Enemy Nations

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Enemy Nations
Developer(s)Windward Studios
Publisher(s)Head Games Publishing
Designer(s)Dave Thielen
ReleaseUS: April 15, 1997[1]
Genre(s)Real-time strategy
Mode(s)Single player, Multiplayer (TCP/IP, IPX...)

Enemy Nations is a real-time strategy game, created by Windward Studios. The game received very high rankings in video game magazines,[2] but the publisher went out of business shortly after the game's release, forcing developer Windward Studios to sell the game exclusively from its website.[3]


The development of the Hyperspace-Drive triggers a gold rush-like colonization attempt by Earth governments, only to find that habitable (the game takes these as Earth-like) planets are either homeworlds for other sapient species, or colonies of early-evolved species.

Years of build-up and exploration bears fruit: A habitable, rich and lush world with no sentient race is found. However, almost every race intends to colonize it, and soon a full-scale Galactic war will erupt. To solve the bloodshed, the sapient races agree to a competition:

Every race would dispatch a Rocket Ship with a pre-determined size, mass and equipment, stocked with materials, personnel and equipment to create a city analogous of modern Earth technology and infrastructure. Then without interruption from outer space, the base-cities would engage in conflict, with the victor being granted the ownership of the planet. Of course, it is your duty to ensure a new world for your species to claim.


Stores pre-ordered above 100,000 copies of Enemy Nations by January 29, 1997.[4]

Source code release[edit]

The game itself was released as strictly non-commercial and privately redistributable freeware on October 1, 2005.[5] Windward released the source code of the game in the beginning of 2006.[6][7] The source code and data were released free by Windward Studios under the following limited license:[8]

1. No rights are given to the game Enemy Nations, the trademark Enemy Nations, or the concept.

2. Windward intends to someday create an Enemy Nations II and reserves all rights for all future versions of the game.

3. You may not sell anything derived from this code, art, or anything else included.

4. This is released solely for people to learn from the code and to make fixes in the existing code that they will make available for free.

If you don't like these restrictions, don't use this code/data.

— Windward

The source code is hosted since 2009 by the Enemy Nations Revival project and on Launchpad.net.[9]

Reception and reviews[edit]

According to its developer, sales of Enemy Nations surpassed 35,000 units by late 1998.[10]

Home of the Underdogs - 9/10. "Enemy Nations is one of the best and most sophisticated real-time strategy games ever made...It's neither a simple action strategy game, nor is it a straightforward god game with token battle elements. Rather, it's an isometric strategy game which takes influences from half a dozen existing games and tries to blend them into something new, and in most aspects, succeeds admirably."[11]

PC Games - A - "I'm absolutely gaga over the detail: steel frames rising slowly from foundations to create gorgeous buildings, rich smoke coming from stacks, industry-specific sound effects, trucks ambling along the roads, multiple levels of visible damage, fog of war, research, and diplomacy. Better yet, I don't think I've seen it all - not by a long shot."[citation needed]

Games Domain - Gold - "Enemy Nations is a visual treat, and one which is extremely playable. It has the city-building appeal to draw in the god-sim fans and the military conquest aspect to give armchair generals their kicks. Enemy Nations is a rare thing - a strategy game which pushes the technology envelope...If you just want pure action, stick with Red Alert, but if you want a deeper and more attractive offering give Enemy Nations a shot. If you can play it multiplayer, all the better."[citation needed]

Computer Games - 4 Stars - "...it is a solid source of fun, excitement, and great visuals. If you want to lose sleep, strain your relationships, and succumb to a new addiction, then play Enemy Nations."[citation needed]

PC Gamer - 86% - "...have created a labor of love that should please every fan of world building and science fiction strategy games. Finding new resources and new places to expand calls to mind the best world conquest games, while sending armies to engage in real-time combat mines the current trend towards faster-paced strategy titles. There's a little bit of everything here, but all of it is well-balanced and well-integrated: it never overwhelms...we need more games like this."[citation needed]

GameSpot - 47% "Enemy Nations is a complex game with poor AI and even worse pathing. Increases in game difficulty amount to your opponents having more stuff when they begin, not acting more intelligently. The tutorial is an exercise in frustration, the manual reads like postmodern deconstructionism, and it will only run well on truly exceptional hardware."[citation needed]

Legal Dispute[edit]

After the publisher Head Games went out of business, Windward Studios said Enemy Nations grossed more than $500,000, and hadn't paid Windward royalties. Windward took Head Games to arbitration and won. Activision acquired Head Games in the middle of the arbitration.

In 1999 Windward stated on their webpage that it had been nine weeks since the ruling and Activision still had not paid them.[12]


  1. ^ IGN Enemy Nations on ign.com
  2. ^ "Reviews". Enemy Nations. Retrieved 2012-06-19.
  3. ^ Bailey83221 (2006-03-26). "bailey83221:". LiveJournal, Inc. Archived from the original on 2012-02-04. Retrieved 2012-06-19.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 1998-02-07. Retrieved 2019-08-08.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "The End of an Era!". Windward. 2005-10-01. Archived from the original on 2005-11-24. Retrieved 2013-10-26. October 1, 2005: We just sold the last copy of Enemy Nations. [...] If you have a copy and want to give a copy to a friend - you have our permission to burn a CD with a copy of Enemy Nations - with one major caveat. You must give them the game. You cannot sell it to them. You cannot include it as part of anything you sell. It cannot be included with any product or magazine as a free extra. The person making the copy must even buy the blank CD. It must be a true free gift given totally separate of anything else.
  6. ^ source code mirror Archived 2014-03-29 at the Wayback Machine at atomicgamer.com
  7. ^ get-your-very-own-free-and-legal-copy (January 2006)
  8. ^ "License for Original Code". Launchpad.net. 2009-02-21. Retrieved 2012-06-19.
  9. ^ https://launchpad.net/enations launchpad.net/enations
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2000-02-26. Retrieved 2019-08-08.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ Underdogs (1999-02-22). "Enemy Nations (review)". Home of the Underdogs. Retrieved 2012-06-19.
  12. ^ "Windward Tweaks Head Games Over Royalties". Pc.ign.com. 8 October 1999. Retrieved 2012-06-19.

External links[edit]