The Best Psychological Wargames of the 1990s Were Just Re-Released

The Close Combat series just hit today, making the original Atomic Games’ wargame series from Microsoft widely available for the first time in ages. A fascinating series that put a lot of emphasis on the psychology of individual soldiers, the Close Combat games were always among the most suspenseful and dramatic wargames ever made. While Matrix Games have published a number of more recent games that continue the series, few have matched the intimacy and intensity of the originals. Particularly the series’ greatest installment— Close Combat: A Bridge Too Far.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at
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This series was revelatory for me in the late '90s. I’d go so far as to pinpoint it as the catalyst that pushed me to pursue a career in game development. To this day, there are memories I have of those tiny sprites, their conditions represented by text boxes with single color-coded words, that are still among the most emotional moments I’ve had with the games medium.

I never actually played A Bridge Too Far–I came in with Close Combat III: The Russian Front, and stuck around for the next two–but this article makes a great excuse for me to revisit the series and check out that second entry.

Does anyone have experience with the entries that Matrix Games and Slitherine Ltd put out? The two that are up on GOG seem to only advertise technical upgrades, and what looks like an emphasis on armor and larger engagements. And since a tank can’t cower in a hedgerow under withering fire until a CO runs within earshot and screams at it to pick up its weapon, an emphasis on armor doesn’t sound too appealing.