“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 (57 reviews)
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.

Features:
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

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows 7, 8, Vista or XP
    • Processor: Pentium 4
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 1024x768 Screen resolution
    • Hard Drive: 300 MB available space
Helpful customer reviews
14 of 20 people (70%) found this review helpful
12.7 hrs on record
☭ ☭ ☭ Awesome game ! ☭ ☭ ☭

But i took over the USA in only 6 hours :/ (you win when you make a revolution in USA or in USSR)
a bit short and not that much replayability.

But taking over every countries of the world should take much more time, it's VERY HARD to do.

Anyways, if you're into the cold war or into communism, you MUST buy this game on a sale !
Posted: May 26
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8 of 11 people (73%) found this review helpful
8.6 hrs on record
The game is rough around the edges but for two euros it was definitely a bargain.

Although the game is not as intricate as SuperPowers 2 it has good depth to it. Especially in how you use the spy networks.

It is what a Tropico game is to SimCity: not too complicated but still challenging and very addictive. The quality was good, it never crashed during 9 hours of continous gameplay.

It has a unique approach of mainly using spy and covert tacticts to subdue your enemy states.

You get 7 types of agents to use: an assassin, a spy and five types of saboteurs.
Each saboteur will damage one particular aspect of society: finances, resources, politics, technology and military.

Spies are used to build networks, which adds bonuses to those in the network.
You can also use spies to make bribes and arrests, steal secrets and so on.

The stats of each agent will change over time, for example their morale might decrease.
An assassin with low morale who's in charge of protecting your president is weak to bribery from enemy spies.

The idea is to sabotage each country enough so that people will revolt.
If a country in your alliance is in danger of revolting you can use money to financially support the faction in power and hopefully prevent the revolt. This is very expensive though.

Each country has different attributes that affect how easily they are turned and how important they are to winning the game. However it may stilll be worthwhile to turn a low-ranking country as it will affect neighbouring enemy states as well.

You can recruit new agents, there's no limit apart from financial as they are very expensive.
You also need to train your new agents as otherwise they will be useless, and training costs both money and time.

You can research the gadgets your agents use: assassination weapons, interrogation techniques, surveilance gadgets etc.

Each political superpower has a set of leaders and henchmen: Che Guevara, Fidel Castro, Henry Kissinger etc. Assassinating them might make it easier to turn a country, but I didn't notice any difference to be honest.

The game has some bigger flaws:
* I can't get the game to go full-screen, some countries are so small that its easy to put your agents in the wrong country
* the game has no easy way of locating agents who are out in the field, you have to click around and search for them

All in all a good game with unique gameplay. As with most strategic games higher difficulty levels will bring more out of the game.
Posted: July 23
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7 of 11 people (64%) found this review helpful
19.4 hrs on record
It's a game with a few major flaws, but for 2 dollars, I got more than my monies worth out of it. It plays as a board game, it's turn based, and your goal is to influence a set number of countries over to your ideology. You have a bunch of agents you can put in countries which can make it easier to spark a revolution, and some countries are more important than others, which helps you flip other countries as well. The game isn't super deep, but I think there's enough there to make it fun. I played on normal, and while I ran into some pitfalls and was on the verge of collapsing at a few points, once you know what you're doing and stabilize your initial situation, the game is not extraordinarily difficult, and the learning curve isn't too steep, if you read the manual and the tutorial, you should pick up enough to get by, the rest is trial and error.

As I said though, there are a bunch of negatives, that may be dealbreakers for some people (and for its regular price, I'd consider them to be). The biggest one is the UI, it's total garbage, and for a game made in 2010, some of these issues are inexcusable, I've played early 90's games that did a better job. The game is tied to a single resolution, that does not appear to be designed for widescreen monitors (it did not display some text correctly, the top menu bar of your resources and income is not fully visible and there's no way to fix this, and some arrow keys have "ghosts" next to time). While there is a listing of all your agents, and where they are, there is no way to click on that list and go to them, so you have to remember where you have agents in the 70+ countries of the game to have them each take actions. There is a "master plan" menu that lets you automate all tasks with a certain success rate, but sometimes this isn't good enough, so it's very easy to forget where you have people and they will just sit around doing nothing the entire game.

The other big negative for me is total lack of feedback about what is going on in the game. For example, I have an assassin, of skill 99, exp 99 (the highest possible in the game), and I'll have a 7% chance to execute an enemy of only 20 skill. The game gives you the chance of success, but there's no way to tell how it arrives at that number, and in that particular example I ran into, it seems very bizarre, especially when you'll get a 70% chance to kill with a much less qualified agent elsewhere. There's a ton of technologies in the game, there are four trees, each with a bunch of techs that give you bonuses, but again, while the game explains what each tech is (for example, dead drops, and it explains what a dead drop is if you didn't know), but there's nothing that explains how that translates to what having that tech does in the game, how much better it lets you avoid detection, or detect other agents, etc. So you have this research system that is large enough so that you'll never get everything, but there's no way of prioritizing what is the best value or use to you, because there's just no way of knowing what the practical benefit to any of these things are, other than they are (allegedly) providing a bonus.

The final negative is lack of multiplayer, this is a game where I think if you played against another human, even with the above problems, would actually be a blast to play, becasue the whole point is hiding agents around the world and trying to spark revolutions as quickly and quietly as possible, and having to go up against an actual human intelligence as opposed to an AI that does not really make the best decisions would be an entirely different ballgame.
Posted: May 20
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8 of 13 people (62%) found this review helpful
4.5 hrs on record
it took a while to really know how to play but i got use to it (thanks to youtube) its really fun even though I always lose xD
Posted: July 23
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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
Interesting game, but I wish someone would remake it and fix the terrible interface so that I can enjoy it.
Posted: August 10
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200 of 251 people (80%) found this review helpful
8.3 hrs on record
“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.
Posted: March 19
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