Back in more innocent times, like the Eighties, for instance, before we worried about global pandemics wiping out humanity, we played games about nuclear war. I spent a lot of quarters on Missile Command when it launched in ’80, and I’m happy to say that it is just as fun, anxiety producing, and addictive as it was then in its latest iteration: Missile Command Recharged.
This is hardly the first time a Missile Command variant has made a comeback in the forty years since the original, and you should know this is not the original game, though gameplay is essentially the same. You shoot at missiles, bombs, and bombers that drop ever faster from the sky upon your cities.
I tested the Steam version for PCs. Many platforms are supported though, from Switch to iOS and more. I did run into a bug that required me to quit and then restart the game everytime I lost. This got tired fast, but didn’t keep me from coming back for more abuse.
The game is touch-screen enabled, which makes up for not having the trackball of the original arcade game. Even so, as in the original, nuclear war inevitably brings death; the only question is how long you can hold out. This is not Wooden Ships: you will not likely survive six or seven weeks by eating purple berries. In fact, I couldn’t hold out against the onslaught long enough to see if there were MIRVs, those tricky missiles that split into multiple warheads targeting different cities.
There are aircraft that drop several bombs at a time, and a variety of missile types. Generally, the smaller they are the faster they go.
At least when I played the game there didn’t seem to be multiple stages. Instead, the action just keeps getting more intense.
A new feature in this version is an RPG like upgrade system for your weapons and cities, a powerful incentive to keep playing.
Look, this game is cheap ($2.99, less than a roll of quarters), fast and fun, particularly if you can somehow keep it abstract in your brain, and not make it about WWIII.