Of all the times to be in charge of one of the world's nations, 1936 has to be one of the worst. Terrible things are afoot, and even the most noble decisions will likely lead to destruction and death. A terrifying time to be a leader in reality but a perfect setting for "a real time geopolitical strategy game" and that's precisely what Supreme Ruler 1936 is. With single player and multiplayer campaigns covering the build-up to WWII and the conflict itself, it also has a sandbox mode that allows the player to control almost any nation in the world. Developers BattleGoat have turned to Kickstarter, seeking to raise $60,000 John Candy Coins.*
Quite how I've managed to get through this much of my life without playing a Supreme Ruler game, I'll never know. The first, as the Kickstarter page informs me, was "a text-based strategy game in 1982 for the Radio Shack TRS-80 computer". That's so old school in gaming terms that it might as well be Plato's Academy. The developers unsurprisingly claim that the new version will be "the pinnacle of the series, featuring more content, greatly improved performance, better AI, upgraded graphics, and many new game elements." It certainly looks appealing, particularly given the possibility of conflict avoidance. It's possible to manage a nation's resources, research and economy in an effort to improve their standing without joining the war, although other leaders may have their own ideas as to whether you should be left to live a life of peace.
The first update gives an insight into tactical combat and the benefit of having a living world behind the battles.
*also known as Canadian Dollars.