Democracy 4 Gameplay Preview – Politics Sim

*Democracy 4 developed and published by Positech Games – October 6, 2020 (PC)
*MSRP: $26.99 (Steam) – https://store.steampowered.com/app/1410710/Democracy_4/

Democracy 4 is a political simulator where you play as the majority party getting ready for the election. The game is turn based and each turn you gain political capital, which are essentially points you can spend to take actions.

The center circle shows you how much political capital (action points) you have.

The actions you can take range from enacting policies, firing and hiring cabinet members, taking publicity stunts to improve the public’s perception, and give speeches once the election draws near.

Certain policies will increase and decrease approval ratings with certain demographics. It would be best to improve approval ratings with the demographic that make up most of your voter base.

All of these actions will increase or decrease your approval rating with certain demographics, such as middle class, self employed, youth, elderly, capitalist, etc. You can’t improve all of them so your main goal is to improve the target demographics that will increase your approval rating the most.

At the start of each turn is an event where you must take an action. Each action will boost or decrease your ratings.

Overall, Democracy 4 is a decent political sim. I do have one small issue in that the balancing seems to heavily favor perception over anything else. By spending a small amount of political capital increasing perception, I was able to win the election every single time no matter how good or bad my policies were. I guess this is more aligned with reality than people realize but it does make the other mechanics available in the game feel a little underwhelming.

Perceptions are currently the number one attribute indicating whether or not you will win an election. Conducting successful media stunts will ensure victory.

Another aspect is that certain policies which should impact a certain demographic heavily seemed to have little to no effect. I reduced income tax, property tax, and the inheritance tax to the lowest possible values and still did not win the majority of the middle class votes. This could be because a lack of revenue had detrimental effects in other areas but this was not reflected anywhere in the game as far as I could tell. That said, since the game is in early access, I’m sure the balancing issues will be sorted out.

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