Nuclear War (video game)
|Developer(s)||New World Computing|
Nuclear War is a single player turn-based strategy game developed by New World Computing and released for the Amiga in 1989 and later for MS-DOS. It presents a satirical, cartoonish nuclear battle between five world powers, in which the winner is whoever retains some population when everyone else on earth is dead.
The game's introduction includes an homage to Dr. Strangelove. Each player - one human, four computer-controlled - is represented by a caricature of a national leader (the MS-DOS version allowed more than one human player). If there is a computer-controlled winner at the end of the game, that leader is depicted jumping for joy in the middle of a blasted wasteland, crowing "I won! I won!". If the player wins only the high score board is shown. Once a player (computer or human) loses, all of their stockpiled weapons are automatically launched. It's possible for a game to have no winner because of this. If this happens, a cut scene of the earth shattering and exploding is shown, and the high score table appears (though without any new entries).
The following characters are available in the game; the public figure being satirised is listed in brackets.
- Ronnie Raygun (Ronald Reagan)
- P.M. Satcher (Margaret Thatcher)
- Infidel Castro (Fidel Castro)
- Col. Malomar Khadaffy (Muammar al-Gaddafi)
- Ayatollah Kookamamie (Ruhollah Khomeini)
- Mao the Pun (Mao Zedong)
- Jimi Farmer (Jimmy Carter)
- Tricky Dick (Richard Nixon)
- Mikhail Gorabachef (Mikhail Gorbachev)
- Ghanji (Mahatma Gandhi)
- Balance of Power, a conceptually similar game from 1985, but played straight;
- DEFCON, another similar PC/Mac game, in real-time instead of turn-based.
The game was reviewed in 1990 in Dragon #159 by Hartley, Patricia, and Kirk Lesser in "The Role of Computers" column. The reviewers gave the game 4½ out of 5 stars. Chuck Moss of Computer Gaming World in 1990 favorably reviewed the game's graphics, fast and brief game play, and humorous computer opponents. 1992 and 1994 surveys in the magazine of wargames with modern settings gave the game three and a half stars out of five.
- Lesser, Hartley; Lesser, Patricia; Lesser, Kirk (July 1990). "The Role of Computers". Dragon (159): 47–53.
- Moss, Chuck (October 1990). "Itsy-Bitsy Teeny-Weeny 20-Megaton Bikini". Computer Gaming World. p. 36. Retrieved 16 November 2013.
- Brooks, M. Evan (June 1992). "The Modern Games: 1950 - 2000". Computer Gaming World. p. 120. Retrieved 24 November 2013.
- Brooks, M. Evan (January 1994). "War In Our Time / A Survey Of Wargames From 1950-2000". Computer Gaming World. pp. 194–212.