No Future is a fun, unassuming educational sim about the effects of industrial development on the Earth's delicate ecology. Developed by Egosoft for the Federal Environmental Agency of Germany, this freeware game has since been translated into English to widen its potential interest. Although it doesn't need one, No Future has a plot: you are taken to a remote, pristine island in 1900 -- the beginnings of industrial revolution. Your task as the island's mayor is to develop it into a sprawling island city in 100 years. But the keyword here is sustainable development: it is not enough to populate the island-- but you must always keep a close eye on various environmental measures (e.g. soil quality) to make sure that the environment is not destroyed as the city grows.
You start out with only a few options, such as build industry and set tax rates. As the games progresses, various icons will appear at the top of the screen. These icons allow you influence the development of the island in, for example, agriculture, industry or by building roads. Similar to SimCity, you have access to more advanced buildings as time passes and your city grows. You will soon be able to build airports, waste incinerators, or pay exorbitant sums of money to implement environment-friendly measures. The help menu is accessible at any time by pressing F1, but the game is intuitive enough that help is not necessary.
With an elegant user interface, excellent pacing of gameplay elements, and high educational value, No Future is highly recommended-- especially to anyone who likes Balance of The Planet but feels that it is too intimidating or complex.
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