Rogue State Revolution is the brand new political strategy game from Little Red Dog Games. Published by Modern Wolf, the game promises intrigue, bribery, and political juggle to keep on top. Let’s take a look at what you can expect from Rogue State Revolution.
A Nation Reborn
You take control of the People’s Republic of Basenji after the previous tyranny is disbanded and the country heads into democracy. In these circumstances, it’s your job to lead the nation through these uncertain times. However, you are not alone. You will have two loyal advisors help you along the way.
Additional to your loyal advisors, you will also have the ability to appoint your ministers. Each minister can take certain cabinet positions (these are randomized each game), and each one of them comes with one positive and one negative passive ability. They are not as loyal as your advisors, you got to earn their trust.
Rogue State, Rogue Like?
Rogue State Revolution also brands itself as a roguelike. Although I would say it’s a little bit far stretched, I see where the devs are coming from. As I’ve already mentioned in each game your ministers will occupy different ministries, which ultimately have an effect on your long-term strategy. The map is also procedurally generated, just as in your neighboring countries.
At the beginning of most turns, a random event will appear, that you have to handle immediately. The options you have for handling it greatly depend on your standings with your ministers and available money. Another element of roguelike games is global progression. After each run, you get some XP, that you will use to unlock new ministers and passive abilities to make your life easier.
Start From Nothing
When you start each run, all you have is your ministers and the country. However, after the revolution, it’s in such a poor state, that UN camps are scattered across the regions to provide food for locals. You need to start from the basics, building farms and getting food flowing into cities.
In the meantime, your ministers don’t just sit around. You can use them to research new options within their ministries. These can range from printing counterfeit USD for a little bit of extra income to unlocking more buildings like solar power plants and universities. Just another example I couldn’t help, but smile at: you can research a policy to ‘Unlock Speed Limits’ in the country. This in turn will raise the overall ‘Entertainment’ level of everyone.
You can also ask for ‘favors’ from your ministers. At the beginning of the game, each one of them owes you one favor. One of the easiest ways to use a favor is to exchange it for straight-up cash. I guarantee you will need to use this option in the beginning, as your funds will dry up quickly. Just make sure you save up some of the favors for harder times.
Demand, Demand, Demand
As you begin to revitalize your economy, your country will start to grow. People will start to have fun and enjoy their life. With this, new demands will arise. You will need to provide more than food. Canned goods, household items, electric items, and luxury goods demand will go as you are more and more successful.
Of course, this means you will have to build new factories, new mining facilities, and brand new production plants. Each of the products has its own supply line. You have to keep an eye out for what materials needed and make sure the supply is there to meet the demands.
If your people don’t get what they demand, your approval rating will fall. This could mean getting voted out at the next election. Here the roguelike elements kick in. Looks like, that the demand will always grow quicker than you can keep up. It’s a real juggle to have the population happy and not go bankrupt at the same time.
Those Pesky Rebels
Unfortunately, there are more dangerous elements in your society as well. These rebels will randomly appear on the map, and you need to deal with them. Otherwise, they will wreck your production buildings causing supply issues all over the country.
There are 4 types of (if we don’t count the WH40K Dreadnaught unit) units available. These are Soldiers, Armored Corps, Helicopters, and SAMs. Each one is effective against one of the units and vulnerable against another. You have to keep a balanced army or you might end up like me, where I had only helicopters and the AI spawned in a bunch of SAMs. That didn’t end well.
Neighbors and Ministers
The countries around you play just as important a role as your ministers. You ought to keep a good relationship with them, otherwise, they might try to invade you. More to that, if you are on good terms you can import and export goods. Obviously exporting is a super useful way to get more money. However, importing is also quite useful. It won’t actually cost you anything (‘the public bears the cost’), rather you will just miss out on the revenue that comes from producing the goods for yourself.
When demand first picks up, importing can be a great way to provide for your citizens. However, they will quickly outgrow in demand, what you can import, so you should immediately start building your own supply chain.
The other countries will also come up with requests for you from time to time. Completing them will improve relations. This is true as well for your ministers. They will come up with tougher requests though. But if you can complete them you will earn favor and improve standing with the minister. If you fail to meet your minister’s requests, they will fall out of line and run against you in the campaign!
Pick Up The Phone!
Let me tell you why you should keep your ministers happy. In one game, I had just a small military to turn away illegal immigrants that appear near the borders from time to time. Suddenly some small rebel activity picked up near one of my cities. It was just one regiment of footsoldiers so I ordered my helicopter and one armored corps over. It’s a mistake but that way my whole military.
Now the helicopter reached the city quicker, but by that time, the rebels have retreated to the neighboring country. At this point, however, a rebel SAM entered the map and shot down my chopper. By the time the tanks arrived, the SAM vanished as well. I angrily pulled my tanks back towards inland, when this time around, rebel helicopters attacked. Helicopters one-shot tanks, so that was it for my armored corp too.
There I was, without any more units. I clicked my barracks to train more military, but to my surprise, I couldn’t. As it happens, I angered my Minister of Defense earlier. This meant that when I clicked any unit to train, I was greeted with the message: ‘Your Defense Minister Doesn’t Pick Up The Phone’.
After this all I could do is watch the rebel army invade my country, and take down my main power plant, leaving 3/4 of the nation without power. Things quickly went downhill from here, with another nation taking the opportunity to invade as well. Needless to say, I wasn’t reelected.
The game is 3D and build on the Godot engine. The game engine itself was a good surprise for me. I think this is the biggest game I have tried that’s built on Godot. Performance is totally okay, and the game looks all right.
Don’t expect cities skylines level of details, but for a turn-based strategy game it does just one.
One surprising thing is the FMV (Full Motion Video) cutscenes of the game. The story is usually delivered with such cutscenes, with real actors. I think it adds good characters to the game, and I personally loved the quirky dialogue.
All in all, I think Rogue State Revolution ended up being a fun strategy game. Even when you think things are going well, disaster looms around the corner. This will put you on your toes to keep improving and to preserve stability.
Lovers of political strategy games will find a great time within Rogue State Revolution. This turn-based indie definitely has the ‘one more turn’ syndrome, where you will rush into your inevitable demise as president.
- Good Core Gameplay
- Great Aesthetic
- Good Random Events
- ‘Runs’ could be a bit shorter
- Always the same supply chain
You can grab the game on Steam for 12,49€ (very generous price!), if you are on the fence, then a demo is also available.
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