Nuclear War is a strategy game developed by New World Computing and published in 1989 for Amiga and MS-DOS.
This turn-based strategy adventure is founded on satire. The player must choose 4 characters that are clearly parodies of world leaders, living and dead, to face each other in a strategic duel for world domination. On the other hand, the idea of world domination comes with a social critique. In essence, the way to rule the world is by eradicating other nations with nuclear weapons, and the winner celebrates his victory by jumping with joy in a desolate land.
At the start of the game, the player has several cities inhabited by millions of citizens. The installment is about throwing nukes everywhere and presents the possibility of making strategies, such as stealing people from other villages with propaganda or implementing a defense system when the player thinks that he is about to be attacked. He can also improve his nuclear weapons, whose effectiveness will change according to the cities' prosperity and the number of people in them.
AI is well applied; it varies according to what kind of leader you are facing. One can be charismatic and hide behind diplomacy, while another can be much more violent and ruthless. Besides, their actions do not only depend on their personality. Depending on the player's decisions, the NPCs are going to approach him differently depending on how he interacts with the city they defend.
Also, even though the game's emphasis is not on graphics or sound, the audio effects for the missiles, the laughter of the enemies, and the few images they use hit the mark. World leaders are drawn in extravagant and funny ways, with a typical sketch of satire at that time, such as small eyes, huge and exaggerated facial features, and an accent on any minimal element that defines the character in real life. Far from its colorful and animated essence, the victory screen presents a scenario that congratulates the player with its score. In the background, his achievement's actual results: a devastated and lonely city sunk in a palette of dark and rusty colors. Only desolation and death inhabit as consequences of the war that has just ended.
The reception of the title was very positive; the critics highlighted the innocence that it seems to have, the perfect parody made with the drawing, and the compelling but straightforward gameplay.
Whether in the skin of General Infidel Castro, the charismatic Jimmy Farmer, or the peaceful Ghanji, Nuclear War is the perfect excuse to have a fun time, use your brain a little, and why not to ponder a bit more who are the real winners of the wars.