Missile Command is a 1980 arcade game by Atari, Inc. that was also licensed to Sega for European release. It is considered one of the most notable games from the Golden Age of Video Arcade Games.
The player’s six cities are being attacked by an endless hail of ballistic missiles, some of them even splitting like multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRVs). New weapons are introduced in later levels: smart bombs that can evade a less than perfectly targeted missile, and bomber planes and satellites that fly across the screen and launch missiles of their own. As a regional commander of three anti-missile batteries, the player must defend six cities in their zone from being destroyed.
When the game was originally designed, the six cities were meant to represent six cities in California: Eureka, San Francisco, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, and San Diego. While programming Missile Command, the programmer, Dave Theurer, suffered from nightmares of these cities being destroyed by a nuclear blast.