Democracy Review

This first paragraph in my reviews is usually reserved for a brief explanation of the game, the company who made it and its general genre classification. Now that I have played Democracy, I’m not sure if this typical review structure really applies. So please, enjoy this different take on a very different game.

When I first started playing Democracy, I instantly chose a country (Germany) and attempted to run the place. I honestly really didn’t know what the hell was going on so I decided that it would probably be quite beneficial to my experience if I put my know-it-all gaming attitude on hold for awhile and try out the tutorial. Thankfully, it didn’t take very long to get through and in no time I was back into the main game.

To its credit, it lives up to the name Democracy since the whole point is to adjust taxation and implement and remove policies to appeal to various interest groups to remain in office as long as possible, but to my surprise the designers don’t seem to be familiar with the Constitution because in my many playthroughs as an evil religious zealot and as a malevolent liberal hippy, I was reelected quite a few times more than what is legal. On a deeper level, playing this game in many different ways helped uncover its greatest defect which is that greatly flawed societies that have crumbled, actually work here. In one society, I had a cop on every corner armed with sub-machine guns, nearly maximum taxation; the death penalty saw use for even the smallest of crimes and I don’t think the environment could have gotten any worse aside from a major accident like Chernobyl occurring. The best part wasn’t the fact that this society was actually working, oh no, the best part was when I was reelected, by a landslide.

It’s actually kind of sad that they missed their mark by so much because the possibilities here are actually quite enormous, provided the designers are willing to give the game some more depth by implementing foreign relations to a greater degree, running a country kind of feels like running the world, and relating it to the current political environments. Even moreso, it would be nice seeing each country much more individualized as running Germany didn’t feel very different than running the United States; cultural differences aren’t even capitalized upon. Lastly, these are things that you see in every game but I guess were overlooked here, not all of the names of the people elected into various offices had names, there were loads of basic grammatical errors such as the capitalization of the first word in a sentence, and the voiceovers for each country were obviously not done by natives.

Essentially, this is a game that seems to be developed for the rapidly growing edutainment market, but since the game dynamics are so close to being broken and nigh unplayable, the only people that will gain anything resembling the intended educative experience are most likely the unfathomably uneducated and sheltered that seem to reside solely in the most offensively constructed stereotypes that we all favor of the deep south. I personally do not live in said fictionalized location so I cannot and will not say that I enjoyed my experience with this game. If you were hoping to get something educational out of a game called Democracy, please feel free to turn to your preferred unbiased news source and do a bit of reading instead of playing this one.


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Author: Kyle Stallock View all posts by

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