For the people is an acute, clever, and unique social visual novel. The game allows for those to experience being the head of a fictional communist nation. Francis River, whom takes the chair to lead his country, is a recent graduate and deemed exceptionally young for his role. Like any political simulation, some of the themes are dark and brooding. Whilst on the other hand, some decisions make you feel like a great leader. Let’s find out how the game shaped up.
Making Enemies and Allies
Being in power for any leader brings an interesting array of individuals to collaborate with. However, For The People delivers characters who are memorable and likeable in all aspects. Helen or Comrade Rosie is the character that you spend most of the game interacting with. Helen Rosie ensures that she acts as a helpful and dutiful assistant ensuring all your appointments and interactions are organized by her. As the game develops so does her character, at points becoming close with the player.
Other characters include head of the fire brigade, police, army, factories, and health care. All of the characters present themselves to the player and ask for help. The player has full control on whether or not they will assist them. Some of the characters such as Reyon Copper, present suspicious requests and activities to try and sway your political allegiance and carry out illegal activities. The player as seen above has different options, but they must realize that consequences come with these actions.
Francis River the playable character is very much determined by the players decision and political attitude during the game. Shaping Francis determines how you want your country to run and what ideals you employ.
For The People boasts a visual novel type gameplay on PC. The player starts the day with tasks which are primarily reading through citizens correspondence from the fictional city. The correspondence ranges from complaints to requests. Dealing with the requests/complaints usually cost the player currency. The player has a lengthy budget to start with, but this starts to disperse as the game goes on depending on the choices the player makes.
Budget balancing is quite a complicated feature of gameplay with limited tutorial. The player receives a map of the different sectors of the city and their production value. Different problems arise whilst budget balancing including pandemics, uprising, and issues with buying basic necessities.
Send recruited agents into the city to deal with illegal activity. Each secret agent comes with full descriptive background and ways to deal with different scenarios. Additionally, each agent has different strengths and weakness that can make or break a mission.
Artwork and Sound Track
The art work and soundtrack went perfectly with the overarching themes. The artwork does well to emphasize the symbolism of the orange army, a fictional army said to have succeeded and establish the fictional country in the game. Artistically and politically this is clever as it draws comparisons with the communist red army and their vibrant colors.
Music sets the scene by providing jarring audio and ambience during your rule as a political leader. No voice acting needed as the game is very text based. Personally, I feel this helps players imagination run wild imagining what characters may sound like. Leading to more fun.
Lack of Tutorial
One of the gripes with this game lies in its lack of a user friendly tutorial to help explain more of the difficult aspects of the game such as the production value. The economic factors of the game can be quite daunting for a new player, especially as the game presents as a visual novel for a lot of its game time. The game pops up some small simplistic text boxes to explain the process but could do with guiding the player through an example or sufficient textbox outlining what to do.
Other, than that the game is a unique experience for players who are new to the political sim genre or a hardcore veteran. The story, characters, and gameplay sets alight a new type of political sim and presents as a social visual novel where the players consequences can range from mild to severe. Looking past the lack of helpful tutorial and employing trial and error can help enhance the players experience.
The game is short and sweet being around 7 hours long minimum. However, there are five different endings and this helps strengthen quality with a replayability factor. Different playthrough, different decisions, and a different ending allow for a unique experience each time.
For The People can be found on the Steam store currently if anyone wishes to check out. Still on the fence, check out the trailer below and as always, thanks for joining us on this review.
25, Scottish, Gaming, writing and cooking 🧑🍳 🎮