Neocolonialism is about unabashedly being a bastard in a way that's smarter and more topical than any other recent game seeking smart and topical.
|But you're ruining everything in a way that benefits you so it's ok.|
As the head of a multinational corporation, you use your clout to buy parliamentary votes in countries worldwide. These votes let you elect prime ministers from among the players, who in turn present proposals for the parliament to vote for. Collectively, you'll propose and ratify mines and factories, set up free trade agreements, intervene in international crises, and build up your political power, letting you buy more parliamentary votes in other countries, slowly bleeding the world dry. After twelve turns of this, the game ends; before then, you'll want to liquidate as many of your parliamentary votes as you can, funneling the money into your Swiss bank account. Whoever's account is flushest at the end of the game is the winner, triumphant amid the ruin of the rest of the planet.
The play itself is simple, with a few choices spiraling out into a lot of possibility and nuance. Each turn has three parts. In the investment phase, players taking turns buying or selling parliamentary votes around the world until no player can or wants to make another move. In the policy phase, players vote on issues in each region in turn, and if they're the prime minister of that region, they can make proposals, including mines, factories, and free trade agreements, that affect the value of votes in that (and possibly other) regions. Because multiple players may benefit from a region, and no player collects income on a region if it has no prime minister, it's sometimes in your interest to cede power to another - especially if you can set up a shady backroom deal with them over it. In the IMF (International Monetary Fund) phase, some national crisis - a strike, a collapse - occurs in a region, possibly changing the value of resources in that country. Each turn, one player gets to decide what intervention, if any, should take place there. This can ruin strategies or open up new ones if you're clever enough to find them.
|The map is upside-down.|
|Help or hinder another player for personal gain, to set a trap, to strike a deal, or because why the hell not?|
In summary: Support it because it's important, play it because it's fun.
Subaltern Games website: http://subalterngames.com/