This organisation phase is an interesting strategic challenge in itself, but DEFCON is at its most effective when the missiles fly. Blooming blast sites are matched with casualty numbers as city after city experiences obliteration. Once the dust has settled, victory is a mere technicality. It’s a sexy cyberpunk espionage romp blessed with so much tension that you’ll be sweating buckets as you slink through corporate strongholds and try very hard to not get caught. It’s tricky, sometimes dauntingly so, but there’s a chance you can fix your terrible mistakes by rewinding time, adding some welcome accessibility to the proceedings. Civilian buildings provide power, which serves as a health bar for your campaign.
Alpha Centauri is as fascinating and weird now as it was back in ’99, when we were first getting our taste of nerve stapling naughty drones and getting into yet another war with Sister Miriam. Forge of Empires isn’t all about building—you’ll have to wage wars and manage your finances strategically if you want to succeed. There are even boss fights where you’ll need to plan ahead to make sure you have the best towers to quickly deal a lot of damage. However, you also have to make sure you’re able to take down the minions sent ahead. It looks cute and goofy , but there’s also a huge amount of strategic depth in this game. If you’ve never played Kingdom Rush, get ready for extremely strategic tower defense.
DEFCON’s sinister blue world map is the perfect stage for this Cold War horror story about the outbreak of nuclear war. First, you manage stockpiles, and position missile sites, nuclear submarines and countermeasures in preparation for armageddon.
A beautifully designed, near-perfect slice of tactical mech action from the creators of FTL. Into the Breach challenges you to fend off waves of Vek monsters on eight-by-eight grids populated by tower blocks and a variety of sub objectives. Most of Westwood’s C&C entries are fantastic—but Red Alert 2 has the best campaigns, most interesting units, great maps and of course, superb FMV sequences. The different factions are so distinct, and have more personality than scary roblox games they did in the original game—hence Soviet squids and Allied dolphins. They found the right tonal balance between self-awareness and sincerity in the cutscenes, as well—they’re played for laughs, but still entertain and engage.
Civ in space is a convenient shorthand for Alpha Centauri, but a bit reductive. The techs, the conflicts, the characters—it was unlike any of its contemporaries and, with only a few exceptions, nobody has really attempted to replicate it. Not even when Firaxis literally made a Civ in space, which wasn’t very good.
Every time a civilian building takes a hit, you’re a step closer to losing the war. Once your power is depleted your team travels back through time to try and save the world again. As you unlock new types of mechs and mech upgrades you gain inventive new ways to toy with your enemies.