If it can be said that the Cold War and computers grew up together, WarGame captures them in their maturity. WarGame simulates a massive defense computer launching intercontinental nuclear missiles. The game was inspired by "WarGames," an American movie of the same year which starts with a young hacker war-dialing to swipe a new game for his home computer, and ends reflecting the period's very real distrust of computers and defense systems.
WarGame presents the global view screen of NORAD's missile defense system, as envisioned by the movie. Missiles trace lines between ten American bases and ten Soviet bases, bright white circles blotting out the city on the receiving end. The object is to destroy the Soviet bases before all the American ones are gone, which takes five to ten minutes, the span often predicted in the 1980's for World War III.
Commands are issued by typing fast, until the Soviets jam your launch codes, but you can recover and return the favor. Enemy subs require targeting, when you can find the time to detect them, and if you're really ahead of schedule, you can check base status on either side. Since missiles fly only one at a time, and computer responses eat precious seconds, victory mostly lies in efficient typing and remembering which bases you have left to launch from. Win or lose, the futility of trading the business ends of nuclear missiles is always clear.
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This entry to the MobyGames database was contributed by me3D31337 (36938)
on Oct 26, 2012.