Farewell, everyone. Real life holds neither meaning nor significance for me since I discovered eRepublik. My final act within this incessantly real world will be the scribbling of this review, and then that’s it, I’m done. No more will the bonds of mortality restrain me – to eating, to exercise, to responsibility, I say “Pish!”.
Perhaps I pished a little early. As it turns out there’s quite a bit of responsibility to be had within eRepublik, so long as you’re inclined to plod off in search of it. Disgustingly, one of these duties is indeed that of improving physical fitness. You’ll need big strong arms in order to succeed in what I can only describe as the geopolitically-charged fusion of The World’s Strongest Man and multiple-choice exam which characterises the battles (or as eRep cutely terms them – ‘fights’) for territory that form the backdrop for this game. There’s a great deal of warring going on right now in eRep – if you join the eUK today you’ll find the local media moguls stoking nationalist fervour as the country prepares to defend its ally Argentina from quixotic Brazil’s brash behaviour – yet my priorities lie elsewhere.
I truly started to love this game (and I really, really love this game) when I discovered the lubrication. eRep’s political machine is so well oiled, it runs its own Korean hairstyling business. I’ve been playing a mere four days and I’ve already become a regular on the forums, signed up for a degree scheme, and become an integral part of the National Health Service – each of which has been established by the concerted efforts of twelve months of elected presidents, their governments, and the input of opposition parties and the general public. You probably noticed I said ‘president’ rather than ‘prime minister’. It’s true, the eUK (and every other nation) has a president. This is symptomatic of eRep‘s greatest weakness – there’s a deficit of flexibility in the way a nation can be governed. The developers have dictated that every nation must be a democracy, replete with monthly elections for president, congress, and party leadership, so we’ll see no dictators or diffused authority within this version of the game.
It’s not all doom and gloom for the power-mad. Once you’ve reached a certain level, newspapers and companies can be created or bought from less maniacal men, and used to wield power over those creatures who know so little about your true nature, so little. There are investigative journalists eager to pounce on the governments’ new ‘Gulags for First Time Buyers’ scheme, and companies fulfilling the role of provider to every segment of society.The eUK government seems content to allow the free-market to free-marketeer, yet the situation could be entirely different in one of the gazillions (perhaps just zillions) of other countries you could become a citizen of.
There’s only the one server, with a global population of around 50,000 and a UK population of 3,000. There’s a wiki set up, detailing the fascinating history of the world since its inception almost a year ago, and the internet is just brimming with further examples of creativity and passion displayed by the (generally amiable and intelligent) eRep community. Most of the countries speak English, either because they’re populated by netizens who’re familiar with the internet’s most common language, or because they’re really Americans/Brits who’ve gone on holiday and decided they prefer the exotic climbs of some far-flung land. One of the candidates for the eUK’s House of Lords (a bunch of clever chaps who’re not politically affiliated) is having his appointment blocked because he’s busy working as a Thai congressman.
In conclusion: in April, Belgium declared war on the eUK (in the game’s first ever war, no less) not out of animosity but in a deliberate move to be conquered and enter union with its richer, bigger, fish and chippier neighbour. Belgians are represented with their own party in congress and official announcements by our president are often bilingual. I love this game!
- Developers: Alexis Bonte and George Lemnaru
- Price: Free! Micro-payments are incorporated – these serve for the purchase of extra cash and the unlocking of level-restricted features prematurely – but the game’s fun without paying.
- Out Now