BattleGoat Studios’ Supreme Ruler 2020 picks up where Supreme Ruler 2010 left off, bringing even more (as if that were possible) information from the world in which we live together to create what is possibly the most realistic world-simulation ever developed. Take control of a nation, grow it in the manner you determine (diplomatically, economically, militarily, etc) and impose your will on the people. Wield the sword of thousands of military units in global domination using conventional and ‘special’ weapons platforms. Will you start World War III and plunge humanity into chaos or perhaps emerge as a beacon of democracy and hope for mankind? The choice is really yours.

Supreme Ruler 2020 gives you multiple modes of play., with my favorite being the sandbox mode in which you make your own victory conditions and pick any nation on the planet to rule. Aside from the sandbox mode, BattleGoat has created ten varied scenarios to pick from each with their own storyline and conditions. One of the more interesting scenarios deals with a break up of the United States into its respective states. There are also some tutorials that help a bit with learning the game but they are fairly general in nature. This brings us to the game’s biggest issue: learning curve.

Starting off playing Supreme Ruler 2020 can be a daunting task to say the least. Unfortunately, the game has a very steep learning curve. The user-interface does not seem to make much sense to the uninitiated and just navigating through the options available to you will seem disjointed. Just keep at it. We found that after a few serious playthroughs of several hours each (games can go on for what seem to be weeks – not that such a thing is a bad in this case) we managed to get a handle on the UI’s stylings and game mechanics. If you are a die-hard action or casual game fan who despises actually taking the time to learn how to play a game, this game is probably not for you.

A key feature of Supreme Ruler 2020 that saved us much misery is the adviser system. In their infinite wisdom, BattleGoat has appointed the gamer several advisers in different areas (defense, state, production, etc) which can be assigned to automate facets of each. This will allow you to scale the game’s micromanagement quite a bit and helps free you up to learn the ‘bigger picture’ elements of the title such as the aforementioned UI and combat.

Combat is handled in a fairly straightforward manner. Once you declare war on another nation, you can click and drag around an area to select units and direct them to a destination. Forces can be kept in reserve to save dollars, dinero, rupies, Microsoft Points or whatever your home currency may be when not needed or even station them as guards in case you want to be extra defense in place. Of course the nuclear option is available to you should your nation be nuclear-capable, but be prepared to reap the consequences of your actions. The world at large seems to frown on nuclear weapon usage – go figure.

Diplomacy and trade is another huge aspect to gameplay. Deals will be offered to you from time to time asking for various things such as non-aggression pacts and commodities. You can create counter-offers if you like or even put together your own offers from scratch for your neighbors to consider.

The graphics of Supreme Ruler 2020 are a mixed bag. From a distance, the Earth looks great, with land maps taken from NASA satellite imagery. However, as you zoom in, the terrain begins to blur and pixelate as the level of detail does not increase the map resolution. Units are symbolized by small 3d models of their respective types. The models are fairly low-detail but get the job done.

Sound in the title is adequate, with basic noises where appropriate.

Overall, Supreme Ruler 2020 builds on what was started with its predecessor by offering a pretty incredible world-sim where you can prove even the smallest nation can make a difference. Fans of complex empire-builders such as Superpower and Civilization, rejoice! This game is for you, go forth and prosper in its myriad of options!

Official Supreme Ruler 2020 website.

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Jerry Paxton

A long-time fan and reveler of all things Geek, I am also the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of GamingShogun.com