First Strike for Android

One of the cooler games I scoped out on the show floor at GDC 2014 was First Strike. It's similar to the nuclear war game Defcon, but built for mobile, and with a whole bunch of different game mechanics.

Players start as a major super power nestled in their respective corner of the globe. Slowly, players expand into neighboring countries and begin researching recon, efficiency, missile, and national military technologies. Then the stockpiling begins. Every country can store a handful of intercontinental ballistic missiles, and faster, short-range cruise missiles for defensive purposes. Research continues along in the background, but it doesn't take long before one player or another pushes the red button to launch the first nuke.

First Strike for Android

Every country has a First Strike option, which causes all armed allied countries in range to launch their warheads in tandem. This causes massive damage to a large area, but leaves your states vulnerable to counter-attack, since during launches countries can't do anything else. This forces players to constantly consider their overlapping defensive and offensive capabilities. After a few of your countries have been devastated, you can try reclaiming them after, but at the same time, you'll need to keep the pressure on any remnants of your enemy before they reestablish their foothold and begin producing weapons anew.

First Strike for Android

The game's graphics are simple and polished, with full 3D effects applied to UI elements, missiles, and explosions. A steady tick-tocking clock sound sets a forboding mood throughout, and the tongue-in-cheek "You win?" at the end of a match never makes you feel particularly great about what you've just done. Over time, you unlock new superpowers to play as, each with their own levels of difficulty. Some kind of online or local multiplayer would be nice to see, or a version built for phones, but as is, this is an outstanding single-player tablet gaming experience. Hey, no in-app purchases either! I think we've established that's a good thing.

First Strike for Android

As morbid as this game may be (and to be honest, it's a little less depressing than Defcon), a quarter of the proceeds made from sales are going towards the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons and the Green Cross, which aims to repair environmental and human damage from industrial and military catastrophes.


Reader comments

What I'm playing this week: First Strike


It's unbelievable that people feel brave enough to comment without actually reading the article first.

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yea it is really too bad this isn't available for phones. I'm currently tablet-less so this is a no go for me.

But it is so much easier to open the article, click the link, then come back and post a comment complaining because you where to Dang lazy to read the article.

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The link is the first thing in the article. You click it - not compatible. Bit pointless reading the article after that

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Do you always download apps before bothering to read the article about them? If so, I have a bridge to sell you.

Well maybe it's just me, but android central recommendations are usually pretty good, so I click the link, download and read the article while it's installing. Sorry if my crazy spontaneity upsets you. Oh, and stick your bridge up your arse

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Actually, that's where the bridge was coming from in the first place.
"so I click the link, download, complain ignorantly in the comments while it's installing. Then I read the article."
Fixed that for you.

I think you have to press install first to download it. It doesn't download right away when you click on the link...#illuminati

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But what if you believe that the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons is foolish and naive. Once that genie is out of the bottle you can't put it back in. Also my guess is that if Humanity ever does leave this blue marble the main armament of those space ships will probably be nukes. So in would be smarter to keep developing and refining them.
Lastly the Ukraine gave up all there nukes with the agreement that the Crimea was theirs and that if anyone invade them that the west would come in guns blazing to protect them. I bet the Ukraine wish they had just kept there nukes now, I doubt Russia would have invade if they did. The weird thing is that MADD oddly works.

Wasn't trying to troll, thought my arguments had merit, and was relevant to the post, sorry if it came out as trolling.

Turning a post about a game into a political soapbox is trolling. Take it to Fox, MSNCB or someplace that isn't a tech website.

"As morbid as this game may be (and to be honest, it’s a little less depressing than Defcon), a quarter of the proceeds made from sales are going towards the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons and the Green Cross, which aims to repair environmental and human damage from industrial and military catastrophes."
If the above quote was meaningless it would not be in the post. How is it that were the proceeds of a game goes is not relevant to the game?

It does look like a interesting game, kinda Plague Inc. like a little.

So what do you call it when troops from one country enters the territory of another country with the intention of annexing that territory?

Right, those soldiers flying Russian helicopters and driving Russian personnel carriers and equipped with Russian firearms totally weren't Russian because they had super tricky black uniforms on.

Is there anything similar for phones? I would love something like this for my Moto X.

I would like to purchase this game, but I would like to do so without any of my money going to either of those two ridiculous causes. Nuclear weapons have prevented a large-scale global war for almost 70 years now. Given the history and direction of post-war Europe, there is little doubt in my mind that the world would have already suffered through another major and conventional global conflict were nuclear weapons not present.

Fun game, but they will not get my money.

Couldn't someone chuck it on The Pirate Bay so I could try and install it on my phone? :|

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