Democracy 3

Game review by
Chad Sansing, Common Sense Media
Democracy 3 Game Poster Image
Balance ambition and political obligations in government sim

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

Parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive messages

When your government works well, kids get positive turn-by-turn feedback about their polling, the economy, and the challenges facing their countries. When things don't go so well, the feedback quickly sours.

Positive role models & representations

The constituency and cabinet are very diverse, but kids don't really interact with these people except as part of the statistical engine running the game.

Ease of play

While the main interface seems crowded and daunting at first, a brisk tutorial system helps parse it and focus the kids' attention.

Violence

While the game doesn't explicitly show violence, kids will read about and sometimes hear audio cues for violent acts such as riots, military action, terrorist attacks, and assassinations.

Sex

Some of the government policies, like those concerning same-sex marriage and reproductive rights, reference human sexuality.

Language
Consumerism

At times kids have to make decisions about consumers' rights and economic policies like the luxury tax which might spark reflection on personal values.

Drinking, drugs & smoking

While drinking, drug use, and smoking are not shown, kids can weigh in on policies about the legal drinking age, legalized drug use, and taxes on drugs like alcohol and tobacco.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Democracy 3 is a downloadbale strategy game about real-world government and politics in several Western nations. Players take on the role of President or Prime Minister of Australia, Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, or the United States. Each turn, players get an amount of political capital to spend on changing existing policies or implementing new ones. Popular policies bring in more political capital than unpopular ones, so players might find themselves compromising their values to survive as a politician. Turn-by-turn feedback gives players notice of how they're doing, and poor or unpopular performances can lead to domestic trouble and even assassination (though assassinations can be turned off in the options menu). Democracy 3 doesn't shy away from tough issues like drug policy, economics, gambling, imprisonment, poverty, reproductive rights, same-sex marriage, or surveillance, so parents might want to play along with their kids and take the game as an opportunity to discuss these issues.

User Reviews

Adult Written byAn Enigma April 4, 2015

Trying Out Government Opinions

This is the most realistic government simulation there is. It has a tough barrier to entry, but it puts you in the shoes of a real president/prime minister. Wan...
Teen, 14 years old Written bystratarxis13 May 29, 2014

THE BEST

There is no violence or anything bad. The game is the best educational game i have ever see.

What's it about?

In DEMOCRACY 3, players lead one of several Western democracies as either President or Prime Minister. By spending political capital -- the game's main resource -- players enact popular policies or curtail unpopular ones. The more successful they are, the more capital they gain. It's all about managing a ton of moving parts, and monitoring the economy, polling, and threats facing the country so that capital can be steered toward policies that get things done, and, most importantly, keep the player's party in office. This task is difficult but not impossible with some compromise and clever management.

Is it any good?

Democracy 3 simulates the delicate surfing of political waves. Political fortunes rise and fall with economic factors, policies, and voters, each impacted by players' choices. It does a good job of suggesting what it's like to govern a democracy that depends both on money and votes, and balances the needs of the people and the survival instincts of politicians. The interface is designed well -- capturing all of the complex network of influences well, and helping players make decisions. Players also learn quickly they need to compromise, reflecting well the day-to-day tightrope of politics. The cultural and political issues that win and lose voters' favor are made visible, but it's easy for them to get lost. As a result, sometimes it feels like your decisions are targeting these issues well and winning favor, but other times it's easy to feel lost and blindsided, with little to do other than get voted out.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can discuss how playing government-simulation games can help inspire and prepare them to be active digital citizens.

  • Families can discuss important contemporary policy debates, exploring the differences and similarities between policies and their outcomes in the game and real life.

  • Families can explore how democracy works differently in different countries.

Game details

  • Platforms: Linux, Mac, Windows, iPhone
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Available online? Available online
  • Developer: Positech Games
  • Release date: October 14, 2013
  • Genre: Strategy
  • ESRB rating: NR for The first Democracy game received a T rating for drug references and mild suggestive themes.

For kids who love civics and politics

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate