User Score
8.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 190 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 13 out of 190

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  1. JasonRabb
    Dec 31, 2007
    10
    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! = )
  2. Jan 29, 2012
    5
    DEFCON borrows some of its lore and most of its appearance from portions of the movie WarGames. The multi player scene is still active, and it is very easy to find open matches with all kinds of different settings. Personally, I prefer playing against the CPU, much like in the movie. The map is fairly accurate, depicting the geopolitical era of the Cold War. Implementing orders to yourDEFCON borrows some of its lore and most of its appearance from portions of the movie WarGames. The multi player scene is still active, and it is very easy to find open matches with all kinds of different settings. Personally, I prefer playing against the CPU, much like in the movie. The map is fairly accurate, depicting the geopolitical era of the Cold War. Implementing orders to your units can sometimes be confusing and inadequate, but with enough attempts, you become used to the interface, and will be able to do all of the game's strategical requirements. What is most valuable in DEFCON is the replay ability. Certainly, each match has an ending, but the game truly shines when you play it repeatedly; alone or online. Winning is not easy. Several things must go right, and occur at specific moments in order to be successful. Because of these timing issues, sometimes you will win or lose depending on how quickly or how slowly your units execute orders in conjunction with timers. Nuking cities and other strategic locations doesn't exactly feel like you are killing people. There isn't very much tension. It all just feels like you are clicking around on the map and delegating orders. The feeling that lives are actually being lost is not truly present. At the end of each match, you will be shown a small statistics screen with how much of the enemy population you have killed, how many of your population have been killed, and so on. Each match takes between 15 to 20 minutes to complete, and it often feels like each instance ends abruptly without much of a climax or excitement in the confrontations. The entire atmosphere is very cold and impersonal. Setting up a new single player match means you will have to go into the advanced settings every single time in order to change a few options to single player mode. The default (which can't be permanently altered) is set to multi player, broadcasting your match as public. This is quite annoying and should not have been programmed as such. I am certain that there are many DEFCON players that prefer single player mode and this preference should not be hindered by permanently set options from the developers. The longevity of DEFCON is dependent entirely on the player's interest in its short matches, be it single player or multi player. Besides your initial location on the match, it feels like every single match is played almost exactly the same, with very little occurring differently or alternatively. The strategies necessary to play this game are limited and basic, regardless of whether you win or lose. The only major change as you become better at the game is that you will begin winning, but this does not mean each match will be played differently, or go through a different turn of events. As repetitive as it is, there is a small amount of entertainment gained from playing DEFCON for more than three or so matches at a time. The gaming experience quickly becomes dull, repetitive, tiresome, and almost identical to every other match you play. DEFCON is best played in short bursts in order to preserve its replay ability. Seriously lacking in variety, this diversion is suited for fast breaks and brief encounters. Expand
  3. JoelB.
    Oct 4, 2006
    9
    Excellent concept, rather morbid gameplay but in an unsettlingly fun way. The first time a game has dared try to compete with chess and succed. Can be very frustrating (so only 9/10).
  4. [Anonymous]
    Sep 30, 2006
    9
    Excellent game, well worth the money. The only drawbacks are that the screen can get "cluttered" with units, and network load can create problems during some matches.
  5. BrianR.
    Dec 10, 2006
    10
    The most chilling horror game I can imagine, and no a ghost or zombie in sight. No blood, no gore, just a stark white flash accompanied by a purely impersonal number. The millions of people you've just killed with your own hands.
  6. Dec 24, 2011
    5
    I'm giving this a 5 cause it seem's like it can be good. and my problems might not happen to you guys.
    Anyway, I bought this game today (dec 24 2011) for 2.50, And oh my god am i having troubles... The game explains nothing to me... I didin't know how to use nukes how to use fleets, and i still don't. The tutorial is messed up, when ever i try to play it, the game ALWAYS crashes. ALWAYS.
    I'm giving this a 5 cause it seem's like it can be good. and my problems might not happen to you guys.
    Anyway, I bought this game today (dec 24 2011) for 2.50, And oh my god am i having troubles... The game explains nothing to me... I didin't know how to use nukes how to use fleets, and i still don't. The tutorial is messed up, when ever i try to play it, the game ALWAYS crashes. ALWAYS. So now i'm stuck here trying to figure out how to **** play this game while i get my ass kicked in 5 mins by the AI. I hate this. The game seems fun but i am having the worst time with it. WHY DO I HAVE TO GO ONLINE TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO PLAY THIS PIECE OF ****
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  7. Aug 9, 2013
    2
    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.
  8. Aug 15, 2012
    5
    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 otherBrilliant 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
  9. Aug 21, 2013
    7
    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 myDefcon 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
  10. Feb 22, 2011
    10
    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.
  11. Oct 31, 2013
    8
    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.
  12. BillyL.
    Oct 2, 2006
    6
    Great soundtrack, gives you a gameplay experience that makes you feel just like a general who looks at millions of casualties as just numbers on a screen or means to an end. Simple yet exciting graphics. A good bit of replayability in the fact that you can play in different theatres of war and choose allies and enemies. But, I have the feeling that in one month I will be totally bored and Great soundtrack, gives you a gameplay experience that makes you feel just like a general who looks at millions of casualties as just numbers on a screen or means to an end. Simple yet exciting graphics. A good bit of replayability in the fact that you can play in different theatres of war and choose allies and enemies. But, I have the feeling that in one month I will be totally bored and never play DEFCON again. The pointlessness of thermonuclear war definately bleeds over into your gameplay. Expand
  13. BenM.
    Nov 23, 2006
    6
    I thought this would be a game to play over and over again; counting on all the reviews I've seen from various game mags. Unfortunetly DEFCON does not live up to its standards and is a blow to what could be improved.
  14. AnnO'Nymous
    Oct 17, 2006
    1
    STEAM!?! Forget it. Hate STEAM, hate it to death. Maybe you like STEAM, that's fine, then go buy this game (STEAM-Lover-- Bah!!). I think STEAM is at least as bad as Starforce. The good news is, that you can go out and buy the classic card game "Nuclear War" by Buffalo Games, and have exactly the same experience as this in the comfort of your own home - plus you can play "NuclearSTEAM!?! Forget it. Hate STEAM, hate it to death. Maybe you like STEAM, that's fine, then go buy this game (STEAM-Lover-- Bah!!). I think STEAM is at least as bad as Starforce. The good news is, that you can go out and buy the classic card game "Nuclear War" by Buffalo Games, and have exactly the same experience as this in the comfort of your own home - plus you can play "Nuclear War" with your friends, and if you are of the age of majority, drink a lot as you do so. Expand
  15. Dec 30, 2010
    5
    DEFCON offers a very interesting concept, but it fails to really involve the player.
    The game is very generic, once you've played a game you've seen it all.
    If you like slow phased strategy, then this might amuse you quite a bit, but for a person that likes medium/fast phased real time strategy it's not worth the price of 10 euros.
  16. Sep 1, 2011
    9
    Extremely simple with excellent visuals. However, it is one of the most tense strategy games I played. 5... 4... 3... 2... 1... DEFCON 1. That is the tensest moment of the game, and a few seconds later all hell breaks loose and 20 nukes fly in the air. Its gameplay is one that will make you want to come back for more, and brainstorm. "Maybe I can launch half of my nukes, and the other halfExtremely simple with excellent visuals. However, it is one of the most tense strategy games I played. 5... 4... 3... 2... 1... DEFCON 1. That is the tensest moment of the game, and a few seconds later all hell breaks loose and 20 nukes fly in the air. Its gameplay is one that will make you want to come back for more, and brainstorm. "Maybe I can launch half of my nukes, and the other half go air defense? Maybe I can send my subs to destroy the entire naval fleet then nuke Tokyo? Maybe I can go full defense mode, then launch all my nukes when everyone else is done?" I reccomend it to everyone who is into strategy and genocide. Expand
  17. Aug 5, 2015
    5
    The main issue I have with this game is that it lacks immersion and therefore gets tiring pretty fast.

    While the graphics would work great, the soundtrack and the weird game pace destroy it really. Even when I fast forward I constantly feel like: omg, move forward already... this takes forever. And quite unnecessarily so. While there's some micromanagement possible and necessary
    The main issue I have with this game is that it lacks immersion and therefore gets tiring pretty fast.

    While the graphics would work great, the soundtrack and the weird game pace destroy it really.

    Even when I fast forward I constantly feel like: omg, move forward already... this takes forever. And quite unnecessarily so.
    While there's some micromanagement possible and necessary there's simply long parts in a match which don't need much attention and feel like they take forever.

    The whole concept just seems unpolished even though it's a simple game really.
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  18. Feb 13, 2014
    9
    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 botsI 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
  19. Jun 10, 2014
    8
    Es un videojuego que te hace reflexionar, bajo mi punto de vista se podría considerar inclusive un videojuego serio. Pese a su simplicidad, tanto de uso como gráfica, es muy efectivo y profundo. Buena compra.
  20. Nov 6, 2014
    5
    I found it to be an okay game, though I didn't like a few aspects of the game. I mean they clearly show you what the game is so you know what you're getting, but the movements were quite slow and even using 20x real time I found the game to be a little long. It's a good game, but just wasn't the type of game for me, so don't let my ratings affect your possibility of getting the game.
  21. JayB.
    Oct 6, 2006
    10
    Simple. Addicitve. Enjoyable. Great soundtrack, and amazing gameplay. The graphics are well designed and overall this is one game i think will be a classic.
  22. AnonymousMC
    Oct 1, 2006
    9
    Amazingly fun and addictive. It sounds odd, but the game lacks depth at the same time it has great depth... As if, there could and should be more, but what is there is for sure a good time. Highly recommend.
  23. TObyC.
    Oct 1, 2006
    10
    Most certainly one of the most complex psychological excersizes I've ever done.
  24. DavidP.
    Oct 2, 2006
    9
    The only problem with it is it coulda used Land troops.
  25. JustinS.
    Sep 30, 2006
    10
    This game is very fun. You can be allied with someone one moment, and then anhiliate them the next. This game is gonna last years.
  26. SebastianE.
    Sep 30, 2006
    10
    Right after the Guild Wars games this is the best game I have ever bought! It's simple to learn but hard to master. It's totally addictive, the graphics are simple but nice. You could speak of graphical concinnity. The music is good, the sound is super. Buy this game!
  27. JeromyC.
    Jun 9, 2007
    10
    The music adds to the chilling atmosphere. Well worth $15 bucks especially hearing your son groan in his room while going head to head while I decimate him, priceless. So far I have found no worthy opponent online one on one and the single player is a joke. When against several opponents it is difficult. Still feels like it is missing something. The visuals are exquisite. It adds to the The music adds to the chilling atmosphere. Well worth $15 bucks especially hearing your son groan in his room while going head to head while I decimate him, priceless. So far I have found no worthy opponent online one on one and the single player is a joke. When against several opponents it is difficult. Still feels like it is missing something. The visuals are exquisite. It adds to the horrific spine chilling mood along with the music. I did get burned out after a week of almost solid playing but just for a quick little something to leave you hanging on the end of your seat game, it is 10+ in my book. After you learn how to take out the enemy silos from the get go 1vs1 is too easy. Playing against at least 4 or more players is really a challenge. So far I haven't quite mastered engaging multiple enemies. Strike first and strike hard! Leaving a few silos undetected and subs on their front lawn for final clean up or retaliatory strike. Expand
  28. MikeB
    Aug 3, 2008
    10
    The most chilling war game ever created. The game illustrates the tension, paranoia, and complexity of global thermonuclear war. Rather than creating a sense of extreme warrior spirit to stimulate the shallow gamer, Defcon creates an atmosphere of dread, with the background music hinting at the imminent doomsday right from the start of a round. You never see the nukes hit, for, judging The most chilling war game ever created. The game illustrates the tension, paranoia, and complexity of global thermonuclear war. Rather than creating a sense of extreme warrior spirit to stimulate the shallow gamer, Defcon creates an atmosphere of dread, with the background music hinting at the imminent doomsday right from the start of a round. You never see the nukes hit, for, judging from the sound effects and the overall atmosphere, you're in a protected bunker, leading the nuclear massacre and monitoring it from a tactical screen. Hundreds of millions of people are about to die - you're responsible for making sure that it happens, and that the continent you're in charge of suffers through the somber nuclear holocaust the least. The atmosphere is the game's most memorable trait - there's really nothing else like it. The music gives a sense of remorse for the death that is about to take place. Expand
  29. StephanL.
    Oct 11, 2006
    10
    Just another great game by Intoversion!
  30. DevonE.
    Oct 1, 2006
    10
    Easy to learn, difficult to master. This game just might be the strategy game competitive league enthusiasts and hosts have been looking for. Easier than chess and just as complex, Defcon is the game to have for any real time strategy enthusiast.
Metascore
84

Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. 85
    DEFCON's a great example of how a few simple concepts can be combined to make something that's incredibly interesting and pleasantly complicated.
  2. Edge Magazine
    70
    The developer’s cleverest trick here, beyond creating a game that’s worth it for the presentation alone, has been to throw open so many of its rules to player customisation. [Nov 2006, p.90]
  3. Defcon is as pure and direct a game as its inspiration, and its limitations are ones of the game's basic scope.