First released in 2004, KumaWar currently features over 80 missions . While most episodes are drawn from the war in Iraq, Kuma has also re-created events from Afghanistan, Iran, South Korea (a raid by North Korean commandos), Vietnam (John Kerry's Silver Star mission), Sierra Leone (Operation Barras) and Mexico (a battle between Mexican soldiers and drug cartels).
KumaWar has become the subject of much controversy, taking criticism for supporting the war, its speed of release – many of its missions recreate battles which are just days or weeks old – its close relationship with the military, and for its coverage of a number of divisive issues including the potential for military action in Iran and a positive depiction of John Kerry’s military service.
The first mission of the game (named "Uday and Qusay's Last Stand") is the battle in which the two sons of Saddam Hussein, Uday and Qusay, are killed. The attack is described as "a turning point in Operation Iraqi Freedom" and "a milestone in the War on Terror". Other significant episodes include “John Kerry’s Silver Star”, “Fallujah: Operation al Fajr”, and “Osama 2001: Tora Bora.” The main distinguishing feature in KumaWar is its extensive background information for each mission, which includes satellite photos, original articles and a multimedia library.
Kuma is notable for its current free ad-supported business model, its Iraqi fan base and continuous updates, delivering new episodes each month. Every episode from the collection of KumaWar missions can be downloaded for free and played as a single-player first-person shooter. Popular past missions can also be played as a free online multiplayer experience.
In July 2006, KumaWar 2 was released, featuring improved graphics (based on the Source engine) and an expanded online multiplayer environment. The first mission re-creates the killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
KumaWar 2 is a military first person shooter that utilizes Valve's Source Engine. While KumaWar 1 featured third and first person views, KumaWar 2 was confined to first person view only. The game features similar gameplay themes to the original KumaWar such as single, multiplayer, and co-op maps. Thus far eleven episodes have been produced continuing the numbering from KumaWar 1.