Democracy 3 review

Tim Stone at

My ministers are looking at me like I’ve lost my mind. The country is an economic basket case, we’re trailing in the polls, and my next policy decision is... tougher abortion laws. I pause for the gasps to subside, then, like a political Poirot, explain.

Restricting abortions will mollify the religious component of the party membership in preparation for next turn’s ban on teaching creationism. Returning Darwinism to its rightful place in the curriculum, together with a boost to science funding, will help address the ‘technology backwater’ situation that is doing so much damage to GDP. A healthy GDP together with some canny VAT and corporation tax changes, should, in the long run, equal prosperity and – pause to sip water and anticipate imminent applause – the voter support necessary for victory in the next election.

Democracy 3 out now, political arguments with friends and family to follow

Perry Vandell at

Democracy’s a tricky business. You have voters to appease, special interest groups to tranquilize, and promises to either uphold or bury in the backyard—all while deciding which of your signatures looks the most patriotic. The world of political subterfuge isn’t for everyone, but that’s why we have Democracy 3.

Gratuitous Space Battles Outcasts expansion adds new faction, ships, many tractor beams

Tom Senior at

I know a man who was once consumed by Gratuitous Space Battles. The stand-offish strategy lets you design a fleet, sketch out a plan of attack and then deploy them against the enemy. It's like cultivating a bionic army of space-pokemon. Once they're away, you can only watch as they're lasered, rocketed and bombed into shimmering clouds of galactic debris. My friend spent hours tinkering with the modules on each ship. He tried sending hordes of tiny fighters into the fray. He tried lone rocketeering behemoths. With every iteration his score increased until he entered the upper echelons of the global high score table. Then, one day, he was gone. All that remained was his chair, a puddle of alien goo and a note in cryptic cosmic shorthand.

I sometimes wonder what happened to that guy. I like to think he was recruited by some interstellar warmongers to direct their ships. Wherever he is, I'm sure he's playing the new Gratuitous Space Battles expansion, The Outcasts.

Gratuitous Tank Battles treads new ground in Western Front expansion

Tom Sykes at

Positech's inspired tower defence/strategy game Gratuitous Tank Battles has just been given an expansion, which returns the tank-obsessed title to its World-Warring roots. The DLC, available for a modest £4.84, adds new American and German WWII units, plus a new single-player campaign comprising eight maps.