Take on one of the two superpowers in this cold war game where you may be called upon to hit the big red button and destroy all of mankind. Will you have what it takes or will you back down and show weakness to your enemy in this game, brought to you by LRDGames, Inc.
On the main menu you’ll find Single Player, Tutorial (will take you over some of the basics in the game to help you on the way), Hot Seat (currently an experimental multiplayer mode), Online (play against other players where you can choose options such as Turn Time limit, Turn Duration, Game Length - Forty, Fifty or Sixty turns), and Challenge Duration. Also on the main menu screen are Settings, Medal Cabinet, Credits, Load Game and Exit.
Selecting to play Single Player will take you to the map selection and options screen. Here you have the option of three maps with different objectives for you to complete and win a game: Classic Map, Land Rush and American Hell.
In Classic Map, you choose to play either as the Americans or The Soviets. This will play out over the whole world where you must recruit allied countries, sabotage and destabalise countries etcetera while you lay down the foundations for global domination. Land Rush is again the Americans versus the Soviets although this time, you have no allies upon starting and you’ll need to recruit allied nations, with the winner being the one who controls the most allied nations. The third map type is American Hell, which pits you against a world solely under the control of the Soviets. The only nation not under their control is America; fight against the Soviets and take the world back from them. American Hell is for single player only, but the other two maps can be played with more than one player.
After deciding which map to play you can also choose the length of a game, anything from One to One-Hundred turns, with Fifty turns as the default setting. You can also set the AI difficulty along with the Resource Distribution (Randomised Resource Distribution or Realistic Resource Distribution) for that extra customising of your game. Once you’ve chosen the map, you’ll then need to choose which side to play as, America or the Soviets.
Next you have a list of Perks; you can choose three from what’s currently available (not all perks are available right away, but there are a few to pick from). There are plenty of perks that you can unlock as you play the game. If you play as America, then you’ll unlock perks for that nation and the same if you play as the Soviets. These perks will give you a percentage bonus for Diplomacy Actions, Performing Coups, Funding Insurgents and more. Some perks won’t allow your opponent to Deploy Agents into a country. Others will allow your country to require fewer Victory Points to win or you may gain extra victory points. Once you have chosen your three perks the countdown will begin … 5,4 ,3,2,1!
On starting a game you’ll be taken to a map of the world; here you’ll notice the world’s countries covered by variations of either red, blue and white. Red countries are those influenced by the Soviets and the Blue by the Americans. The variations in each of the colours means that they don’t have full diplomacy with that nation. Darker red or blue means they’re fully behind, at least for now. The lighter shades will need you to have one-hundred percent diplomacy before turning to the darker colour. You can also use diplomacy on your enemy's territory and try to bring them around to your thinking.
You will take turns to make your moves and with each move you have five Action Points. You can use these points to perform actions such as funding insurgents, counterspy, diplomacy, deploying agents etcetera. Once you have used all of your points up, you’ll need to hit the end turn button so that your enemy may take their turn.
You may also notice one to four dots within each country. These indicate that country’s Stability Level, with a single red dot meaning that the country isn’t stable and needs Foreign Aid, and four green dots meaning that it’s stable. Should you wish to aid a country, you need to select it, then select Foreign Aid from the choice of options. This will give that country some money, but won’t necessarily increase the country’s dots count. Sometimes it will take multiple wads of cash to be thrown at them.
The aim of the game is to beat your enemy, and you can do this in a couple of ways; either be the first to reach eighteen influence points or have the most victory points at the end of the game. The end of the game is determined by the number of turns you decide to play. The default is fifty turns, and once you reach this point the game ends and the winner is the one who has the most victory points (if either side hasn’t reached eighteen influence points).
Influence is gained by earning the loyalty of country groups, such as South America, South Asia, Europe etcetera. You won’t need them to be one-hundred percent diplomatic with you, just that they are in either the lighter or darker colours. This will represent your countries in a United Front and in doing so you will receive a greater influence score. Having the loyalty of more than half of those countries in a group will still give you an influence score, albeit a lower one. Instead of being a united front, you will then be a Majority, so controlling these regions will aid you while denying access to your opponent.
You can gain loyalty in a few different ways. Forming new alliances through diplomacy or maintaining trade agreements with a country are probably the best way to go, although over hard-fought regions this can drag out, especially if your enemy keeps rebuilding the ties with a country. Other options are that you can invade or aid in a coup d'état and change the regime within a country to one which is more in tow with our interests. However, if you perform too many coup d'état's or invade and start wars the people back home may not be happy with your decisions. If this happens then the Domestic Unrest Meter (located in the top left corner) will start to fill up. This unrest within your nation will cause riots and other problems, and if it becomes too high, then your country will collapse and your opponent will be declared the winner. So keep an eye on that Domestic Unrest Meter, especially if you’re at war.
You can also send one of three Agents at your disposal into a country; you do this by clicking on a country and then selecting Deploy Agents. You will then have options to either Fuel Protests, perform a Coup or Fund Insurgency. If a country has four green dots, then you’ll need to destabilise the government by causing unrest through fueling protests. Once a country has a stable level of three, you can then Fund Insurgency into that country further causing unrest and destabilising it. If the country is destabilised enough then you can try to perform a Coup D'état, the percentage odds of how successful your coup will be are indicated under the option to choose the coup. If you decide to go ahead with a coup and it fails, you will then give that region to your enemy. So make sure that the percentage odds are as high as possible in your favour, otherwise all the work you’ve done to destabilise it will have been for nothing.
Your enemy won’t know where your agent is deployed, but they will be informed that one has been placed somewhere; the same goes for when your enemy deploys an agent. If you happen to place an agent where your opponent already has an agent, then your agent will be assassinated. This isn’t the only way to assassinate an agent, as you can also use the Counter Spy option when selecting on a country. This will then place a target over that country and if any enemy agents are there they will be disposed of. Assassinating all of an opponent's agents will leave them without the options of funding insurgents and performing coups etcetera, giving you an edge over them.
You will also need to collect resources, which you can gain through trade agreements or through controlling regions. There are four types of resources available for you to collect: Oil, Food, Raw Materials and Production. Collecting these resources will allow you to use them to perform tasks such as using One Oil Barrel for each army you send to invade somewhere, and then using food to sustain a war with a country. You can also use the resources to help countries in need of food or materials. In doing this you may swing the current government to your way of thinking, which can be easier to do than forcing change through diplomacy etcetera.
Trade agreements with countries will bring in resources which you may want in exchange for other resources. A country will need to be at stable level three and sometimes level four before you can enter into an agreement. You will need to keep that country at least to stable level three to complete any agreement for eight turns. If you succeed, then your relationship with that country will improve. You can see both where resources can be found and where those resources are in demand in the bottom left corner. You’ll also find here Loyalty, Regional Scoring, Stability, Trade Opportunities and Agreements.
At times your opponent, or even yourself, may decide to invade or station troops within a nation. This can lead to the opposite side demanding that you pull out of your last move. You will be given two options, one of which is to back down, and the other to ignore the call of your opponent. If you decide to back down, you will have to forfeit that move. It could show that you lack the courage to follow through with your decision and your enemy may see this as weakness.
With each of the decisions you make, you could lose or gain influence with other countries. If neither country backs down, then you’ll move closer to Defcon One and a nuclear war. There is a bar which fills after each time if neither country backs down, and if this bar reaches the top then a big red button will appear. You’ll have to decide whether to back down or push that button, knowing that if it is pressed a nuclear war will take place where nobody wins as we all die in the nuclear holocaust.
In the settings there isn’t much on offer, just Sound and Music volume controls and Full Screen On/Off options. You can check the Game Rules for more information on how to play the game and the cost of each action in points. You’ll find the Medal Cabinet on the main menu screen, which will display any medals you’ve currently earned. These medals are pinned to your nicely pressed uniform rather than in a cabinet, but who cares - medals are medals, right?
I found the game to be relaxing and enjoyable to play. There are different levels of difficulty for all types of players. I like the artwork of the animal leaders of all countries from around the world. The world map is plenty good enough for what you need. This isn’t a war game and warring too much will eventually cause trouble in your home country. If sustained it will cause your country to collapse, handing victory to your opponent. The game doesn’t save at any point so if you leave a game, you’ll lose any progress made. However, playing a game of fifty turns doesn’t take too long to complete.
Review written by Piston Smashed™ for Zeepond.com!
Positives+ Not too complicated to play
+ Multiple game difficulties
Negatives- No cards
Build allies around the world through trade agreements, use diplomacy, deploy agents and troops, deliver foreign aid and destabalise your enemy as you search for victory.
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Zeepond Rating: 8/10
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