Review by DandyQuackShot
Become a World Super Power...Or Die Trying
After years spent playing around on Cyber Nations I found it surprising to see it finally added to Gamefaqs. Online and web browser games are much different from something you would play on a console. I can guarantee you though that this game is taken a little bit way too seriously by some but it has quite an interesting community if you are looking to find fellow online super egos. Cyber Nations is probably one of the best simulation nation building games around to find on the internet and the great thing about Cyber Nations is that is a free game. A simple registration process and you are on your way to becoming a super power.
Cyber Nations was created by a guy in Texas with nothing better to do than create algorithms for simulation games. Cyber Nation is his most successful as the truck driving and person simulation are not around anymore. Both of these later games were created but you did not have the interaction that Cyber Nations has even though it was interesting to use Google Maps to traverse the land scape. In Cyber Nations you create your nation and give it your own name as well as a handle for yourself. You can start off by selecting what type of ethnicity and national religion will be in your country as well as the tax rate and type of government. Various options will diversify the amount of revenue you bring in through income taxes. What you cannot select for your nation are the two types of resources your nation will produce. Each nation has two resources from a rather small list of trade resources which you will be able to link to other resources by trade with other nations in order to achieve certain bonus resource products. A nation that is created with Gold and Aluminum will have a much better time seeking resources than a nation who has to start out with Pigs and Gems.
And here is where the fun begins. Cyber Nations is a community based game where you soon find out that joining an Alliance is crucial to keeping your nation thriving. Some players choose not to join alliances and stay out of the game's politics but in doing so they risk being raided by rogue bandits or even an entire alliance. You will never have a problem in being invited to an alliance. I just now created a nation to check on any updates I missed since I left the game a year or so ago and already received two messages as soon as I logged in. Picking a good alliance is essential to your nation's survival as it is very difficult to fly under the radar as a rogue nation. Alliances typically have their own forum set up and website and the larger alliances are recognized by the Cyber Nations website with the flag of the alliance (created by the users) added to the database of national flags you can choose for your country as well as easy to access detailed statistics of the alliance. By joining an alliance you will have to follow their procedures to becoming a full member but will gain very good access to information about the game to make your nation the best it can be. If you decide to play this game then I recommend this as the way to go.
The mechanics of the game are what make it something you may end up playing for years or end up forgetting about and or lead you to quit. Collecting taxes is a daily process whereby you sign in and collect and then spend your surplus revenue on building your nation's infrastructure and adding technology and land to it to help it grow as well. It takes a lot of patience to grow your nation into a power house with multiple wonders and improvements, but to help that process go faster you can join an alliance and they will help you boost your economy through tech trading. Tech Trading involves a larger nation giving a smaller nation the largest foreign aid amount in return for the largest tech amount the smaller nation can give back. This is the quickest way to earn cash and grow your nation so involvement with the community is imperative.
A typical daily check on your nation does not require hardly ten minutes of your day so it is very easy to forget you are playing this game and risk having it deleted due to inactivity. I think the longest you can go without being active (collecting taxes) is twenty five days and the last time I was big into this game I ended up losing interest and forgetting to sign in. Politics is what drives Cyber Nations and to the point of some very interesting "off-forum" incidents as well as major "wars" in the game. Being involved with the game's alliance politics had me staying up into the wee hours of the morning getting ready to declare war for an "update attack" as well as taking my concerns public on the game's forum for alliance politics and ending up being put on various target lists. In my experience it was all in good fun but some very bad apples have taken the politics a little too personally and there was even an attack on the game's servers once. This is all due to a lot of internet groups creating their own alliances and taking rivalries to Cyber Nations along with former groups of other nation games and even communities forming from Gamefaqs' own LUE and Random Insanity boards. The politics would drag on for months until alliances start building alliances with other alliances (I don't think the game's creator ever thought of this happening) which created super superpowers. Usually blocs would form between two opposing sides split between sometimes good versus bad philosophies about how the game should be played or just because they could do it. This would all build up to major wars which are the best part of Cyber Nations. In the game, war is between one nation attacking nation and one defending nation but you can declare war and have war declared on you up to four times in one week periods. When alliances declare war, all nations in that alliance pick other nations out in the defending alliance and have it until the treaties of the defending alliance go into effect (or not) and another alliance steps in on the confrontation.
The mechanics of the game allow you ground assaults and assaults on infrastructure in which you can gain tech, money, and land from another nation or lose the same from yours if you are defeated by the defender. You have two turns to attack for each nation you have declared war on and the game updates at midnight on Central Time so typically alliances declare just before the update to deal the most damage to the defending alliance. I won't spoil all the fun of making war in this game but the nuclear option is always the most fun and destructive. Major Wars can be read about on the Cyber Nations' Wiki page, but having been part of two or three of them was the best time I spent on Cyber Nations. The anticipation and preparation are quite fun and working with the other members in your alliance creates great friendships. Of course these things take months to build up and even then you can tell who is going to win from the get go, but it is still great fun. Losing can cost you months and even years of your nation's strength though. And I mean actual months and years.
Cyber Nations can become a very involving game if you get into it because it has a devoted community. I think I kept this review unbiased but I can't write this and not give some shout outs to the Global Alliance and Treaty Organization (GATO), Green Protection Agency (GPA), and The Order of Light (TOOL-and I had great fun with you guys as The Wyoming Kingdom) of which I was a part of at some point when I played the game. There are other very good alliances out there too with some very notable players. Walford of GATO was the best of them all. Take that NPO ;-).
I think the scariest thing I came away with from playing Cyber Nations and after experiencing the alter egos of one very random internet community was how the treaties and speeches delivered so closely resembled our actual world's nation politics with each other and in decades past. Cyber Nations is a great tool for learning the basics of international relations and dealing with politics even though the mechanics of the game play itself require patience and luck. Unless you get really big into the community of the game you will more than likely end up losing interest after a while but it easy to just start over from scratch if you feel like you have the time and patience to join back in.
Could more elements be added? Probably. Cyber Nations could use some improvements because it is all due to the community as to whether or not a player keeps interest in the game. But you can get hooked on this game and I did spend a lot of time on forums and even more late nights waiting for the "big moments" and this game is free to play so I give it a well deserved 7/10.
Rating: 3.5 - Good
Product Release: Cyber Nations (US, 01/06/06)
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