Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 168 Ratings

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  • Summary: Inspired by the 1983 cult classic film, "Wargames," DEFCON superbly evokes the tension, paranoia and suspicion of the Cold War era, playing on the fascinating aspects of psychological gameplay that occur during strategic nuclear warfare. You play a General hidden deep within an underground bunker. Your mission is to successfully exterminate your enemy's civilian population whilst saving your own. Points are awarded or lost depending on both the efficacy and thoroughness of your nuclear vendetta and the number of your own civilian deaths. In order to win you must wipe out the enemy population and simultaneously disable the enemy's ability to retaliate against you. This is an extremely difficult task since launching an attack on the enemy exposes the positions of your own Ground Silos, Subs and Bombers the moment they launch nuclear weapons, making you extremely vulnerable and exposed to a crushing counter-attack. Desperate attempts must be made to form fast, tactical alliances, alliances that may at any moment break-down to become the treacherous and most deadly of betrayals. Everyone looks to each other in a state of nervous suspense and paranoid accusation. In all-out nuclear Armageddon, everybody dies, everybody loses, you just have to make sure you lose the least! [Valve] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. Introversion’s best yet – chillingly brilliant. [Nov 2006, p.126]
  2. 90
    At $20, this just may be the finest piece of "budgetware" ever produced, with every bit as much to offer strategywise as RTS games three times its cost. Like the greatest board games, its entry curve is small, its interface elementary, and its potential for strategic depth enormous.
  3. Easy to learn but difficult to master as your tactics need to be adjusted on the go.
  4. DEFCON is such a clever blend of inspired simplicity and deceptive profundity, presented in such a powerfully evocative way, that I want to get Introversion to decorate my house and invent the rest of my life for me. [Dec 2006, p.76]
  5. As a casual strategist or a hardcore simulation fan, Defcon contains enough elements to involve anybody in the fight for global thermonuclear dominance, and you won't want to leave any time soon.
  6. My main gripe is that the single player game doesn't have the durability I would have hoped for, so if you don’t plan to go online then it’s not a game I’d recommend you pick up.
  7. 60
    DEFCON’s main issue is the lack of depth.

See all 36 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 66 out of 78
  2. Negative: 3 out of 78
  1. Feb 22, 2011
    The only bad thing is the lack of servers online. Otherwise, this is a fun, challenging, and interesting game. It's a must have for anyone who loves strategy games. Expand
  2. May 19, 2013
    Such a fun game that is so complex strategically, yet so simple in terms of actually playing it. There are only three buildings (silo, radar and airbase) and five units (battleship, submarine, aircraft carrier, fighter and bomber) to control, but exactly where you position them and how you use them is what counts. It also does an amazing job at creating an atmosphere that, for a game about nuclear war on a global scale, just feels right. Well worth the price! Expand
  3. Feb 13, 2014
    I would give this a 10/10 but after all the nukes are launched it just gets boring, but other than that it has a great atmosphere, mechanics (even though I was a seasoned player and my friend beat me on first time), however don't buy the full game as bad as that sounds you can still get the full experience from the demo version, it still has LAN and internet and you can play against bots (which aren't stupid, thank god). Expand
  4. Oct 31, 2013
    This game wears it's debt to War Games on its sleeve, and rightly so. It's an impressive tactical game that manages to have the most utterly depressing atmosphere I've come across. But is it a really good game? The jurys out on that I'm afraid. Expand
  5. Aug 21, 2013
    Defcon is fun. To be honest, that's all you need to know but I'm going to go in depth anyway. Defcon revolves around nuking the other players. That's it; it's a good idea and it's executed pretty well. You can send bombers with mini nukes, have nuclear submarines launch bigger nukes or just use ICBMs because you have stuff to do. It's simple with a nice sound track and style but in my opinion you'll play maybe one game to kill some time and then go do something else for a while. Expand
  6. Aug 15, 2012
    Brilliant atmosphere, you feel the tension of the impending nuclear war as the timer counts to the next DEFCON level, moving your units in to destroy as much of the opposing continent as you can. Then you reach DEFCON 1 and watch the nukes you launched heading to kill millions, while the grim background music plays. It's too simple though, ships and planes move and shoot each other clumbsily on a small map for about 10 minutes while nukes fly overhead, gets boring fast. Expand
  7. Aug 9, 2013
    This game lacks polish and a tutorial. The strategy wasn't readily apparent to me. After playing a game then reading online, the strategy seemed rather flat to me. You will have a preferred layout for a territory and the constant clicking to dole out orders is very boring. Expand

See all 78 User Reviews