Review: Democracy 3

Perhaps not the most timely review as this game was already released a year ago. Got this game just because it was on sale via Humbe Mozilla Bundle for eight dollars. Small enough of a game to just casually play while actually doing something else. Next thing I know it is 3:30 AM, this game has a real potential for serious addiction.

 

Gameplay

There is no story to the game. You become the head of the state of whatever country you chose (there are only a few choices available, UK, Canada, USA, Germany, Australia and France). Once you chose the country, you have some additional options to set up the game in matter of how many  terms you can serve as the “Realm’s Protector” how long those can be, some sliders for difficulty and of course the name of the political party you will be in control off. Game is divided into turns, with each turn limited to how many “Capital per Turn” points you have. Those points are affected by your cabinet – ministers/head of departments. Each turn updates effects of your choices to your country and polls, as well as gives you random events like Global Market Crash, terrorist attacks, and lots of small decisions you need to address like Gay Marriage, quick allow or ban on sick livestock imports, fracking, or attitude towards deportation. Everything is clickable in game.

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Graphics

Graphically the game is absolutely as it should be. It is a simulator, where you enact or cancel policies, increase or decrease taxes AND funding to achieve the ultimate goal: TOTAL POWER IN THE COUNTRY! Or really whatever goal you set yourself and what is important to you, as your goal may be country’s overall well being. Once you get a glimpse of how the game works, everything actually is in place, and where it should be. All of the statistics and modifiers are clickable and show you correlation between let’s say: poor, poverty and unemployment, or even how liberal and socialist ideas affect conservatives’ and capitalists’ voting decisions and popularity of your government within each group. Visually game gives you all of the information you need in order to perform well. One thing bothered me though, is when a special effect has been set as for example “High productivity” you are able to view all the info and graphs for how this can be improved and affected, but if it disappears, all the info about it disappears as well. Hard to predict what kind of a special modifier can you get, so in a way it is a surprise.

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Sound

Background music in the game is adequate to what you are doing, all the sound effects even though tend to get repetitive, are not that intrusive and are rather neutral and not super aggressive in a manner where you would get annoyed by it. Click sounds are actually very soothing and nice. Also the game weights 270 MB so do not expect a philharmonic creations made for the sole purpose of this game. For a simple game in this manner, sound performs fantastically.

 

I have nothing for sound :>

 

Fun

Game is actually quite incredible. As I stated above, I only turned on the game for a while to pass the time, and suddenly I had 5 hours on the clock. This is a very logical puzzle in more literal way than you could imagine even if it is mostly text based. Imagine jigsaw puzzles, you need to find an exact piece to fit the picture, and piece that gets placed ultimately affects what will be placed next to it. Same thing applies to Democracy 3, if you have high crime rates, you may want to “fit in” a tighter policing in action. If budget is not balanced and you are going into debt, you need (best if both) introduce new taxes and adjust current ones, and cut spending. Game shows you a web of correlated actions, and policies and your job is to find that golden middle where everybody is happy, taxes are not too high or too low, and the economy is growing even if global market crashes twice per term.

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Replay Value

This has actually shocked me a lot. My first game I played as Australia, surprisingly for me, country has a lot of issues, and I tried addressing them. As the first plays are, you won’t grasp it at first glance, it was not long until I was assassinated, and had to restart. I picked Germany on second run. Now them Germans really have it going on, all policies are set in favor of citizens, and there wasn’t much of a fixing to do, just improvement of what was already there. Balancing budget and voila I did everything that could be done. I check USA just to be sure, and I got the same outcome but it was farm more challenging country with lots of crimes, drugs, alcohol abuse, economy at its knees, you know, the usual. As it seems, I have mastered the game in just a second try, with perfect 100% votes received in every next game I played. This got boring after 8 hours.

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Summary

This is a really simple yet sophisticated government turn based simulator. Absolutely love how your choices needs to be logical, and you need to take into consideration how increasing taxes on gasoline or introducing carbon emission taxes will not just affect your income, but will also affect car usage, factories and GDP as a major modifier affects your economy and income as a government more than taxes. There are simple bugs that could be addressed, like auto cancel a decision that you didn’t yet submit and just want to exit the screen, then the game gets aggressive and makes you cancel manually, so what is the reason for accepting? Just redundant prompts in my opinion. If they manage to randomize slightly the effects of policies, add more modifiers and events that are … different that constant global market crashes this game will feel more than Plague, Inc. and evolves into something more than just a “simple” casual game. Overall it was still fun, for the price of $8 on Humble Bundle it is absolutely worth it, however Steam’s $24.99 is severely overpriced.

Gameplay7
Graphics7
Sound8
Fun10
Replay Value2
6.8

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