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Ambrosia Software
Strategy & War
Release Date

April 4, 2007 | Marcus Albers

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This game does move at a slow pace, and at points during play there will be times when you are simply waiting for units to either become available or to move into place. You can either let it run at its pace, and do something else (the game is easily minimized, or played in a window) or you can speed up time. In a single player game against computer AI bots, you can do this whenever you so choose. In a game with 2 or more human players, the human players have to agree to speed up the game. Played in real-time, a game can last upwards of 8 hours.

Another aspect of the game that comes into play is the alliances. It is possible to form alliances between players. This allows all the players of an alliance to share radar coverage. If North America is allied with Europe, then the North American player will be able to see Europe’s radar coverage of the USSR, for example, and Europe will be able to see North America’s coverage of South America. These alliances work for the good of the player as long as there are a number of players involved. But soon, it will become a game of survival of the fittest, for allied nations do not share in victory. That honor goes to only the top player of the game.

The graphics for DEFCON are done in retro-80s vector-style. The lines glow slightly, giving it the feel of a darkened war situation room. Not only does this give the game a very unique look, it also helps to keep the gameplay extremely smooth. Even with hundreds of different units, targets, and tracks on the screen, there is no discernible slowdown. By not using complex 3D models and realistic terrain, the developers have really captured the detached feel of being in a bunker somewhere in Wyoming, with your finger on the button, so to speak. The only information you have is what your units are reporting and what your radar sees. Very effective.

Sound is primarily the background soundtrack, which is sort of an eerie atmospheric-sounding composition that really fits with the slow pace of the game. The other sound that you will here is the klaxon that rings when the next DEFCON is reached. While minimalist, the sound really suits the style and scope of the gameplay.

DEFCON is turning out to be a solid addition to the Macintosh gaming stable. With a unique gameplay style, and a professional, polished package of graphics and sound, this could turn out to be one of the best RTS games available for the platform when it is finally released.


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