User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 173 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 12 out of 173

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  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.
  2. Jan 29, 2012
    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 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. 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.
  4. Dec 24, 2011
    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 **** Expand
  5. 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.
  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. Collapse
  7. 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
  8. Dec 30, 2010
    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.
  9. Nov 23, 2011
    This game is a must buy for anyone who has ever seen Wargames - and even for those too young to appreciate the genius of actually finally getting to play - at long last - a real game of Global Thermonuclear War. what is amazing about this game is it is not only an attempt to realize that lofty dream - but it is an amazingly tense, strategic, and atmospheric game in its own right. If you are checking this to know if the Humble Bundle is worth it - I say - yes - a thousnad times yes - if only for the inclusion of this amazing game! To date - with the purchase of one of the bundle this morning - this I now own three copies of this amazing game. Expand
  10. Sep 1, 2011
    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 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
  11. May 19, 2012
    DEFCON is a wonderfully strategic nuclear war sim. Despite it being rather difficult to play online, the game is so brilliant that play against the AI is still quite entertaining. There are a number of astounding mods that enhance the game to a whole new level, and Introversion has taken the wise step of recognizing these mods on their website. In all, a brilliant game.
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. Jun 10, 2014
    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.
  15. 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. Collapse

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. 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.