Tom Clancy's Politika

Strategy 1997 Windows Red Storm Entertainment Board games

Average political board game

This game is based on the novel and board game by legendary novelist Tom Clancy, whose other works have given us the likes of the Splinter Cell and Rainbow Six series, but this is a very different kettle of fish to those action games. Instead, this is a Risk-like experience which is set in Russia, and while it is intriguing, its lack of depth and wide appeal make it one for diehard board game fans only. Playing out in a turn-based fashion, players take the role of one of eight factions vying for power in a complex political environment where President Yeltsin has just died but with no obvious successor to step forward. The goal is to gain influence, and players must make complex decisions in several different areas, including production and trading, with the intention of pushing out your rivals. Several special cards are available and which can affect your progress, with both war and diplomacy playing equally important roles in the pursuit of success. On paper, this has all the makings of a great board game, but unfortunately a few flaws bring it down. When played against the computer, the game can get slow as the AI opponents take a long time making their decisions. Bringing in a human player can alleviate this problem and the game is best played in this fashion. Graphically too, Politika is dated, even when compared to other games from the period, but the biggest issue is that the gameplay lacks the strategy and tactical depth that such a game requires. Politika certainly isn't terrible but it is by no means a must play, even for hardened board game and strategy addicts, with something like Advanced Civilization or History of the World being better bets.

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