Rogue State Revolution

Only place I can find this mentioned is in the Indie Games thread. It’s on sale for $10 on Steam until Sep 2 which is why I finally picked it up.

It bills itself as a roguelike, but I don’t feel like I’m in any imminent danger on my second game. My first game ended pretty suddenly when I didn’t heed warnings about impending Russian invasion.

Certainly an interesting premise, to take a (fake) middle eastern nation with a history of ethnic struggle and civil war and attempt to stabilize it as the newly elected leader. You have to juggle relationships with your neighbors and with China, Russia, and the US. Every policy is likely to make one group in your nation happy while upsetting another, so balancing the interest groups is important to avoid another civil war. There is an insurgency group in the country that will establish bases in the fog of war and cause issues if you don’t actively hunt them down. I had them take over the lone plastics factory in my country which shut down most of my production chains. Oops! You start the game with established cities but no native agriculture or industry so building up a source of resources and revenue early is important especially as your citizens will start to demand advanced goods as the game goes on.

There are some interesting systems on top of all of this. You have limited actions per turn based on the size of your cabinet. Your cabinet members generally have a positive and a negative trait that tend to be a little more interesting than a straight modifier. One of the starting people(you unlock more as you play more games) has an addiction problem and will just not show up for work some turns. On top of that, these advisors have a satisfaction rating and I believe they will turn on you if it goes low enough because you are ignoring their requests. However, completing their requests doesn’t just boost satisfaction, it also makes them owe you a favor. These favors are fairly hard to come by and are a currency all their own. Much of what they are used for is upgrading buildings and units, but can be traded for money in a pinch.

For covering such a potentially heavy topic the game keeps things light. It has some lovely throwback FMV cutscenes sprinkled throughout the game that would feel right at home in any 90s game. One of your neighbor countries is ruled by a chicken for reasons I’ve forgotten but are explained in the lore. No, it’s not some magic chicken, it’s just a chicken that they decided is ruling the country. Good luck figuring out what its demands are.

Haven’t gotten through a full game yet, so I don’t know how much things continue to ramp up in the late game or even what the regular “victory” end state is.

Anyway, I think this thing is definitely worth the current $10 price tag if it looks at all appealing to you.