A game about World Government, Politics, Control and Cause and Effect.
You start the game but being elected as the new US President, your tasks take place in many issues like resolving crisis, avoiding wars in conflict zones, sending aids (military, technology and social for example) and having a good approval rating by the US population.
This game is one of the unique politics games ever made.
If you have ever watched the news, you probably saw a report involving a president of the United States. Maybe he was on a trip visiting world leaders, holding a press conference, or making a speech about some national or world event. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be the president? Being America's president is more than just public appearances; it involves a lot of pressure and stress, and is often considered the most difficult job in the modern world.
Shadow President gives you the chance to be the President of the United States. As Commander-in-Chief, you are responsible for foreign and domestic policy, and your ultimate goal is world peace and prosperity. How will you run the country and influence the world? This simulator recreates events that have led up to the current state the world is in today, but gives you the opportunity to change future for the better--or worse.
Shadow President starts you in June of 1990, just before the fall of the Berlin Wall, and not long before the collapse of the Soviet Union. Iraq is becoming more and more volatile, and threatens military action for dominance of the Middle East. Tensions are rising in the Soviet Union as its days as a Communist super-power are coming to an end, and the threat of nuclear war seems very real. People are living in poverty in South America and Africa, and cartels and warlords strip their people of their basic human rights. You have two years until your next election campaign, and you must try to garner enough public support to be reelected.
You are given access to the Shadow President supercomputer, which is your command post for overseeing the world. Every country in the world can be targeted to display more information about the current state of that nation--everything from public opinion, to human rights violations, and even the likelihood of that country initiating military or other hostile actions against another country. When you select a country, you can give commands in one of five categories (social, economic, military, intelligence, or nuclear technology) that may help or hurt that country, or you can send financial aid to the country in one of those categories. Depending on your actions, the global community may follow your lead or oppose you, and certain actions improve or reduce the public's opinion of you.
As president, you have your staff members to help and advise you as you go. At your disposal are the White House Chief of Staff, the head of the CIA, press secretary, Economic Advisor, Secretary of Defense, National Security Advisor, and Secretary of State. They will predict the results of your actions with or against another country, and tell you if they think your decision is a good one. Also, when you have selected a country, they will brief you on that country's status in the world and any information about the country that may affect America or the world. Your advisors are not guaranteed to you; they may resign their post if you do something really bad that they disagreed with, or they may even be killed. Likewise, your Shadow President supercomputer is not invincible. Your computer may slow down significantly if there are too many things going on in the world for it to monitor all at once. Disasters, both natural and human-influenced, may also affect your computer's capability.
When you issue orders for your country's policies with other countries, you often have to wait up to a week to see the results in matters that involve negotiations, such as peace conferences or economic arrangements. Some happen overnight, like political condemnation of another country, and others may occur almost immediately, such as blocking or restricting trade with a country. When your orders are finished, you will see the results in statistical form; these statistics determine the country's attitude towards other countries and its own people.
As president, your responsibility is to find peaceful alternatives to war, whether America is directly involved or not. However, there are times when you must decide to make a show of force in order to get the other countries to listen to you. If a power-hungry country threatens to invade a peaceful country, you can put pressure on the aggressors by establishing a military presence in the victim and neighboring countries. You can also dissuade the enemy country by cutting or eliminating trade, making it more difficult and expensive for the country to start a war. Just because the country declares war doesn't mean there will be bloodshed. You can file complaints with the UN, demand global sanctions against that country, and try to form a coalition to oppose them. You can even send the CIA to give arms to rebels in the country, initiate a coup d'etat to overthrow the government (hopefully a better one will replace it), or assassinate the leader. If all else fails, you'll have to fight. Hopefully, you can stop the country before it gains nuclear warhead capabilities and decides to try it out.
One factor that influences your actions is your popularity rating. Your popularity is based on surveys completed by the American citizens, and reflects your actions. Sometimes presidents need to make tough and unpopular decisions to protect the country and the world; this may not be too much of a factor in the early stages of the game, but may drastically affect whether or not you act later on. The rating is just an estimate, so having a 50.1% rating may not always win you an election. Also, if your rating gets too low, you could be impeached or even assassinated.
If you're bored with the pre-Desert Storm era, you can also try different scenarios. What if Iraq was allowed to invade Kuwait, and eventually conquered Jordan and Saudi Arabia, thus gaining control over most of the world's oil? What if Germany and Japan became the world's economic powerhouses and America's quality of life dropped significantly? What if the world's natural resources were depleted? If you don't want to play one of the scenarios that come with the game, you can experiment leading your country in different ways; you can even be a true "shadow president" and try to invade countries and do pretty much anything the president shouldn't do.
The major drawbacks in Shadow President are the lack of a US Senate to affect your decisions and the inability to visit other countries to try and strengthen ties with them. Instead of actually living the life of a president, you lead your country from a computer screen, much like the one in Maelstrom. Shadow President makes up for this with its strong gameplay and challenging AI. Much of the dialogue from your advisors consists of sentences patched together, but it is enough to convey the information you need to know. Though Shadow President is a complex game, the tutorial makes the game easy to learn.
Shadow President includes the 1990 CIA World Factbook in its entirety, and though the Factbook is only a reference and is unaffected by the game, you can get a good idea of what certain countries may do and what their past is. The Factbook is only accurate in the beginning of the game, as your decisions and actions can and will change the course of history.
And always remember: the world is watching you.
Shadow President is a DOS game, but it does not run properly in Dosbox. Fortunately, it works fine in Windows.
The date is June 1, 1990. Welcome to your first day on the job, Mr. President...
The game begins with a tutorial for those new to Shadow President. As the leader of the United Stares of America, the most powerful nation on earth, you have the entire planet at your fingertips! It is up to you, with the advisory of your cabinet, to make crucial decisions that will either make or break you. You are not limited to what you can do in the big seat.
Every choice the real president makes is now in your hands. The question is, what kind of a leader will you be? Will your actions lead to a utopian society and everlasting world peace? Or will you turn out to be a ruthless tyrant that rules his dictatorship with an iron fist and plunges the world into nuclear war? How you play the game is up to you! Although the primary objective in Shadow President is to promote diplomacy, when I play, I nuke countries I don't like, just for the hell of it (and that's what all the fun is about).
The graphics are something like those on the SNES, but this is a game that doesn't attract its players with good graphics, but with the complex challenges it presents. However, that is perhaps the biggest downfall to Shadow President: not enough action. None whatsoever! This game impresses me as being educational as well as strategic.
In order to play, you must first print out the "quotes sheet" on one of the files that download with the game, and enter in the name of the famous person being quoted in the DOS prompt. If you like games that challenge your mind without all blood and gore of other strategy games like StarCraft, this is the game for you! It is definitely worth a try.
An intriguing-- if a bit too esoteric and confusing-- political simulation, this game lets you become the U.S. President who must maintain approval rating (ahh-- that penultimate goal of presidency ) and deal with global crisis. Decide on national budgets, monitor nuclear threats, give foreign aids-- it's all in a day's work.
It is apparent that Shadow President designer, Robert Antonick, tried very hard to counter the conventional wisdom that political simulations are "dry" exercises that are best left to Cold War historians and statisticians. They have largely succeeded: although there is still a huge number of statistics and reams of text to pore through, they are presented in an attractive, graphical style, with neat animations. Summary statistics for each country, for example, is presented as an isometric city, with each section representing basic categories. Many skyscrapers mean that the country has a big population, while the number of nuclear symbols signify their nuclear capabilities. When you launch a nuke toward a country (be wary of a huge drop in approval rating when that happens!), you will see that same isometric landscape obliterated in the familiar mushroom cloud. There are also many clues to help you get your bearings in this potentially intimidating environment. You can consult an array of advisors on policy issues, and consult the CIA World Factbook-- the entire text of which is included in-game, and forms the basis for much of the global crises and situations you will need to deal with. With a solid economic, diplomacy, and political models, attractive graphical representations, and many "real-world" options and policies, Shadow President ranks as one of the best games of its kind ever made.
People who downloaded Shadow President have also downloaded:
Balance of Power (1990 edition), Crisis in The Kremlin, Ocean Trader, Sim City 2000, Conflict: Middle East Political Simulator, Rags to Riches (a.k.a. Wall Street Manager), Objection!, Sim Farm
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