Written by Daniel Westerstal   
Thursday, 29 November 2007

There aren’t that many true simulators about politics out there, tests Democracy from Positech. Is it the political simulator we have all been waiting for, read our review to find out?


Democracy caters to the market of advanced strategy simulations, in good company with President Forever, the Civilization-series and many others.

In Democracy your task is to rule a country while being able to be re-elected. As any politician this isn’t as easy as it sounds, and it isn’t easier in Democracy. There are a bunch of countries that you can choose to rule; USA, Great Britain, Spain, Japan, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Australia and Poland. However the countries are only portrayed correctly when it comes to population, debt, income and political system.  Elements like political preference are missing, which means that you have more freedom to do what you want with your country at the expense of realism.

Ruling the countries they are done by using policies. In the beginning of the game each country already has a number of pre-established policies, you can choose to change those or add a number of new policies. The policies are categorized as; economy, foreign affairs, tax, welfare, transport, law and order and public services.  In each category there can be a number of policies, for example in foreign affairs there can be policies about military spending and border control.

To change a policy levers are used, which the player simply click and drag to select high or low tax, more or less military spending, armed or not armed police and so on. While the user interface is simplistic without much bells and whistles it definitely does the trick.

Each policy connects with lines to a category of voters and statistics on a number of things. The statistics helps you to see the effects of your policies on the country, while the voter stats show how conservatives, liberals, environmentalists among others feel about you and your government.
The voter stats are actually an advanced part of the game, obviously some groups gets disgruntled quickly if you change policies. But when you change policy it takes a lot of time for the groups to change their view.

For example my government imposed a number of control policies to crack down on terrorists and crime. While these policies were liked among some groups they were absolutely hated by the liberals, even when a policy shift was made the liberals still didn’t like my government. When a voter group does not like your government they will use the media to do everything to get their message out to other voters.  However you quickly learn that you can’t keep every group happy and running a functioning country.

Democracy is turn-based; you can change or impose three policies each turn. You will also have to decide on different dilemmas and handle situations. The dilemmas and situations are presented in text, you select what to do. Sometimes things happen that you can’t do much about directly but maybe prevent in the future by policy change.

I am not surprised that while Democracy isn’t very pretty or using a bunch of 3D-effects  it is strangely addictive and fun to play.  It has been seen in a number of other games, but what really is surprising is the amount of depth and how policies affect voters and the country. If you are interested in politics you will love Democracy, there are still gamers who might find this game boring though.

Related: President Forever, FreeCiv, Caesar
Developer: Positech
Website for Game:
Publisher: N/A
O/S: Windows 98/ME/2000/XP/Vista
Cost of Full Game: €19.90
Where to get:
Download Demo Here!
Year of Release: 2005

Tested on:
Intel Core2Duo 1,86 GHz, 2 GB RAM, Windows Vista


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