It's Not Easy Being Green
Tipping Point Issues Real World Challenges And Catastrophes
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It's about time that a game came out that really makes you think about the world, and ways to try and save it from some terrible fates. Fate of the World: Tipping Point is it. It's all based on the research of Professor Myles Allen of Oxford University, and yes, it's so real at times that it's downright scary.
Fate of the World: Tipping Point puts you in charge of a fictional organization (which is basically a conglomeration of real world organizations like the United Nations) in charge of protecting the environment and generally improving the human condition on Earth. It challenges you through an extremely difficult group of scenarios. Each scenario is hard in and of itself, but it gets almost impossible later on. I suppose it tries to show how difficult a situation in the real world might become. And it succeeds on that point.
The first scenario had me in Africa trying to help the population. Here is where I had to try and solve my first minor problem. My goal was to increase the overall HDI by 0.7 percent. First, I gazed at my computer blankly for a few moments trying to figure out what HDI was. It took another couple minutes of me digging through the in game encyclopedia to find out it meant human development index. Now, so you know what HDI is, Wikipedia defines it as "a comparative measure of life expectancy, literacy, education and standards of living for countries worldwide. It is a standard means of measuring well-being, especially child welfare. It is used to distinguish whether the country is a developed, a developing or an under-developed country, and also to measure the impact of economic policies on quality of life."
I couldn't wait to be able to go down to Africa and see the area I'd be working on. After hiring a few agents and sending them to the area, I selected the location. But, another menu opened up and told me that I don't get to go see the area. Instead, I sat and stared at the Earth while I picked what policies I wanted to run. This was all done using cards. I was hoping for a bit more given the serious nature of the game. But I found that the choices were still pretty rough. It's by no means easy to solve the world's problems, even if the answers are simplified into a series of cards.
In later scenarios you are in charge of twelve areas. Each card costs money, and you have to hire extra agents so you can play more cards. No matter how hard you try, you never have enough money, so I guess that's pretty realistic. Unless you shift your entire focus towards commerce, you are going to have money problems. But then, the time you sink into making money throws you off your objective and you fail anyway. You get rich, but don't save the world. My brain was hurting trying to come up with a tactic to solve those issues. I never found one that worked. This may be the point of the game actually.
After every turn (which is equivalent to five years) they give you some graphs that show how well you are doing. In order to figure out where my HDI was, and why it was so low, I had to go on a fishing expedition through a bunch of graphs and statistics. Being a sociology major, I'm used to looking at stats, but the average gamer would rather their information be more readily available.
Often times I found myself frustrated because it seemed like the policies didn't make any impact on the world. Cards that make the population happier never did, cards to prevent global warming only seem to have an effect if you picked them in your first turn. After that it was too late. And it felt as though certain countries were programmed to just cause problems.
Playing Fate of the World is not without it's bright spots. This game has incredible graphics. Everything is crisp and very colorful. The Earth, what you see the entire time you play the game, is brilliant and really well designed. The background music and overall audio are stellar. And when you actually do some good, you feel like you've really accomplished something.
One thing I like the most about the game is the concept of it. If I rated this game off the idea of it alone, I would have given it a perfect five. Fate of the World is truly a first of its kind, and I believe that the people at Red Redemption are geniuses for showing that the world has problems that aren't all that easy to solve. And they did it in a fun way.
Unfortunately, the way they put this title together just missed the mark just a bit, especially in terms of the casual game market which I think would be the most likely to play, and probably the group which the game's message could do the most good. If you're a die hard strategy fan or you want to try your hand at saving the environment and the world, then you probably love Fate of the World.
This game is fated to earn 3 GiN Gems, for being a fun way to realize just how difficult it is to turn things around from the bad path we seem to be headed towards.
Neal Sayatovich loves the twists, turns and scares of a well developed horror game. Contact him at : firstname.lastname@example.org.