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One of the best board games ever made is now live on Steam

Twilight Struggle is out now, and it is worth your time

Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Long before Pandemic: Legacy rocketed up the charts at Board Game Geek, there was another "best" board game of all time, and now it's playable on Steam.

Twilight Struggle, the complex strategic wargame chronicling the entire Cold War, went live for Linux, Mac and Windows PC yesterday thanks to a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign. An iOS and Android version is still in the works.

Co-designed by Ananda Gupta and Jason Matthews and first released in 2005, Twilight Struggle pits two players against one another as either the United States or the former Soviet Union. Beginning after World War II, play proceeds up until the late 1980s as a series of political and economic events unfolds through a card-driven game engine. The game has won many international awards, including the coveted Golden Geek in 2006 for best wargame.

In-game events include the Cuban Missile Crisis and multiple post-war Arab-Israeli conflicts. It's a study in asymmetrical gameplay, as well as a powerful historical artifact that goes a long way to show just how close a fight it was between the world's last two superpowers.

A deluxe edition of the original, reprinted just last year, is available from GMT Games. For those looking for a more modern conflict with similar mechanics, I highly recommend its spiritual successor, Labyrinth: The War on Terror, 2001 - ? by designer Volko Ruhnke.

For more on Twilight Struggle, check out their Kickstarter promotional video below.

The next level of puzzles.

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