Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic 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. The only real issue I have with Defcon is that there's no way to do a quick rematch; you need to head back to the lobby and set up the same match if you want to get payback against the folks who out-nuked you.
  3. The pruned unit selection, simple relationships and fixed playing field give DEFCON more in common with chess than most RTS games. It's not a game to get lost in for hours on end, but it is one you'll get the urge to play again and again for months to come.
  4. An amazing game. It could be argued that the appeal is limited, as after all, there is only one map to play on. But due to shifting alliances and perceived threats, the game never fails to feel anything but completely fresh.
  5. 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.
  6. As Defcon is almost entirely a multiplayer game, bots are provided but not much fun to play against. The bots have very limited strategy and are fairly easy to defeat. While one can battle a large number of bots simultaneously this challenge by numbers is less appealing than the strategic challenge one can enjoy in the multiplayer modes and hardly prepares you to compete online.
  7. DEFCON is a simple idea developed with style by a group of obviously talented game designers. [Mar 2007, p.73]
  8. 90
    Global thermonuclear war has been a popular topic for decades, but few things have managed to capture the spirit of the subject and present in both a digestible and utterly unforgettable form as Defcon.
  9. Easy to learn but difficult to master as your tactics need to be adjusted on the go.
  10. For me, a game needs to be well-made first, original later and Introversion have proven before that they can easily fit both in the same package. DEFCON is no exception.
  11. With its deep yet surprisingly simple gameplay, DEFCON is an addictive title that deserves a spot on any strategy gamer’s hard drive.
  12. Defcon is an equation that looks simple but can never quite be solved, and it always leaves you scratching your chin, your mind bristling with ideas for new atrocities to engineer. [Nov 2006, p.70]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 174 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 67 out of 80
  2. Negative: 3 out of 80
  1. JasonRabb
    Dec 31, 2007
    This is a simple game to understand yet incredibly difficult to master. Kudos for a company to break from what is "in" to attempt something older yet heat-thumping in fun and entertainment. You have to love the genre of strategy and chess to understand and appreciate the brilliance of this game. Enjoy! = ) Full Review »
  2. 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. Full Review »
  3. 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. Full Review »