After a year in Early Access and more time in the pre-alpha, the latest iteration of the Democracy franchise, Democracy 4, finally got a full release on Thursday.
The UK-based studio, Positech Games, has developed and published the game since the first Democracy game in 2005. The studio, founded in 1997 by Cliff Harris, specialises in simulation strategy games. Some of their more notable releases include Gratuitous Space Battles, Production Line and of course, Democracy, their flagship franchise.
Democracy is the worst form of government — except for all the others that have been tried.Winston Churchill
What is Democracy?
The namesake of the game, democracy, refers to a system of government that involves the participation of the whole population or eligible members of a state, whether through elected representatives or otherwise. Consequently, Democracy 4 is a turn-based strategy game where the player incarnates the head of state or government of a democracy.
Therefore, one must govern the country properly by growing the economy, controlling inflation and maintaining infrastructure. However, winning reelection is essential to stay in power, which means implementing policies to help those who helped the player get into power. Did wealthy donors fund your campaign? You should lower their taxes to pay that debt off. Did farmers support your rise to power? Perhaps subsidising fertilizer could be an idea to make sure they support your reelection.
Nationalising all industries could curry favor with socialists, but capitalists will resist the changes by any means necessary. On the other hand, abolishing the small business tax will undoubtedly make capitalists happy, but socialists might plot your assassination to stop it.
Novelty in Democracy 4
Democracy 3 was released in 2013. After almost a decade, players of the previous game would expect Democracy 4 to improve upon its predecessor and add new features as well. On that note, here are some of the major changes coming to Democracy 4.
- Upgraded user interface
- Search bar to find items, policies and more
- Dark mode
- Editable colour palette and colour blind friendly support
- New countries Spain, Italy, Japan and South Korea
- New artwork to represent South Asian characters
- Simplified renaming function
- Coalition governments
- New policies
- Improved simulation model for immigration and CO2 emissions
- New events and dilemmas with multiple options
- Post-election analysis screen
- Emergency powers
- Country-specific traits and situations
- Separate plotting of approval rating and expected vote count
- Media reports
- Warning system for avoidable problematic events
Democracy 4 is available now on Steam.