NATO Commander (Atari 8-bit)

NATO Commander Atari 8-bit Loading screen


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The first wargame from legendary game designer Sid Meier, NATO Commander puts the player in charge of the armies of Western Europe as the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact forces plunge across central Europe in a hypothetical Cold War-turned-World War III scenario.

The game design would serve as the foundation for the MicroProse Command Series of wargames, so it is no surprise that NATO Commander and those later MicroProse games are very similar. Combat takes place in accelerated real-time, though the player can freeze to survey the field and issue orders. Commanding is basically a matter of picking the right "modes" for individual units and moving them into position for attack or defense, monitoring unit morale, assigning air wings to various tasks (air superiority, ground support, or reconnaissance), and making judicious use of the chemical and nuclear weapons at the player's disposal.

There are four difficulty levels and five different scenarios to choose from, and the player has the option of using larger divisions or smaller brigades as the standard unit size. Victory points are determined by political (city captures, chemical and nuclear weapons use, pre-emptive attack, etc.) and combat (casualties and loss of territory) factors.

Key political events occur during the course of the war, such as labor strikes and declarations of neutrality by certain European nations. The final outcome is eventually determined when accumulated political and combat losses force one of the two sides to accept defeat.


NATO Commander Atari 8-bit Nighttime: French, US and British divisions try to defend the Rhineland. Lots of craters indicate heavy usage of nuclear weapons. There is still a West German division holding Passau in the southeast.
NATO Commander Atari 8-bit Loading screen
NATO Commander Atari 8-bit Game menu
NATO Commander Atari 8-bit Warsaw Pact forces are breaking through from the CSSR. Units from the Netherlands, Belgium and France move into the gap. US, West German and British divisions trying to hold the rest of the front.

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Critic Reviews

Computer Gaming World (CGW) Feb, 1984 Unscored Unscored


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Terok Nor (26757) added NATO Commander (Atari 8-bit) on Feb 01, 2006
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