Want To Know How To Run A Government? These Five Games Will Show You

By Michelle J. Brohier on May 8, 2018

Whoever wins in the upcoming general elections in Malaysia has a lot to celebrate. They have five years to run this country, and we can only hope they bring us to greater heights. But this comes with a number of challenges as expectations and demands are high from us citizens, and failure to meet them could create more discourse and chaos within the country.

As we make our stand on who we want to take on this heavy task, what better way to get a taste of what they will be doing in the next five years than simulating their experience with games! So here are five games that gives you an insight of the ins and outs of being part of the government and running the country.

Cities: Skylines

Let’s start with a game that’s less about politics and more on city maintenance. In this expansive city simulator, players possess absolute mayoral power in governing and regulating their cities. One of the best things about this game is that it provides players with various city management-related elements to play with and stress about. For example, you can map public transportation routes, impose taxes, manage utility budgets and create districts (commercial, residential, industrial etc.) among others. If partaking in multitasking shenanigans on a city’s development sounds like a ton of pressure, imagine running an entire country…

Interesting fact: somebody actually recreated Putrajaya in this game.

Cities: Skylines is currently available on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Dragon Age: Inquisition

For a more fantasy take on running a nation, Dragon Age: Inquisition puts players in the shoes of the Inquisitor who possesses a glowing left hand with an ability to seal the thousands of magical rifts scattered across Thedas. Your task is to lead people all over the continent, regardless of which factions or nations they belong, to unite against one common enemy that threatens the safety of Thedas.

That means you need to engage in a lot of diplomacy missions where you have to settle the long dispute between mages and templars, uncover the murder plot against the empress of Orlais and there’s even a side quest in the game where you become the judge, jury and executioner yourself. Of course, every decision is entirely up to you with the help of advisors and eclectic party members to be the kind Inquisitor or the cruel Inquisitor.

Dragon Age: Inquisition is currently available on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Fable III

Here’s another game that is more in-line with fantasy but still has elements of running a country. In Fable III you play as the little brother of a tyrant king, and your goal is to overthrow him. But before you become King, you are a Hero. You slay warlords, find keys as well as shoot gnomes. You may think this is meaningless to running a country, but your actions during your time as a Hero determines the type of ruler you become in the future. Rally the people and you start a revolution to overthrow your own brother.

Will you be another tyrant and increase the burdens of your people? Or will you be kind by making life easy and fair for all? The choice is yours, but choose wisely.

Fable III is currently available on Xbox One.

Civilization VI

If there's ever a game that gives you the literal feeling of running a country, it's this one. Civilization VI comes with an upgraded engine as well as being a more fine tuned version of the previous releases. You can choose between 20 leaders or civilisations, each with their own agendas, as well as "hidden" agendas. As you continue to trade with these different civilisations, you can gossip to get information about other leaders which could make your relationship with them better or, well... chaotic.

Other than dealing with the other leaders around you, you also need to take care of your own citizens with housing and food, as well as make decisions that could affect the growth of science, culture and tourism in your own civilisation. The game definitely gives you a deeper look into what it really takes to run a country!

Civilization VI is currently available on PC.


Recently released, Frostpunk is based on the ice-age and you play as the captain/leader of a group of survivors. You are tasked with taking care of your people by making sure everyone is sheltered and warm; managing and scavenging resources like coal, wood and steel; create laws when times are tough which could increase or decrease hope and discontent; and fulfilling or breaking promises to your people. Failure to do so and the people will revolt!

Frostpunk is currently available on Steam.

Have you played any of these games? We’d like to know if you managed to run your country successfully so be sure to tell us in the comments, or on Facebook or Twitter.

If you’re more keen on playing games that are more geared towards the Malaysian scene, be sure to check out these Malaysian games!

Michelle J. Brohier
About the Author
Casual gamer with a lot of thoughts and dance moves to share.
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