Decorated with a startling red aesthetic, lo-fi Missile Cards evokes the heart of ’80s cold war paranoia in a clever, mechanical card game of chance. Atari’s icon Missile Command was set in total fear. 2017’s Missile Cards plays in absolute chance. Each move, each tactic, each card play draws a bomb (or “comet”) closer to the bases at the bottom of the screen, an apt stand-in for international political negotiations. Too many wrong moves – as defined by luck – and boom.
While its progenitor Missile Command always ended with a nihilist climax, a multi-colored flashing screen with a dominating “The End” font, Missile Cards offers hope – maybe. Success is often inadvertent: the right card, the right time. The deck is literally stacked against everyone who plays, again a clever (maybe accidental, maybe not) tie to the daily possibility of nuclear annihilation. Maybe it’s more nihilist than the punchy pixel art suggests.