Vent radioactive gas Y/N?

Don't forget, you're here forever.
Don’t forget, you’re here forever.

I’m always a sucker for a simulator, especially those in phosphorous green.

Nuclear Power Plant puts you at the controls of a circa 1985 nuclear power station. Your mission – produce power, and don’t cause a meltdown.

Y
Y

So surely this couldn’t be all that hard, right? The game does have a handful of instructions that I (briefly) went through, but in essence it’s a matter of balancing control rod position and coolant levels.

Day one went well, and day two we were producing plenty of power with a temperature overhead. With careful balancing of coolant and control rods, this didn’t seem too difficult.

It felt like it was time to sit back with a box of doughnuts, put my feet up on the keyboard, and let the plant run itself. Skip a day. Relax.

Then it all started to fall apart.

This could be a problem.
This could be a problem.

Turbine Overloaded. No problem, the temperature was rising but surely reducing the control rod position to ‘5’ and coolant to max would solve the issue?

So I adjusted the values, and skipped ahead to the next day.

Nope. Nope nope nope.

Quick! Where's the any key?!
Quick! Where’s the any key?!

This wasn’t good. Control rods to zero, coolant to max. Don’t use the emergency coolant, we will be all right, the reactor will start to cool with the control rods removed.

The start of the nuclear apocalypse.
The start of the nuclear apocalypse.

Claxons and sirens, along with ‘MELTDOWN!’ alert me to the fact that I’ve failed. Looks like I didn’t have what it takes after all.

All in all, the game was strangely immersive. In much the same way as Uplink on modern PCs put you at the helm of a computer hacking terminal, it didn’t take much imagination to put yourself in the chair of a nuclear power plant operator, hunched over the computer terminal and forever balancing temperatures and power output.

Meltdown in five days. Highly recommend, 10/10.

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Vent radioactive gas Y/N?

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