Blue blooded aristocratic siblings trying to kill each other with an army of killbots and an arsenal of mind control rockets. Media corrupted, Presidents bribed, shares purchased, commodities manipulated - sound familiar? In Terry Cavanugh's pre-apocalyptic vision, illustrated with poise by Derek Yu, we have a game that is both lightweight in scope and heavy in connotation. You start the game by choosing from a family of rich assholes with different asshole proclivities, one is a politico, another a finance geek, another is a straight-up fascist and yet another is a science nerd, (but a mean nerd, not one of the nice ones). These people represent both the stark genius hiding in our frontal lobes but also the misappropriation of resources toward determined psychopaths, at the expense of the rest of society. It's like Oilgarchy but mil-gov and more pulp.
The game hinges on a linear economic simulation, you want to buy shares in governments (because they're basically corporations) and get more natural resources that you can use to get more money, or to build killbots. In order to really get things going you need to bribe the government to let you do whatever you want, and maybe control the media to suppress rebellion. Then you have to deal with your siblings, you knock them all off and you win. The best thing I can say about this game is also its biggest flaw, the exhuberant simplicity of dominating more and more resources is not terribly interesting gameplay, but it's fun enough to give you a sense of what being a megalomaniac is really like. The technocractic dystopia alluded to with the mind control rockets and corporate fascisms is refreshing, Cavanaugh seems like one of those people that "gets it". The near-future only seems clearly reflected by a comic-style game because the near-future seems so absurd.