'Neocolonialism' Marxist Strategy Game Takes To Kickstarter

Neocolonialism is an indie game which has been floating around Steam Greenlight for a good third of a year, which has been launched its own Kickstarter project. In order to mock capitalism, you must first embrace it.

The game itself is an in-depth strategy wherein you oversee an upside-down version of our world map, and attempt to take it all over. You dominate not with armies and weapons, but with politics and Swiss bank accounts. You win when you and you alone are filthy rich, while the rest of the world languishes in poverty.

The aim of the game is to buy votes in national parliaments, make sure the guys you want are in office, exploit the working class, make various trade agreements which benefit you greatly, manipulate the International Monetary Fund, then hide all your assets in a Swiss bank account where they are all-but-untouchable and of no use to anyone except you. You have just 12 turns to absorb as much of the world’s wealth as you can.

The game, as you might expect, has a staunchly anti-capitalism feel, with it being made very clear that you are the Bad Guy. Thankfully, it’s all very exaggerated and tongue-in-cheek, and so avoids the pitfall of being another anti-corporation whine- fest.

An alpha build of the game is available free at Subaltern's website; but don’t expect a particularly polished experience.

As it stands so far, we have a silent, sparse title screen with a randomised capitalism-related quote from the likes of real-world characters like John D. Rockefeller and Margaret Thatcher. A.I bots are given recognisable names too, such as “Romney”.

My character, “Moneyface” (I am creative, darn it), started with $15 – though I doubt it’s a real-world $15 given that I was able to buy a vote in Australian parliament for $6.

Unfortunately the game lacks any sort of tutorial or even instruction manual for new- time players, and I hope that changes with the full release as I was frankly at a loss at what I could actually do. My first playthrough consisted of me repeatedly buying and selling the same vote in Australia, before giving up on that and building a factory in Europe which I didn’t know how to use, before going back to buying and selling and re-buying votes from any nation I could afford.

After 12 turns I had a grand total of the exact same $15, hardly the grand fiscal black hole I was supposed to be. If this game sounds interesting to you, then the creator, Seth Alter, is asking only a mere $10,000 for rent and “living expenses” until summer 2013.

Source: Kickstarter

Jamie O'Flinn