Well, let me start with admitting that there is little I can hope to add that others have not. Let this review be one more to add to the heap of accolades this game has received. All deserved I assure you fellow gamer. Hot War ia one of the best horror rpgs I have played in years. There is a rich history in literature detailing the post apocalypse story. Whether the protagonist is a neo barbarian cruising ruined highways for gasoline or the everyman fighting his way through zombies on his way out of his home town. The best stories of the bunch have always been where a person is face to face with the complete end of their civilization. In its place something that is terrifying. To me that is Hot War. Cozy Catastrophes as I have heard them described are where people are mostly alone and able to make a fairly happy existence after the end. World war III would not be such a prospect. Hot war paints a picture where the Cuban Missle Crisis resulted in just that. A ruined late 60s London is the backdrop. The weapons used were not only the atomic, biological and chemical that we feared. Also used were those weird things people have always whispered the Nazis were working on towards the end of world war II. Where super science skirted too close to the edge of magic. London becomes isolated from the rest of the world right after hostilities stop. Soviet troops are seen on the shores but something isn't right. With the remnants of the government still trying to hold on to order with draconian and predictably inhuman pragmatism. The survivors linger on in their ruined city while the grind of suddenly being thrown into a fight for bare existence makes life a living hell. Life outside the reach of the city and the government is far far worse. Reality is twisted and "things" stalk the land. Not just foreign soliders but twisted biological weapons, things from outside this reality that the unconventional weapons let through when they were used. The players take the roles of trouble shooters for the emergency government. Investigating the weird threats from within and outside the city. As they do so they learn the secrets their government and its allies buried after world war II. The system is tailored to accentuate the paranoia, mounting fear and desperation present in the environment. X-files meets post world war III if you want a base comparison Though the alternate history presented and author's unique spin offer much more opportunities for other horror/survivor themed stories. If you want more to your horror rpg than just tentacles and zombies (but those are great too-heck throw them in if you want) Hot War is a great place to start. However remember the best monster is man when you strip away the mask of civilization.
[5 of 5 Stars!]