Just as Soren Johnson founds a company to produce competitive, economy-driven strategy games, along comes Neocolonialism. It’s a turn-based, competitive strategy game about dominating the planet through economic means: by buying votes, extracting wealth via factories and mines, and backstabbing your opponents.
I’ve just had a quick go of it, and it seems very smart. It took me about 20 minutes to blast through the texty tutorials, and the basic mechanics seem straightforward enough. Each match is made of 12 turns, and each of those happens in 3 stages. The first involves buying votes in different regions of the world, like Europe or Central Asia, and electing players as Prime Minsters of those regions. The second stage involves Prime Minsters proposing policies, like the building of factories and mines, and players voting on those decisions to reject or ratify them. The third stage sees one player – everyone gets a turn – take control of the International Monetary Fund and respond, or not, to a region’s disaster. The aim is to have the most money in your Swiss bank account by the end of the game.
From there, I imagine it’ll spin out into a world of dodgy dealings, with players – the game is designed for between 3 and 6 – making secret deals to get themselves into power, collaborating in their political policies, and looking to exploit the cheap labour of the developing world as much as possible. I am listening to this on repeat while I play, but I am always listening to that on repeat.
If you can wait till later in the week, the RPS’ congress will give it a whirl together and report back with our findings. If you can’t wait, it’s available to buy from the Neocolonialism site now, and up on Greenlight for people who stubbornly refuse to do anything without Steam’s permission.