Economic Conquest is a top down indie simulation game, where the goal is to build a large company and expand your business across the country. I have been provided with a demo version, and it’s with this demo that allows me to go through the first six missions. There are 12 more levels, as well as a multiplayer mode currently confirmed.
There is one map in this current version, a large continent with many small countries within it. Each country between holds some natural resources on it, such as metal, oil and wheat. Each of these resources has an accompanying gathering building that can be built in one of the two spots each country has. Having a matching gathering building and natural resource will result in a 25% increase in output, while a lack of a match will result in 25% less profit.
Befitting your position as a large multinational corporation, you are able to use money to gain the assistance of the local government.
You can either donate a large amount of money to charity, or take a risk and try and bribe officials. Bribing is much cheaper but brings around the danger of being found out and loosing a lot of influence with the government. Every 50 influence gained will give you an Investment rating, which is a measure of how powerful your company is. Every 6 investment points you accrue you have the option to either build a new building in a country you own or buy another empty country.
Befitting a game called Economic Conquest, there is a simulated in-game economy. Each of the resources can experience boons or downfalls, which will affect your profit margins. A long winter might occur, which will push the price of wood up, or new methods of building might start being used, letting stone prices drop. These changes are shown in a report box in the bottom middle of your screen, along with a time stamp.
The main method of attack in Economic Conquest is buying other corporations out. Selecting an enemies country will bring up a screen with two options on it, ‘mutiny’ wherein you pay money to members of the enemy country to decrease the other company’s influence, and ‘buyout’ where you can spend an obscene amount of money on buying the other country, improvements and all. Before you can buyout another country the competitions influence must be beneath 70, giving you a defense against a rich opponent. The buyout price is related to how much the country has been improved, and is often in the $400k region.
The AI is functional, albeit slightly simple. Over the course of the tutorials and the one match, I learnt how to completely outclass the AI, even when fighting against multiple AI opponents. Nevertheless the AI are still competent, and do offer token resistance.
The User interface is very simple, approaching a mobile game in their simplicity. One very annoying thing about the buttons is that when upgrading a building, giving to charity or buying out another country, you must first click the button on a larger screen with more options, then press it again in a separate screen that pops up once the first button has been pressed. This feels rather slow, and
brings up another problem. The actual button is bright to signify that you have enough money to purchase it, or darker to say you don’t have enough. The first button on the larger screen is permanently bright, so if you aren’t thinking it can trick you into thinking you have more money that you actually do.
Economic Conquest is currently in steam Greenlight here. I suggest going and checking it out and maybe giving it your support, as it is the basis for a fun and competitive game.