by Howie Howard
reviewed on PC
It's All For The People Comrade!
For The People is a new game about politics, at least that's what it's portrayed as being. In my opinion it seems to be based more on a communist manifesto way of governing rather than on a free democratic society way of doing things, and that could be construed as not so good. With the way things are these days, what with all the scary stuff happening due to the pandemic, playing a game of politics such as this might not be all that enjoyable for some. Myself included, mainly because the air waves are saturated with pandemic, riots and other such political news in the US and it feels like it is as nasty as has ever been.
At any rate, For The People (or FTP if you prefer) can best be described as a visual novel with the simulation of politics being the theme. These politics come complete with intrigue, spying, lying, and let's not forget one of the most fun political actions, the performance of hit jobs meant to smear opponents. There's also a fair bit of dirty tricks added in for good measure, just to make this brand of political intrigue as fun as it can be! Yes, that's right, I'm not a big fan of the game of politics these days, but this one can be fun if you like that sort of thing. If you like having to read small text on your computer until your eyes get sore then FTP is for you. Just remember that you are doing it all for the people, whether they like it or not.
Comic Books Are Funny, But How Funny Is Communism?
FTP looks more like a comic book than a novel with its dark looking and gritty scenes apparently from a bygone era. The story seems to take place in the 1950's or around that era. Scenery is dark with old fashioned telephones ringing and people dressed in decades old looking clothing. It is definitely based on an old Soviet Union brand of communism, because there is a lot of the stereotypical word 'comrade' being thrown around in the text. I was kind of disappointed with this communist theme and would have preferred to be able to choose the path that I would take in order to fix the problems in the city I was appointed to lead.
You begin the game after a short introduction and after being appointed Mayor of the city named Iron-1. Iron-1 is an industrial workers paradise that is located in The Union of People's Orange Communes. It would have been nice to be able to use more of a capitalist or democratic form of government instead of being required to use the strict communist doctrine of pacifying the people, whilst at the same time keeping The Party happy. The way it works in FTP is that the people make demands and the Mayor (the player) needs to decide whether to bend to their demands or take the party line to keep the party happy. There is a bit of a trade-off required in the decision-making process. The party is called The Union of People's Orange Communes. At first, I thought the “Orange” reference was a jab at Trump, but then I thought better of that and just figured that it was probably a parody or a coincidence. However, it doesn't really matter because one communist doctrine-based government in this game is the same as any other because both are not so good - at least for the citizenry it isn't. So be hard on the people and fail to take care of them and your favor with them falls while the party favor rises. If you cannot balance between the two then the population will revolt or the party will send you packing, it's as easy as that.
Communism Is Unique, Really, It Is...
For the People can be a unique experience for some but for others it might feel like being transported back in time to an era long before the wall came tumbling down in Berlin. This subject could be a controversial one these days and it might feel boring and bland, but the writers have pulled it off with a descent story line. There is some replayability in that you can chose different ways to take care of the people, or not. Just interpret your staff's personal dossiers in a different way and make a different staff member deal with a problem and see what happens. For The People has my recommendation for fans of the socialistic communist form of governmental and political management style. Viva la revolution, comrades, the battle continues!
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Replayability - you can play again using different helper characters and tactics.
Playing felt like I was transported back to a time that really wasn't all that fun for people in such political philosophies