Rogue State is a geo-political simulator that puts you in charge of a country as its supreme leader. The choices you make will affect your approval of the citizens of your country, the Parliament cabinet you work with, and even the opinion of other countries around the world. Based on your actions you might deal with internal revolt, attacks from other states or possibly become the most powerful nation in the world.
I’ve never really given one of these games a play-through before, so it was a bit difficult to get right in there as I would imagine most of these games are. My problem for a newcomer such as myself was the very limited tutorial. It covers the basics and then sort of tells you to experiment and figure it out on your own. I had to devote a decent amount of time learning this game. This can be problematic as there isn’t any form of control beyond menus and clickable options. Unlike a traditional war game where you command units, you more or less place them where you want, and they will either win or lose depending on how strong your military is. It’s a numbers game really.
The game takes place in your presidential office where you visit various aspects of your governmental state. You can change tax policy, make phone calls to ambassadors around the world, start trade policies and make economic changes via sliders. There is also the aspect of building your ruined state to its former glory through different branches. Depending on what you prioritize you will either become a major economic force or a militaristic one. Remember to try to keep the majority of your citizens happy though or they will start to turn on you!
What I did find interesting is how we as citizens of our own country always think that making decisions is either obvious or easy. Truthfully, the issues are much more complicated than that. Appease one group and another starts to turn against you. This game did teach me that being a supreme leader is a lot harder than it looks, there’s no way to please everyone. Just try to do the best you can for your country and give attention to where it is needed.
You may some issue at first trying to figure this game out, but in the end you may find yourself a little more enlightened in how much power you truly have, or how powerless you are to the forces that surround you.
Tl:dr – Rogue state is a geo-political simulator that is basic in its design but really has a lot of depth. Though the tutorial doesn’t offer much direction outside of some basic tools to get you started, the game can still be played and it’s best to learn from your mistakes and make note for your next play through. There was some eye-opening lessons to be learned from running a country, albeit in an unrealistic fashion via a video game. Even with all the power in the world, you can still be totally powerless against the forces at will. Rogue State is a niche game that can either totally engross you or frustrate you depending on what sort of games you have fun with. It’s not bad, just totally different.
Rating – 6/10
Purchase – Steam £9.99/$12.99