You won? That question mark is highly telling about the message First Strike Final Hour has to say about nuclear Armageddon.
Blindflug Studios AG has managed to encapsulate nuclear war in a tiny package that asks you to do one thing - be the last nation standing. How you go about doing this is up to you, but you have a range of options.
When a game starts your first objective should be to build cruise missiles to intercept anyone who thinks to bomb your nation before you are ready to retaliate in full. Once you have your defences sorted you can start researching new tech and building a stockpile of nukes. I would also recommend expanding in to neighbouring countries to gain more places to store nukes and defensive missiles.
The tech tree is small and can be quickly maxed out to give you all the tools you need to wage global war. Before you start you choose a couple of super weapons, and each type will alter your approach to winning or at least slogging it out in the final minutes.
This is a game designed to be played in short, full sessions. My longest game lasted for about forty minutes, my shortest was over in ten. The only downside to First Strike
is that there isn't much replay. Once you've had several rounds of winning (or losing) you will have seen everything the game currently has to offer.
What is on offer is well worth playing through though. It offers a darkly comedic look at how quickly we would all be screwed if someone out there did decide to push that big red button. When you win you are greeted with the first short sentence of this review - You won? There is no real winner in mutually assured destruction. Everyone loses, the only difference is how many more minutes you get to live in paralyzing fear amid the irradiated wastes.
Visually the game is charming. Nothing groundbreaking in style or UI design, but everything works as intended and more importantly is clear and easy to understand. If you play with headphones on I suggest starting with the volume lower than usual. Some of the explosions can be a bit too loud compared to the rest of the audio.
Overall this a small bundle of dubious doomsday joy. My only gripe would be the price of entry (£8.99 on Steam, July 2017). However, this is offset because whilst this may be a short lived experience it could prove useful as a time-burner in the future.
+ Simple, easy to grasp gameplay
+ Fast battles with tense moments of quiet
+ Adds a charming coat of paint to a terrifying potential reality
- May not have enough content for some players
SPOnG Score: 7/10