I have no true interest in politics. In fact, I’m only interested enough so I know to make the right decisions when it is time to vote. That in mind, I delved into Democracy 3 which is a political strategy game made by Cliff Harris of Positech, the creator of games such as the Gratuitous Tank Battles and Gratuitous Space Battles. In other words, it is an impressive one man project.
Steep yet enjoyable learning curve
Democracy 3 puts you in charge of a real-world country such as the UK or the US. The main focus of the game is to run a country and maintain popularity so that you remain in charge. The game is turn based, and continues until the player either runs out of terms of office, doesn’t do well in an election, or dies (read: assassination).
Your spend influence points to shape the development of your country. Every action has a consequence and your personal motivations pretty much dictate how you are going to play the game. What policies you choose how much taxation for bigger organizations and so on.
It might be hard to make sense of the information at first and I know players who would quit the game at this point
After intimidating introduction of the main interface, I slowly start to put the pieces together and my learning process begins. You are greeted with a web of icons that represents policies and problems across the different sectors of society. It might be hard to make sense of the information at first and I know players who would quit the game at this point, but stay true to your chosen course and soon, something beautiful emerges.
The main user interface
Even though the GUI looks challenging at first glance (make no mistake, it looks good, but just intimidating) it soon turns out to be simple to learn, but complex to master. In other words, with some buttons and small clean interfaces and charts, Democracy 3 offers you a series amount of depth that rarely can be found even in games that have been done with bigger budgets.
Politics can be fun
Even though Democracy 3 is not complete realistic modeling of a government (it does amazing job), I start to understand the complexities of how difficult governing a country can be. During the first few hours, not only you’re learning the ropes of the game, but you start to realize how many different things can be affected by a small change in government policy. Even though the purpose of this game is keep the player entertained, it does some education during the process.
Bowing to one direction will show your bottom to the other party
You cannot please everyone in democracy. Bowing to one direction will show your bottom to the other party. Yeah, sure you can emphasize policies that create a military state that allows no immigrants to your country and have the police drones making sure that crime has been completely eradicated. Rest assured, extreme actions and policies will create a culture of oppression and there is always someone who knows you’re to blame.
In my previous game before this happened, the attacker were patriots….
The amount of things you can do and all the sophisticated actions you can do are almost endless. Will you put a lots of money to an enterprise investment scheme that will give tax breaks to bigger corporations but on the other hand those companies invest in small companies that will eventually have a bigger impact on the economy? The choice is yours.
Putting it together
Complex political simulator might sound little bit dry to be an enjoyable game, but Democracy 3 proves that even running country can be fun. With the right amount of entertainment and humor the developer has managed to create something unique that I know, I’ll keep returning often. It is a game for a certain kind of player niche (the intelligent, hardcore strategy-kind) and it does its job well.
Democracy 3 Review Score
|8.5||Why so high?
Unique, addicting and challenging
|Why so low?
Complex and intimidating.