Democracy Review





Developer: Positech Games Publisher: Positech Games
Release Date: April 17, 2005 Also On: None

Democracy should be a boring game. It is menu based. It has simplistic 2D graphics. It is about politics. It even forces you to read a lot of text so that you understand the effects of income tax and the like. Democracy should be one of the most boring pieces of software ever up there with having to do your tax declaration. Instead it is an exciting dynamic game that is a lot of fun to play. How does that work? I am amazed myself.

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When you begin a game of Democracy you are already elected as the leader of the country you chose to play. Your goal is to get reelected to stay in power as long as possible. In Democracy (the game), the leader can make and cancel laws as he wants sacrificing realism to gameplay. Certainly not a bad idea, though. What you do in the game is adjust different sliders to set the taxes higher, for example, or you introduce new laws or cancel old ones, for example outlawing smoking. You can truly do what you want but not if you want to get reelected.

The population is made of different voter profiles like smokers, patriots, motorists or people with a middle income. People often belong to more than one of these groups, of course. To get reelected, you have to make enough people happy. For a person to vote for you, he has to like you at least 50%. To get reelected, 50% of the people have to like you 50% or more. To achieve this you often have to make compromises, simply trying to make an ideal world how you like it might not work. Or you can simply experiment what works. Try to make your country a really weird place with contradicting or nasty laws and see if you can still get people to vote for you. The simple menu system with explanatory texts makes this game easy for everyone to enjoy. The game’s graphical interface is very well designed and differently colored and moving lines quickly give you a good idea what affects what in which way and how much.

It only takes a few hours to try the interesting political possibilities and it does not make too much sense to replay them. But Democracy offers something against quick boredom: different countries. There are minor differences like the royal scandals you have to deal with in the UK as well as not so minor differences like a huge deficit in Germany that makes it more difficult to make people happy. Money is of course a big factor in the ruling of every country.

Democracy really is a funny game. It manages to be fun despite the theme and despite the menu-based presentation. It offers dynamic innovative gameplay, there is nothing quite like it. It educates you about political topics without you even realizing it. The big fun factor is that you can try to be a politician yourself and show that you could do the job much better if you got it. Get Democracy and show ’em!

Graphics: 7
Sound: 6
Gameplay: 9
Creativity: 10
Replay Value/Game Length: 7.5
Final: 8.6
Written by Ortwin Review Guide

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