4 min read
Nuclear war game First Strike a dose of fun (and bleakness)
Blindflug Studios is looking to exploit the fast-paced, real-time strategy gap in the mobile market, with the launch of First Strike next month.
Mobile, specifically tablet devices, appear to be the perfect platform for fast-paced, bite-sized, real-time strategy extravaganzas -- yet these sorts of games are few and far between on iOS and Android. Newly-formed Blindflug Studios is looking to exploit that gap in the market. The Zurich, Switzerland-based game studio, part of creative agency Feinheit, will launch its first strike on the video game industry in March, aptly titled First Strike. It's a real-time strategy game based around nuclear war scenarios on Earth, with games that last around 10 minutes each. You control one of 11 nuclear superpowers, and aim to strategically conquer as many nations as possible through research, defense, and a whole lot of bombs. But besides the fast-paced entertainment, Blindflug has an underlying agenda with First Strike -- an educational, political stance that it hopes will sees the game teaching players about the threat of nuclear combat. "When we started brainstorming about a world-spanning strategy game for tablets, we quickly realized that a full on war, nowadays, would still result in a global nuclear escalation," says Blindflug's Jeremy Spillmann. "Making people aware that the nuclear overkill is still possible and a viable threat nowadays is a touchy subject, especially if you want to make a game out of it," he adds. Indeed, when Blindflug was in the early stages of describing the game to outside investors, the company received a lot of negative feedback for pursuing this goal. But, says Spillmann, "I feel like therein lies the true power: Letting people experiment in an inconsequential setting lets you experience a dilemma to a certain degree, and who says you can’t have blast at it? Papers, Please does this excellently, borrowing a setting where dilemma lies therein without being too judgmental. We hope to have achieved something similar here. A lot of fun, and challenging to play, but kind of sad when you think about it." Of course, that's not to say that First Strike contains the answers to the world's problems. Rather, the idea is to make players think more about the scenarios that could potentially arise from nuclear war -- and like the computer in the movie War Games, the player is left to replay the same starting scenarios over and over again, and find the solutions with the least and most destructive effects.