The lights are on
The U.S. government shutdown continues, leaving federal agencies shuttered and employees furloughed indefinitely. Like most Americans, you've probably thought just about anyone could be doing a better job of settling the issue – regardless of who you feel is to ultimately to blame for this mess. Thanks to the magic of video games, you can give it a shot. We've got a list of games that let you live out your dreams, whether you see yourself as a peacemaker or powermonger.
SimCityWhile SimCity (pictured above) might not put you in the president's seat, you still have a vast amount of power. Everything from taxation to transportation is under your control, and the sims are more than content to vote with their feet. Do right by them, and your town will flourish. Fail, and it's all your fault – unless you want to pin it on your advisers. But who would do such a thing?
Evil GeniusIf you'd rather torture a sim than care for one, Evil Genius might be more in your wheelhouse. This strategy game lets you manage an evil empire that would make even the most successful James Bond villain jealous. Don't worry about being holed up on your island base; your influence spreads across the globe like a wonderful disease.
Tropico 4Tropico 4 puts a satirical spin on Latin American dicatorships, putting you in the (lone) seat of power. You can be as benevolent as you want, choosing to fund education and create gorgeous vacation getaways (to siphon tourist bucks). Or you can make everyone miserable as you crush your enemies and send out hit squads to silence dissent. Heck, why not do both? You're el presidente, after all.
Email the author Jeff Cork, or follow on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and Game Informer.
Jeff always has the best articles on this site.
As an older gamer who has come and gone with sim city, it is nice to see a refreshment of that title and other versions! While I may not jump into anyone one of these anytime soon, I suppose at least my eyes are open!
I have a good solution:
Lets get the heck outta here!
But. . . 'Murica!
Tropico is a fantastic example. such a great game
A great governing game that I've been playing lately is Crusader Kings 2. It was terrible to try and get into (the learning curve is pretty steep), but after watching some online Let's Plays and tutorials, it really is one of my favorite games for ruling the people. The emphasis on diplomatic relations, dynasties, and intrigue are what make it so great and unique. I highly recommend it.
Great list Jeff. I especially like the inclusion of Liberty or Death. I had a lot of fun with that one back then. For me, most of the Koei strategy games scratch my administrating (see despotic) itch. The best they have made so far in my opinion is Romance of the Three Kingdoms 11.
Nice article, really funny.
Am I the only one who thinks Tropico 4 is way too easy?
I love all these games. the Koei strategy games on the NES in the 90s were great games.
Tropico has always been pretty good about governing...