Realpolitiks is a 21st century grand strategy game

The trailer for Realpolitiks [official site] is spectacular, in the way that someone stepping on a rake and then falling into a pond is a spectacle. The game itself looks like one of those maps and graphs things that I love, with its focus on politics in the modern world, but the trailer doesn’t spend a lot of time with the game. Sure, you’ll see a map around the 30 second mark, but that’s assuming your eyes haven’t already popped out of your skull. “When World Collapses,” sez the trailer, “REAL MEN MAKE REAL POLITICS”. The man in the video rubberstamps a document with blood.

You can watch below if you think you can handle the heat.

I can’t tell if the guitars and angry messages are telling me to fight the power or to respect the strongmen of politics. Maybe both? The most powerful politicians in the world might well be anti-themselves in the next few years. Realpolitiks’ trailer knows the score, is what I’m saying.

The actual game isn’t an outtake from a Pearl Jam video though. It’s maps. It’s taking control of any country in the world and guiding it through the various crises and opportunities that crop up.

“Grow and develop your nation to the highest possible levels of economic power, technological competitiveness and military supremacy in globally-ranked charts. The choice is yours as to whether you become a valued member of the United Nations, or a nuclear tyrant, bullying all those around you. Expand your territory any way you like with the whole-world sandbox gameplay of Realpolitiks, even creating colonies out at sea. And if that’s not enough, try spreading the seed of our civilization to outer space…”

There’s definitely room in my heart for a grand strategy game set in these times, though I wonder if I’d find it quite as amusing to play an absolute monster as I often do in Crusader Kings II. And, of course, I’m not sure that Realpolitiks is the game to fill that space. The feature list is just about what I’d expect but it’s the execution that will really matter.

  • Lead any country in the world to global domination in various game scenarios.
  • Shape your country’s political system and course determine its relations with other nations.
  • Deal with internal and external affairs and face threats from natural disasters, terrorism, financial crises and more.
  • Make use of common political instruments in your international relations, including spy tactics and espionage to directly influence other nations’ internal affairs.
  • Take the moral and ethical high road in your dealings with others, or not…
  • High replay value ensured by a broad decision tree in all matters, as well as diverse mini-scenarios and random events.

Developers Jujubee don’t have a strong pedigree (though I’m intrigued and disturbed by their other current project, based on the wreck of the Kursk) so I won’t get too excited until I’ve seen much more.

Excited about the game that is. I’m already excited about the trailer.


  1. Cooper says:

    The stamping of official documents & references t underhand political tactics made me realise I want an up-to-date version of Floor 13…

    Floor 13 nailed the scary hands-off bureacracy of state surveillance. Given how much had changed it that arena, we are ripe for a re-make.

  2. Lord Zeon says:

    I have a feeling that, even if it’s not actually a bad game given the developer, it’s not going to be a particularly realistic modern grand strategy game. In reality the modern power struggles of the last forty years or so are economic. We fight over who gets cheaper manufacturing or resources, usually through diplomatic means: “incentives” or sanctions. Of course there is still war, and it would be fun to explore modern war in grand strategy, but we’re probably going to be missing out on so much of the nuance.

  3. Neurotic says:

    Having worked on it myself as an outside contractor, I can say that it does have some sense of humour, is definitely Grand Strategy Lite (i.e. it’s not going to destroy your brain a la EU or CK), but is immense fun to play.

    • Captain Narol says:

      CK doesn’t destroy brains, it enlarges them !

      That game looks interesting anyway, I just hope it’s not too “lite”…

    • xTheJim says:

      But that’s what I want! I want a game as impenetrably deep as CK2!

  4. Don Reba says:

    I think you are supposed to read the angry messages with a thick Slavic accent.

  5. Premium User Badge

    Iamblichos says:

    “The trailer for Realpolitiks [official site] is spectacular, in the way that someone stepping on a rake and then falling into a pond is a spectacle.”

    This sentence made my whole day. Thanks, Adam.

  6. Michael Fogg says:

    From the growing indie scene in Poland (other notable game in-dev is Beat Cop, I believe)

  7. Laurentius says:

    Strange kind of wording in this trailer tbh, as country that term ‘realpolitik’ orginated from is now led by woman chancellor. Even country of this studio has woman prime minister.

    • Niente says:

      How is that strange? Aren’t women allowed to use the word?

      • gwop_the_derailer says:

        Laurentius was referring to the tagline of “REAL MEN MAKE REAL POLITICS.”

    • Anvilfolk says:

      Yeah, this rubbed me the wrong way too. The whole “real men” ethos does, really. I’m sure people can come up with better wording than this these days.

    • Landiss says:

      She might be prime minister, but she has no real power :p.

      Anyway, what should they write, “real humans”? Ah, I guess the trailer couldn’t be worse with that.

      • gwop_the_derailer says:

        The wording is awkward either way. Sounds almost like a parody.

  8. Silverchain says:

    What a relief! When I battered Nigel Farage about the face with an iron bar the other day a load of sprockets fell out and I found a “made in Poland” label tattooed on his eyelids. High time we had some Real Men.

  9. Don Reba says:

    All I could make out in the first half of the letter:

    Electronics Primary Information Center
    ATIN ***
    1714 *** NW
    Washington DC ***

    Dear Ms Stepanovich

    This responds to your friends of liberation Act *** request of
    November 2012, which was received by the office on ***
    public release of *** Your request was ***
    assigned Case Number 66194. A copy of your request ***
    purpose of the *** you have ***
    this request. ***

  10. elazdins says:

    Please don’t blow up Latvia with your Politics, KTHXBYE! :)

  11. says:

    Yaaay, my tiny Slavic country is in it (Croatia)! Now I can test my theories about making it dominating EU power through enforcing a new state religion – Batmanism!

  12. DORKSMAN says:

    trailer makes this game seem like a hot mess

    I look forward to pulling a shadow president and then never playing it again