1980s USA goes to war against alternate reality USA in a new Zachtronics game

Indie studio Zachtronics, whose previous releases include three puzzle games—Infinifactory, Opus Magum, and Exapunks—and a graphic novel about AI therapy called Eliza, is doing something a little different for its next project. Mobius Front '83 is a turn-based strategy game set during the height of the Cold War that challenges players to defend America from attack by another America from an alternate universe.

You thought it was going to be the Soviet Union, didn't you? 

Mobius Front '83 will feature turn-based battles between cutting-edge military hardware from the early 1980s including powerful tanks, fast-moving helicopters, and heavy artillery. The singleplayer campaign is estimated to run 15-40 hours in length, "depending on how much you engage with the game's side activities," and will use fully-voiced cutscenes to tell the tale of who this other-America is, and why it's waging war on regular America.

As for those "side activities," Mobius Front '83 won't abandon its heritage completely: The game will also feature "a Zachtronics-style puzzle minigame and, as usual, a fresh take on solitaire."

"This is what happens when I start reading old U.S. Army manuals," Zachtronics founder Zach Barth said.

Mobius Front '83 is set to debut on Steam on November 5. Find out more at zachtronics.com.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.