Democracy 3 is an incredibly in-depth game, but does this make it off-putting to new players?
This review was originally posted in June 2017. The game is available now.
In Democracy 3, you take the role of the ruling government – For whatever reason you’ve been chosen to run the country of your choice (options include: the UK, France, Germany, the US, Canada, and Australia). You’re given an interface with a series of policies that you can enact, change and otherwise alter to suit your political needs.
From the start, you’re faced with almost too many options – however, the game’s tutorial does a fairly good job at easing you in. One thing I would have appreciated was a mocked or ‘dumbed down’ version of the game, like you see in Rollercoaster Tycoon games (different games, I know, but the idea remains) where they offer you a scenario that is already set up and guide the options that you choose. This would’ve helped me to pick the game up more easily and faster. Some may argue that this would make the game too casual, but I think it would aid newer players or those who aren’t completely up to date with their politics.
Where the game shines best is in its role as a ‘scenario simulator’. It’s incredibly enjoyable to just mess around with different policies – Want to become 100% capitalist? You can do that. Want to remove all taxes from your country? You can do that. Want to legalise all drugs and weapons? Go right ahead. It’s fun to see how messing around with these options can change your country and the people within it (Just a piece of advice: Removing all taxes and legalising all drugs isn’t the best political strategy, but each to their own)
The amount of depth Democracy 3 packs is incredible – as mentioned earlier when you load up your game you are greeted with an interface with a large amount of policies. These range from taxes and transport all the way to foreign policy and the economy. When loading up the game for the first time this may be a little overwhelming, add to this the fact that you can add additional policies in (there is a large amount of unused policies available in the game) and you have a game that is equally as deep as it is confusing.
I guess that’s where the game begins to fall down. Unless you have a full, in-depth comprehension of the way politics works and interconnectedness of different issues, you won’t succeed at this game. Democracy 3 isn’t for people trying to learn about politics, but more a sandbox for people to experiment with their wild political desires – not a bad thing, but maybe locking out more casual players.
When it comes to Democracy 3, it is an enjoyable game, you just have to be prepared for a little bit of learning. Jumping into it with no political knowledge will only result in you not enjoying the game and finding it boring. Being able to freely experiment with each political scenario is something that only people with some political knowledge will enjoy.