Two recent pieces on Indie Game Magazine on serious sim games. First, I loved the concept of Auroch Digital’s relevant sim Endgame Syria, even if I ultimately thought the execution was simplistic and somewhat lacking.
Then, I broke my rule against posting about indie Kickstarters for Neocolonialism. (I get way too many pitches for indie game project Kickstarters to cover that realm with any fairness or depth.) Seth Alter’s Neocolonialism is a very playable strategy game that’s simultaneously an interactive lesson in global finances.
I’ve played Sid Meier’s Civ a few times with a non-violent house role, battling friends and the jerk Montezuma to control the globe by dominating trade routes, controlling resources, and spreading culture. Players who enjoy that sort of strategic challenge will enjoy the gameplay involved in Neocolonialism. Alter has aligned gameplay goals with economic exploitation, which uses both the moral thoughtfulness players have making virtual political decisions in Positech’s Democracy or Max Barry’s NationStates, and our desires to succeed in multiplayer games, and he creates a strategy sim that’s serious, moral and still engaging.
And a not-so-serious one on Greg’s new cow-tipping Facebook game.