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Mar
15
2011

Fate of the World

– Scott Ellison

Our Score: 4 / 5 – Awesome

Fate of the World is a very unique game – it gets rid of the creation of a civilization through time. You aren’t trying to beat Montezuma for the 900th time, or get to space first. You’re not building a city from the ground up, worrying about how your workers will get from their residences to the commercial park all the way across their city. You’re trying to prevent the world from falling into utter chaos due to global warming. And holy crap is it fun.

The game idea is simple – you’re the president of the Global Environmental Organization (GEO), which has agents in one or many of the 12 regions of the world. The game itself is turn based, starting in the year 2020 and advancing 5 years each turn. You place a card each turn, which affects the region in some way or another – play the “Expand Oil” card, and the region will create more oil, helping production worldwide. Play the “Job Sharing Initiative” card and unemployment will decrease. Continue placing these cards each turn, keeping areas and the global region stable, meet the mission goals, and you win. Easy, right?

Each turn you have a specific amount of funds you can spend. Each card costs a certain amount of money – some of the more basic necessities cost only a few dollars, while cards that declare martial law cost $100 or more. This creates a delicate balance you must achieve – if you spend too much money in one region, other regions may suffer, due to all sorts of various reasons.  As you continue through your turns, your money slowly dwindles, and regions fluctuate. They don’t just fluctuate from your card choices, however.

After each turn, you get a break down of what’s going on in the world. The first thing that displays is the overall temperature increase from the industrial era to now. As the temperature increases, polar ice caps melt, weather patterns change, and essentially all the things that they are predicting will actually happen in the world come true in the game. Suddenly, that plan for you to have Oceania become this utopia of advanced research and clean fuel production gets stopped in its tracks because it’s not getting enough rainfall to grow crops, causing a famine. This game really does emphasize that global warming has a very severe, negative effect on everything. Along with seeing the temperature and pollution levels, you get any major highlights of news – countries spiraling into civil unrest, regions entering famine, species going extinct, and, on the brighter side, any new technology researched.

What it comes down to is everything you do has an effect, indirectly or directly, on the regions. This requires an incredible balance to prevent this cause-and-effect situation from ending in disaster.

The amount of difficulty that is in the game, however, does not detract from it one bit. This is a very entertaining game, the kind that, even when you lose in an incredibly epic fashion, makes you want to go back and try it all over again. There’s so many different cards you can play, so many combinations of events, that no two gameplay sessions will be the same. The game has some incredible replay value.

The graphics are best described as simple but awesome. This isn’t a graphic-intensive game, however the rotating earth that appears throughout the game looks great. Red Redemption used actual satellite imagery for our planet, which adds a really nice touch to the graphics.There is some small bits of detail on the earth that really show the detail put into the graphics – for example, as the game tells you the polar ice caps melt, the polar ice caps actually melt and disappear off the earth in the background. The cards you play are vibrant, and the interface just looks great in general. Sound is more on the minimal side, with music playing throughout the game as you click around and try to save North America from destroying its ground water supply.

This is a challenging, but incredibly fun game. You get so much for $10. This game does not disappoint. I highly recommend this for anyone who enjoys a good challenge, anyone interested about climate change, or anyone who wants to save the world.

Retails for: $9.99, recommended purchase price: $9.99

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