Supreme Ruler: Cold War by Paradox Interactive review

Very deep strategy game, with bells on
Photo of Supreme Ruler: Cold War by Paradox Interactive

Supreme Ruler: Cold War is a suitably dense strategy game – and one that pays very short shrift to those who don’t know what they’re doing. Make no mistake: the learning curve here is brutal, and the game supplies surprising little help to aid you in getting around it. Thus, the first hour you play it is likely to be spent just trying to work out what on earth is actually going on.

Massive scope
To be fair, the scope of the game is enormous. You choose your country, then take charge of it just after the end of World War II as you seek to subsequently guide your nation through the decades that follow. This involves a mix of resource management, incredibly deep decision making, keeping up with lots of reports and statistics… and a degree of crossing your fingers.

It’s a game that, even when you’re on top of it, is impossible to fully get to grips with. And yet that’s part of the point. It’s a simulation of something that no single human being could fully wrap their head around – and that means you have to choose your focus carefully.

Diplomatic relations and book balancing are the keys to succses here, as you try and strengthen your place in the world, and also make sure you’re prepared should war come.

Demanding and relentless
How involved you get in all of this is really up to you. You can zoom down to micro-management levels, but be aware that demands on your attention are regular and relentless.

The upside of this is that, if wargaming and particularly deep strategy games are your thing, then there’s no shortage of value nested away in Supreme Ruler: Cold War. It can eat months of your life, if you spend the time really getting into it. And it’s a pertinent reminder of just what PC gaming can do that other formats can’t. It’s not for everyone – but for those with a taste for it, Supreme Ruler is a seriously addictive title.

Company: Paradox Interactive


  • Very deep and complex, with lots to do.
  • Very difficult to get into at first.


A serious strategy game, and proud of it. If you can beat the learning curve, then Supreme Ruler: Cold War will comfortably see out many weeks of your life.