Ever stop and say to yourself, “Man, what could I do to help save the planet?” Well, now you can save the environment and you get to play an enjoyable game while doing so. Green thumbed indie developer Red Redemption brings its latest creation, Fate of the World, to the PC and Mac to not only entertain, but to educate us on the very real possibilities that could come with global warming.
Fate of the World is a turn based card game where you play as the President of the GEO, the Global Environment Organization. It’s your job to maintain balance between the different global regions and achieve certain goals in the many missions you’ll be presented with. Each region of the planet has their own set of issues that change dynamically as the game progresses. These issues can be environmental, economic, energy and natural resource related, health related and more.
You’re given an allocation of funds based on the number of regions that support you, their general well being, and their general opinion of you. Your funding determines what actions you can afford in order to steward these different regions toward your end goals; and in turn, your decisions determine your future funding. Thus, poor choices will lead to less funding which restricts your actions and makes the game more difficult.
Your goals can range from helping a specific region develop to a certain level graded on a Human Development Index to reigning in your regions’ dependency on fossil fuels in order to prevent a global temperature increase over a certain amount. You may be given anywhere from 50 years to over 100 to accomplish these goals. This adds an additional level of challenge as the decisions you make act as like a house of cards. The more decisions you make the higher the impact. And once again if you don’t make the correct decisions, your house of cards becomes unstable and can fall apart rather quickly just before you reach your goal.
This is most certainly not a game of quick reflexes and motor skills, but rather a game of deep thought and weighing of decisions. You have reports of progress and news feeds at the beginning of each round to tell you what regions are experiencing what issues. You need to weigh out which actions are best to take. Do you try to help your frustrated masses by giving them the resources they need before hunger and poverty force them to rebel? Or do you call in law enforcement and black ops to keep the peace? Both decisions can have an immediate effect, but the long term effects are what you have to worry about the most.
Red Redemption has put a lot of effort into making a solid game-play experience with Fate of the World. The user interface has a bit of a learning curve to it, but once you get used to where everything is and the mechanics of how everything works there aren’t any problems. The graphics are crisp and clean, and they look fantastic. My 1.8 GHz Core2Duo laptop was able to run the game with no issues even though the recommended processor requirement is 500 MHz higher than what I have. I had no noticeable lag, frame rate drop or texture pop while playing the game.
For those of you who are environmentally friendly, you can go to the partner links on the Fate of the World site and purchase the game. Twenty percent of the proceeds will go towards the partner organization that you choose.
For the ten dollars (or eleven if you go through a partner site) you spend, this is an exceptional quality game. If you enjoy turn based games that require some thoughtful decisions, this is most definitely for you. While this type of game play isn’t my cup of tea, I found it to be very compelling and managed to log quite a few hours on it before putting it down.