Theatre Europe is officially my favorite strategy game from the ZX Spectrum era. It also was a great source of inspiration for The Dumbest Game. The game goes back to the cold war and simulates a scenario where the forces of NATO and Warsaw Pact were fighting on Europe to take control over Berlin.

It was a turn based game, where all units were displayed on the map. When a unit was attacked, the user could enter in a mini-game to participate in the battle.

But it was a mere turn based game. The user could launch a powerful nuclear strike to knock out the other side. This action was very theatrical. The user had to call a special number to get the password to start the nuclear attack. I can still remember the password… “midnight sun”.

Unfortunately, when one of the sides launched the attack, the other side would always do the same. It was impossible to win the game without destroying the entire world with hundreds of missiles falling everywhere. No one would ever wine, that’s the bottom line. When the computer was losing… here we go…

The development team made a deep research on the military units available on each side. One curious fact is that they considerably reduced the Warsaw Pact’s units in the game, to make it balanced. Otherwise one of the sides would always win. It seems NATO forces were heavily outnumbered by then.

More about the game can be found here.