With all that is going on in the world, political conversations may be the last thing you want to engage with. Still, for many of us who think we could do a better job leading the charge sitting as Prime Minister or President, Democracy 4 offers the perfect opportunity to see exactly how we’d get on.
Created by one-man company Positech Games, Democracy 4 launched into Early Access on Steam, and we couldn’t resist the lure of potentially infinite power. Which, on reflection, sounds a little dictatorial…
As a resident of the United (for now) Kingdom and an unapologetic socialist, I immediately decided that becoming PM and leader of The Federation of Socialists was my destiny.
My opposition parties? The New Right and The Party For Change.
So, how would I spend my first term in power? With an instant reshuffle of my cabinet, bringing in those sympathetic to the poor, socialists and the self-employed.
The policies I enacted swiftly took the country in a unique direction. State pensions were increased along with the minimum wage, along with the implementation of a business start-up campaign so those who sought a freelance career could carve out their own path, without bowing down to the big corporations.
Those big guys faced a tax hike and, whilst they rebelled at first and the GDP did suffer for a short amount of time, I managed to pull it around.
Military spending went down whilst money for the arts went up, and though patriots started to cause a bit of a stir in extremist groups, I haven’t yet faced an assassination attempt. I’d call that a success.
There were moments when my deficit was increasing exponentially and my debt was mounting, but the mechanics in-game allowed me to bring down the benefits for the unemployed so that a larger portion of the population would get to work - and happily, as they could do so on their own terms thanks to my self-employment program.
Turns out, at least in this balanced video game experience, socialism really can work.
I’m now halfway through my third term and there’s a whopping 87.8% of the population expected to vote for me when the next election comes around.
As I’ve placed a limit on the amount of terms any one sitting Prime Minister can serve of five, my role now turns into making sure I leave behind a legacy that’ll go down in history; and for all the right reasons.
The overall experience I’ve had with Democracy 4 so far has been nothing short of sheer brilliance. It looks very overwhelming when you first take a look at your screen in a new game, but before long you’ll be whizzing around each of your policies and proposals, firing members of the cabinet who are disloyal and bringing in those sympathetic to your cause.
You use 'political capital' to make changes, which can be gained dependant on how well you work with your cabinet ministers and how popular you are with the public.
It's one of those sim games where you're better off playing it for yourself to really get a handle on how it works.
Next up? I’m going to go full dictator and see what happens. I imagine it’s going to be a very short period of power for Dictator Dan…
Democracy 4 is available now in Early Access on Steam. A code was given to Female First in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Tagged in review