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Supreme Ruler 2020

July 31st, 2008 by Troy Goodfellow · 1 Comment · Battlegoat, Gameshark, Review

SR2020 has problems, not the least of which is the lack of any really clear explanation of how everything fits together. And it may be because a lot of it doesn’t. The more I look at the game, the more I wonder how much of it is a Potemkin village, built to look like a really elaborate simulation but in fact relying on only a dozen of the hundreds of factors at your fingertips.

Mostly, it’s a confusing mess that isn’t helped by the map being so murky a lot of the time. I think I liked the SR2010 maps more – they were blockier and lower tech, but I think that helped keep focus on the important things like making sure that even a very crowded map could be understood.

Still, I gave it a C because if you dig deeply, you can find some intriguing wish fulfillment stuff. The future they paint doesn’t make much sense; Montana is as likely to become an independent state as I am to win a Nobel Prize in Physics, especially since a lot of African states seemed to make it to the future without collapsing into microstates. But there is enough here for a very, very specific audience.

In general, this is a step back from SR2010. Instead of trying to make an already complicated game more accessible, Battlegoat just threw more stuff on top. More priorities, more weapon designs, more treaty options…what it really needs is some focus. Barometers of progress, better pacing, menus that illustrate how things fit together, contextual advice (cabinet meetings maybe).


One Comment so far ↓

  • Scott R. Krol

    A step back from SR2010 is definitely not a good thing. I have to admit that SR2010 was probably the only computer game I’ve ever played that I gave up on out of frustration with having far too much stuff to deal with, combined with what I thought was a fairly poor UI. I really, really wanted to like it, but gah…talk about a hair pulling experience of bafflement…