Do you crave power? Could you do a better job of running the country than the people currently in charge? Are you sick of corrupt politicians making stupid decisions that benefit only themselves? Could you keep enough of the population happy to win re-election, and still turn around the economy and deal with the national debt? Be warned it's not as easy as it sounds...
Democracy 2 is the ultimate political strategy / simulation game. Based on a complex Neural network, the game simulates the motivations, loyalties and desires of everyone in the country. As president or prime minister, it's your job to balance the need for income from taxes against the demands of the voters. Do you want your country to be an eco-friendly green paradise? or a socialist utopia? Will you pander to the patriots, the liberals or the religious pressure groups? Can you keep crime under control without destroying the civil liberties of your citizens?
Democracy 2 looks daunting at first, but the game is easy to pick up once you understand the basic principle behind it. An innovative user-interface shows the relationships between everything in the game just by hovering your mouse over an object. The game is 'turn based', so it's the ideal game for those who prefer an intelligent, cerebral game. The amount of actions you can take each turn is limited, so you will need to think carefully if you are doing the right thing.
The key to the game are the policy 'sliders' that let you adjust how your government runs. You can raise or lower taxes with a slider, or even adjust education policy, or workers rights in exactly the same way. This system makes for a game that is easy to learn and difficult to master.
Democracy 2 covers the whole range of political opinion and policy, from debates over stem cell research and school prayer, through the provision of state health care and benefit payments to the unemployed, right across to tax shelters for the wealthy, the death penalty, military spending and civil rights. regardless of where you stand on political topics, you will have the option to put your ideology to the test. This newer version of the game has a vastly increased selection of policies, far greater accuracy of simulation, and subtlety of gameplay, and also features a selection of real world statistical data for comparison to help you put political choices in context.
Also new to Democracy 2 is the concept of cabinet ministers. Each area of policy now has a minister, appointed by you, and with their own loyalty and political opinion. You need to keep the ministers happy if you are to generate enough 'political capital' to successfully push through the more controversial policies. In Democracy 2, every policy has a varying level of controversy which will affect how easily it is changed. Introduce school buses? no problem, but attempt to introduce or repeal the death penalty of military conscription and you can expect to need strong political backing!
The game also has a totally re coded voter system. You no longer have a voter who is just a socialist, motorist and a farmer, but they have 'fractional' membership of many groups. You have hardcore (100%) motorists who will drive no matter what, and casual motorists who only use a car occasionally and are easily persuaded on to public transport. This system works throughout the game to give Democracy 2 an even finer and subtler simulation. Voters also join and leave political parties, and have a variable tendency to vote. They can even join terrorist organizations when especially upset.