First rate political thriller
Budding politicians with an interest in international affairs would be well advised to check out Conflict as it provides a thoughtful and surprisingly deep simulation of Middle Eastern governmental strategy. While this might not sound like much fun, it is actually pretty enjoyable and is certainly absorbing enough to please fans of Solidarnosc and other similar strategy games. Conflict throws players straight into the shoes of the new Prime Minister of Israel, taking over after the previous bearer of the office was assassinated. Your overall goal is to cause the destabilisation of your neighbouring states, which can be achieved by a variety of means. Gameplay is turn-based, with each turn representing a month and which is divided into actions, with diplomatic, espionage and military options available to you. In terms of diplomacy, players can choose to maintain current relations, improve them or worsen them, depending on their overall strategy. However, the attitudes of the other nations must also be taken in account, adding to the complexity, with each country having their own political agenda. For the military actions, players can choose to invest in weapons, including nuclear research, and to engage directly in war by opening fire on their neighbours. Conflict really is a quite fascinating excursion into the often murky world of international politics. Despite its seeming simplicity, there is an underlying complexity to the game's engine which requires that players use strategy and tactics in order to win. While not a game for casual players, this is an absorbing and often tense game which has all the appeal of a good political thriller.