Grand strategy games are one of gaming’s greatest timesinks, with their highly detailed world maps and a smorgasbord of icons giving you granular control over every aspect of governance. These games offer extraordinary depth as you play your part in shaping history, leading a noble dynasty or nation across centuries.
But Secret Government takes that control to the highest level, as you lead a powerful secret society that puppeteers global events to take the world in the direction it wants; think Crusader Kings but with a tin-foil hat instead of a helmet.
It’s a machiavellian mix of historically accurate grand strategy and conspiracy theory, tasking you with influencing world-changing political upheavals like the Glorious Revolution in 17th century England, the American War of Independence and the Napoleonic Wars.
Your job is to influence, not to lead, so the secrecy of your actions is paramount. Integrate members of ‘The Brotherhood’ into positions of power in governments, uprisings and military leaderships to accelerate flashpoints in history, and ensure they have the outcomes you and your associates desire.
The game is presented through a map of Europe at the end of the 17th century, though this will expand to America and other regions as your web of influence spreads across the world. With shrewd planning and clandestine interventions at the right moments, you get to affect what the modern era will look like.
Diving into the details a bit more, you can influence government policy like taxation. Convince your insider to raise taxes for the peasantry, then watch with villainous glee as the masses rise up in revolt. You can also start trickling out radical new philosophical and technological concepts, pulling the world away from the old ways of monarchy towards nation-states and republics.
Over time the Brotherhood will grow, and the agents available to you will learn new skills and specialisations. That newbie with the gift of gab? Send him to inspire revolutionary fervour in America, or get a military-minded provocateur to flare up a border incident and bring international tensions to boiling point.
But you won’t be alone in this world of high-level scheming. While your work in the Brotherhood pulls events in your direction, a rival organisation will be tugging to take them in another. You’ll need to learn its goals, anticipate its interventions and outwit this group to advance the goals of your own.
Secret Government sneaks into Early Access on Steam today, when you’ll be thrown into the midst of England’s Glorious Revolution to manipulate its outcome and the direction the country takes in its aftermath. At the time of release, there’ll be over 50 covert actions for you to carry out, but with a project of this depth, you can expect much more to come in the game’s journey from early access to full launch.