“Us And Them - Cold War” is a turn-based strategy game about cold war that you can play either as CIA or KGB. Although it is a game of territorial expansion, the rivals do not attack their opponent using military force. Instead they are using an army of Spies, Assassins and Experts of various kinds (like economy, technology etc.
User reviews:
Mostly Negative (79 reviews) - 31% of the 79 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Mar 8, 2010

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About This Game

“Us And Them - Cold War” is a turn-based strategy game about cold war that you can play either as CIA or KGB.
Although it is a game of territorial expansion, the rivals do not attack their opponent using military force. Instead they are using an army of Spies, Assassins and Experts of various kinds (like economy, technology etc.) in order to destabilize the enemy's countries socially, economically, politically and finally to change their governments’ ideology and attach them in their own political block.

The player will have to manage resources like money, oil and technology. He must place his units strategically on the map and create a series of spy networks waiting for the right moment to unleash a series of sabotages, assassinations, bribes, revolutions, arrests and interrogations of enemy units. Since most of the units are hidden to the enemy, the collection and interception of crucial information about the countries, the units' attributes and their whereabouts is essential for victory.

Take advantage of great Cold War personalities like Che Guevara, Henry Kissinger, Mao Ze Dong, Fidel Castro the Pope and many many more!

Research and develop spy gadgets right out of James Bond's laboratories and some famous equipment of real life spies.

Take part in the historic Space Race

Use your nuclear arsenal to intimidate the opponent.

A series of special rules will allow you to deploy special strategies like the “Domino Effect” and the “Communist sandwich”.

All units, as a representation of actual persons, have their own skills and attributes that make them unique.

The game features a series of random events that in the most part are real events of the cold war era.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows 7, 8, Vista or XP
    • Processor: Pentium 4
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 1024x768 Screen resolution
    • Storage: 300 MB available space
Helpful customer reviews
253 of 309 people (82%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
8.3 hrs on record
Posted: March 19, 2014
“US and THEM” is Icehole’s attempt at developing a turn based strategy game based on the Cold War. You get to choose to play as either the Capitalist United States or Soviet Russia. Your goal is to deploy special agents to the various countries around the world and, through various acts of subterfuge, sway their governments to your particular political ideology(Communism if you’re playing as Russia and Capitalism if you’re playing as the US.) When your special agents are deployed, they can perform a wide range of nefarious acts ranging from carrying out assassinations, stealing technology, sabotaging a nation’s economy and inciting revolts. Various historical “heroes” appear such as Che Guevara and Henry Kissinger and each have their own unique special abilities to help their respective sides. The player has to manage their financial income, vaguely defined “resources” and technological abilities. The game features a decent tech tree featuring tools that make your agents more effective, the space race and nuclear arms development(no, you don’t get to actually use nukes at any point.) Grainy Cold War era propaganda videos add to the game’s atmosphere and serve as both your introduction to and reward for a game well played. Altogether, it makes for a very intriguing concept if executed properly.

Unfortunately, it’s in the execution where “US and THEM” starts to fall apart. The game’s major problems stem from the user interface and some design choices range from questionable to downright horrible. For starters, the world map that takes up more than half of the screen can be neither scrolled nor zoomed. In a game where your interaction heavily relies on clicking various nations, this becomes a problem. While larger countries like Canada, the US and Russia are easily accessible, smaller nations require pixel perfect accuracy to interact with. Try clicking on Cuba, Ireland or Hungary and you’ll find yourself maniacally clicking shades and outlines and a handful of visible pixels in the area of these countries in vain hope that the game will acknowledge your actions. The developers attempted to reconcile this problem by including a drop down menu with every nation listed, for quick and easy navigation. Unfortunately, the ONLY way to place units into nations is by clicking the nation on the map.

The agents themselves pose problems as well. When you first try to get a grasp on the agents at your employ, you begin to realize that this game desperately, desperately, desperately needs the implementation of tool tips(desperately.) Agents are divided into 6 classes: Spies, Assassins and Political, Resource, Financial, Military and Tech Experts. They each perform duties that are pretty self explanatory, but for any inexperienced player it’s nearly impossible to distinguish the classes from each other. When you view your roster of active agents, they’re sorted by class. However, they’re not labeled by name, but rather solely by character portrait. While you can go to the purchase units screen and see the class’s name that each portrait represents, new players will need either amazing memories or a few hours of gameplay before they’re positive which are which.

On that same roster screen, you have the ability to “train” any agents not in a foreign country. To do this, you click an oval to the right of the agent’s name. So what happens when you click the oval? Does it get a check mark? Does it display the words “in training?” Nope. The oval simply changes color from orange to green. Or was it green to orange? Either way, you better remember which means “in training” because there is no other distinguishable way to tell which agents at home are training. This again could all be fixed with a simple tool tip, but they simply don’t exist. Even better, the game SHOULD automatically have inactive agents at home go into training rather than just consuming a salary every turn until you remember to do something with them.

The most glaring problem with the interface happens every time you click “end turn.” First, you’re met with individual pop-up news boxes displaying all the actions your opponent took against nations under your control. That’s fine. That’s important information. You need to know what areas your opponent is targeting so you can adjust your strategy accordingly. What ISN’T important information, however, also pops up. Bundled in between the important information are morale updates for every agent you have deployed in a foreign nation. These updates go one of two ways: 1) Your agent is having a “great time” in whatever luxurious nation you sent him or 2) Your agent protests having to be stuck in some miserable place. As you play the game longer, you naturally end up having more and more agents in the field. As things heat up, you can have upwards of 2-3 dozen agents working in foreign nations at any given time. A separate window will pop up that you HAVE to click through for each.and.every.one. Each.and.every.turn. It’s beyond monotonous and incredibly unnecessary. To rub salt in the wound, you have the option of adjusting your “news” settings. Frustratingly, however, while you can turn off notifications for enemy actions, random events and the like, you can’t do anything about the morale updates. Apparently your opponents actions are trivial and optional information, but reading the same more updates 20-30 times in a row is so absolutely vital that the option to turn them off isn’t included.

There are other gripes to be had with “US and THEM”, including but not limited to the inability to save your preferences(they reset to default upon EVERY reboot), an almost intentionally inaccurate RNG(you’ll find yourself failing tasks that display a 75% + success rate far too often), nations randomly deciding to revolt on their own and failing(and potentially killing every agent you have in that nation in the process), horribly implemented “features”(such as the ability to “name” your individual agents: Here, the game DOESN’T turn off hotkey functions while you type, so a plethora of letters can’t be used, such as “C” and “T”) and certain “heroes” being far, far too overpowered(for example, sending Che Guevara and a Political Expert into any enemy nation guarantees a revolt in your favor in 2-3 turns.) Even these complaints seem trivial when compared to the final stab in the eye.

The game simply lags far, far too often. When playing other strategy games, it’s acceptable if the game hangs up momentarily from time to time. Games like Crusader Kings are processing actions of over a hundred AI’s in real time, so it’s to be expected. Games like Civilizations V have comparatively advanced graphics including waving flags, hammering workers and wavy oceans, so it’s ok if it doesn’t scroll as quickly as you’d hope. However, when this game lags, it’s absolutely unforgivable. The game occasionally lags during routine clicking during YOUR turn. While this is going on, the software has absolutely no other processing to do. There’s only one AI and it’s completely inactive during your turn. There are no immediate effects of placing a unit, clicking the word “cancel” or any other user operation that warrant any type of system hang up. The lag is reminiscent of what you see on an old computer system during a windows update and it happens often enough that I’ve found myself wondering if the program is doing something on my computer in the background that I really don’t want it doing. It’s completely unacceptable.

The saddest part is that almost every one of these problems could be fixed with a decent patch. Don't expect one from this developer though(look at their website, this game came out in 2010 with no updates.) So save your money.
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70 of 104 people (67%) found this review helpful
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 18, 2014
Plays like a boardgame. Needs lots of micromanaging (unless you use the auto tools, but seriously why would you do that).
You need a good memory + geographical memory (otherwise youll have to click a lot between news panel and country selection). Has somewhat a steep learning curve, but this is merely cause this is not your ordinary concept pc game.

I havent had the opportunity to play real boardgames like Diplomacy or Twilight Struggle. But this game keeps me entertained. I wouldnt worry about the price (seen worse games for more).

Only minor bad points are: mediocre tutorial (there is a manual however, see your local files), resolution swaps to a fixed 1024x768 (font is not sharp/smooth), has an old flash standard-stock button look (the theme looks nice though), there is no ingame option to adjust the sound volume (not a biggy imo)

I will update this review later on, when Ive had some aditional hours into this game. As I am not entirely sure about the replayability of this game (the price vs fun ratio of the game is reasonable imo)

Oh yeah, almost forgot: +1 for the company name ;)
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59 of 86 people (69%) found this review helpful
5.9 hrs on record
Posted: March 18, 2014
I recommend this game for all Cold War history fans or Board Games players.
It plays like a board game and goes slowly, also interface and graphics are not the best possible.

That been said, this game is the best effort I have ever seen to create a serious and deep strategy game about cold war. It leaves nothing from the period and the events out. Secret Agents, Cold War heroes, Arms Race, Space Race, the need for oil, need for money, Military dictatorships…

Gameplay is pretty original in many parts of the game. To give an example: When you place an agent in a country is invisible to the enemy and safe. The longer he stays there he improves his operational ability (in sabotages, assassinations, starting a revolution etc), but also the longer he stays the more possible it gets to be uncovered and a target. Also if another agent is arrested in the country or in another country that is a member of his spy network (big spy networks are more powerful and more in danger to collapse the same time), he might reveal the presence of all his fellow agents in the country (better research fast a suicide tooth in order to help your agents not to break under torture).

Since every agent is a person with certain skills, loyalty and morale, they don’t like to be left exposed. So after an assassination or arrest attempt or if somebody from the network is arrested or dead, they expect from you to protect them and if you don’t bad things can happen (they even might change sides to save their life).

The above is only a small part of the gameplay of a complex game about all aspects of the cold war. So you better see the tutorial and read the manual if you want to win.

For me another huge plus of the game is that it has lot of humor. All the Spy Gadgets Research part is hilarious! Also there are many random events that never happened but could have been real.

For the end I left the best part which is the Heroes. In this game you get to use Che or to assassinate Fidel Castro, the Pope and the Queen of England!
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23 of 32 people (72%) found this review helpful
4.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 11, 2014
Many of these reviews are a mess and don't talk about the game itself. The game is very...interesting. I think its best to do pros and cons

Good theme: The game really feels like a struggle against the enemy.
What is simulated right, is simulated right: The system does a great job of simulating lots of concepts from the war, such as the domino effect, the communist sandwhich, the iron curtain, etc. Also the heroes that are simulated decently well.

Horrible UI: Probably one of the worst I can remember. Some things are so absent that you wonder if they even put any thought about it at all.
Confusing Concepts: Why doesn't weapons seem to help arrest attempts? What does the military score really mean? Why do the chance percentages seem to be weird? How do I even stop Che? Why would I ever intervene militarily? I've read the manual, and I still don't even understand half of the game.
...And then there's what's not simulated right at all: Or just plain absent. Why are my agents of the CIA being arrested, IN AMERICA? Why is Che an unstoppable monster? Why isn't there anyone else fighting for my block? I very much remember much of the cold war was spend secretly funding other revolutionary groups. In this one it seems like there's no element of any one else, just you and them, but it seems like you are just playing political leveraging, and less covert operations. Lots of stuff just feels wrong.
Random Access Memories: The random events just feel weird. The events work and make sense, but their random nature makes it really weird. Chernobyl had a meltdown in 1967. Its just weird.
Real, Real-time simulation: As nice as it is progressing one month at a time, it makes the game drag on and on and on. Its excruciating when there's nothing to do but press end turn.

Overall: Just wait for Twilight Struggle PC. It'll probably be better.
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13 of 14 people (93%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
0.7 hrs on record
Posted: May 29, 2015
Personally I have never been able to get this game to work on any computer I own. There is no real support and if you check the steam forums you'll see that several people have gotten nowhere trying to contact any company.

Wish I had my $10 back.
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