Dull Missile Command clone
is a classic and highly influential shooter released by Atari in arcades in 1980 and saw players defending a series of cities from incoming missiles. DefCon 1 was released some 12 years later and while it remains a simple and enjoyable little game, one can't help but think that those 12 years could have been used to bring something new to the table. In many ways it can actually be seen as something of a step backwards as if anything it looks worse than the original Missile Command but if you can ignore this, then DefCon 1 is an amusing little time waster. The basic premise is the same but adds in an entirely forgettable and largely unnecessary plot which rather bizarrely revolves around the idea that Switzerland has got fed up with only being known for cuckoo clocks and cheese and has actually been stockpiling nuclear weapons. They have now started to launch them at the US and it is your job to protect six cities from total destruction. What this translates into in game terms is a series of single screen waves, as missiles threaten your cities, and which must be destroyed before they can reach them. The missiles are simply represented by incoming lines which can simply be clicked with the mouse to blow them up, but you only have a limited arsenal with which to achieve your aim. Other weapons are available as the game progresses, but really this is all there is. While Missile Command was innovative in 1980, by 1992, things had moved on and DefCon 1 simply looks dated and lacks much in the way of gameplay value. Visually and sonically, it is extremely dull, with limited effects, sprites and backgrounds, while gameplay is repetitive and gets boring quickly. The action is reasonably paced but not overly frenetic, even on later levels and really this is one only for die hard high score freaks with time to kill.