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Thursday, October 12, 2006


When I was young, my greatest dream in life was to be the nerd from Wargames. To be a l33t haxxor, date Ally Sheedy and save the world from nuclear destruction in the process - what more could anyone want?

But as you grow up, your interests change. Sure, my hacking skills are legendary. But Ally and I had a messy breakup. And now, instead of saving the world, I kind of want to nuke it.

Enter Defcon. I don't want to gush but - instant classic. The graphics are simple but perfect. The soundtrack is truly incredible, replete with haunting coughs. But it's the gameplay that really shines. Like many terrific games, the basic gameplay is easy to pick up and understand. But it has a ton of depth and seems like it could take a long time to truly master. Here's a list of the units you have at your disposal:

Radar Installation – Without these you’ll never know what your enemies (and “friends”) are up to.
Silos – The big guns. Crucially important for defense as well as offense.
Airfields – Scramble fighter jets to scout and defend. Launch some bombers with a deadly payload.
Battleships – Clear the oceans with these deadly ships.
Carriers – Launch bombers and fighters from the seas.
Submarines – Sneak right up to the enemy’s coast and then open up a can of nuclear destruction on them.

Instead of boring you by trying to explain the diplomatic possibilities, I'll just show you this terrific video made by our own Anskiere (who meant diplomacy and not democracy but is too busy nuking people to change it).

Every game is filled with difficult decisions, shaky alliances, nervous lulls and intense excitement. It's an incredible product and for only $15 US on Steam, how can you go wrong? Check out the demo first if you're not convinced.

My only caveat would be to say that this is not meant to be a single player game, although you can play against the AI. It truly shines when you're playing actual human opponents.

Defcon is brought to you by Introversion, which has already scored with such indie classics as Darwinia and Uplink.


Blogger Anskiere said...

Aggro was supposed to add in a (probably) more refined version of this in the post too, but he's way to busy with all the ladies and forgot about it:

Interesting note: when you join a game in progress as a spectator, it's as if everything that has happened so far in the game is saved and played back to the connecting client. It won't actually show you the map, but you can tell it all happens in the background. The timer starts from 0 and counts up, from defcon 5 to whichever defcon the game is currently in. I suppose this is the game's way of getting it all in sync (recording and playing back?), and it can be kind of annoying if the game you are joining in on has been playing for a while (though the playback does go at the fastest speed, it can still take a while).

But you're just joining as a spectator, so you can take the minor annoyance, right?

Perhaps. But the same thing also happens if you happen to get dropped from the game, say by... oh, I don't know, a router hiccup. The good thing about it is that if you join back in the game, you take back control of your units. The bad part is that the moment you drop, your units become computer controlled. And being computer controlled... they can happen to make some pretty un-smart moves while you aren't there.

I personally connected back to the game jsut moments after I dropped, but it was enough time for the computer to send some bombers attacking some not so desireable targets while moving one of my fleets out of hiding. The way the game works, however, I am assuming that you can leave for any amount of time, rejoin, and have control of your units. Just speculation, however, because of how it displays your name in game (aka it keeps your name, but puts [CPU] in front of it). A wonderful design, though, because everyone hates having one little network bump and not being able to get back in a game!

3:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Uplink is still one of the best games ever.

I remember sitting at my laptop and trying to hack to satisfy my latest work order. Then I realized that perhaps I was really hacking and the game devs were using me as a tool to accomplish their evil ends.

I quickly unplugged my network cable...just to be sure.

9:57 AM  

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