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Video Game: Missile Command

"What's the bluntest point made by this game? That you can't win. No matter how many stages you survive, or how much time you spend playing, you can't beat Missile Command. Nuclear war has no winners. Your job is futile, but you do it anyway because you can buy people a few more minutes of hope."
Daniel Floyd, Extra Credits, "Narrative Mechanics"

Missile Command (1980) was the most violent video game ever released, at least until DEFCON came along. Missile Command portrayed a stark view of nuclear war at the height of Cold War paranoia. The player was given command of three anti-ballistic missile bases, with which six otherwise defenseless cities had to be defended against wave after wave of ICBMs, nuclear bombers, and orbital battle stations. The game featured simple yet realistic animations of mushroom clouds wiping out entire cities whenever the player failed to intercept an incoming warhead, and a nightmarish explosion effect when the player (inevitably) finally lost the game.

GCC created an enhancement kit called Super Missile Attack for Missile Command machines. Atari was not amused and sued GCC. They settled on GCC producing three games for Atari (Food Fight, Quantum, and a never-finished game).

Just a year later (1982), a sequel for two players competing to destroy each other was prototyped and tested, but ultimately never released. It later resurfaced and was shown to the public in 2012, for the first time in 30 years.

Missile Command has examples of:


Mario Bros.The Golden Age of Video GamesMr. Do!
A Mind Forever VoyagingVideo Games of the 1980sMr. Do!
MechWarriorSharp X 68000 Mr. Do!
Miner 2049erGame BoyMole Mania
Centipedei OS GamesPong
GauntletShoot 'em UpSAS Zombie Assault
Miner 2049erUsefulNotes/Atari 2600 Mr. Do!
Lunar LanderCreator/AtariNight Driver
Mario Bros.UsefulNotes/The Golden Age of Video GamesMr. Do!
Midnight ResistanceArcade GameMr. Do!

alternative title(s): Missile Command
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