Cuba’s Days

It’s a balmy day in October of ’62 and you, the then American President John F. Kennedy, have just under 2 weeks to defuse The Situation. Welcome to Cuba’s Days.

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If you need a refresher on what these tense 13 days in history were all about: The Soviet Union deployed missiles in Cuba. The USA was paranoid. The game leads you in well enough, giving a rundown of The Situation. Then it’s up to you and your butler advisor Kenneth, to not fuck things up for a few days. You get options, you pick one and the Doomsday clock either wipes its brow or face palms.

Making decisions is no easy matter, especially when there is little to go by. My wiki knowledge of the affair tells me the creator has been honest to the original material. Naturally, when you explore other scenarios that never happened, you’re hoping these unlikely contingencies don’t slap you across the face like an IRC trout.

My feeling is the decisions you can make align with the sentiment of the era and are thus sensible with what the potential outcome was. For me, though, it was a bit like one of the choose your own adventure games, where you scratch your head wondering how deciding to help the lady across the street ended up with you cornered in a shed by a wild boar. That is to say, I felt like my choices were limited by ‘sensibility’; all my rash decisions were cut off with a premature ending. And tell me how informing the press leads to launching nuclear weapons for Christ’ sake!

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dam right son

But hey, this is straight-up speculative porn, so you might as well go balls deep. It’s no fun playing these games historically, so the first chance I got, I decided to respond assertively to this perceived threat (turn to the next page) instead of the arduous intelligence gathering (skip ahead to page 65).

“Respond militarily” would be a mouthful in anyone’s mouth, but Mr. Kennedy got it out without any hiccups. (If you want to read in the president’s voice, this should prime you). And damn, did I not choose to invade the Cuba the first chance I got. Well, what do you know, that was the end for me. Little did the critics know I just saved the President’s life.

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As far as alternate history goes, Cuba’s Days doesn’t add too many surprises. You obliterate or are obliterated, the people hate you or don’t. And getting your country blown to shit, for what it’s worth, isn’t as exciting as it sounds. There’s a newspaper clipping and you’re done.

The scariest part of playing this is the little information you have to go by (it really is; absolutely scary how true this factor has been in history for major events – ed). You must suckle what pithy knowledge you can from the teat of your solitary advisor, Kenneth. Unlike you, he is not hermetically sealed in a fusty office, smoking reefers and fantasizing of I Dream of Jeannie.

To succeed in Cuba’s Days, it is probably helpful to know your Cold War history then. Though if you only follow in Johnnies’ footsteps, don’t expect any surprises. And it’s not just about averting nuclear war, you are ranked against past Presidents. It takes itself seriously, and if you want to impress upon a nation, you need to do that too.

This game is played in a browser.

Cuba’s Days | Play it here

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Posted on September 14, 2016, in Adventure and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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