Democracy 3 is a political simulator that works best when treated as a toy rather than a strategy game. Put aside your instinctive desire to win and instead just tinker with its societal web and play out different what-if scenarios. “What happens if the welfare state is dismantled,” you ask. And in the game.
The last expansion let you push those what-ifs into extremism, and the just-released Clones & Drones DLC seems to exist on a similar knife-edge between timely, politically-charged issues and ‘ooh won’t that be fun to make people do.’ Check the trailer below.
Here’s the description from the expansion site, since it’s basically just a list of things the additions will let you do:
What challenges are to come for the politicians of the future? Mass unemployment due to the automation of factories? Or will this lead to a leisure society and equality? Will ubiquitous drones lead to better law enforcement and less traffic congestion or to widespread crime and infringement of privacy? Should we give the go-ahead to human cloning? Will climate change cause problems for our country? Are we going to run out of rare earth metals? Or oil…? The people look to YOU for leadership in these turbulent times. Can you keep the country happy and prosperous as we head to the 2020s and beyond?
When I wrote wot I thought of Democracy 3, I said I loved it for its interface and for the way your actions rippled throughout its simulation. There were balance quirks which made it trivially easy to “win” if you knew how, but that wasn’t the point. The game gives you a lot of buttons to push, and each one provides you with stories to tell, about the time you did away with all the police or the time you taxed out the heck out of everything and everyone. The consequences might not be balanced in the way we normally expect from management games, but they follow a believable logic that makes them feel true and funny at the same time.
The DLC is out now and £4 direct from Positech or via Steam.