now reliably beating the computer. It must be time to start playing online against human opponents; multiplayer games with strategic alliances look like fun.