By Flundran at 2020-08-26
Crisis by Pantelis Bouboulis and Sotirios Tsantilas has quietly become one of my favourite games. There is something really satisfying in the dark and sadly familiar twist in Crisis. As corporate leaders in the turbulent and downward spiralling nation of Axia you must find ways to work together to save the burdened economy and hobbling society while at the same time try to slit you co-competitors throats and amass status and riches for yourself. The storyline is alluring, touches with the current reality and maps well with the many mechanics of the game.
I am a big fan of the semi-cooperative mechanic that is a big part of Crisis. As you compete you have to work, negotiate and communicate with your competitors to maximise your fortunes in a John Nash-esque way even though there can be only one winner in the end. The choice between egocentrism and cooperations is a real balancing act and will decide your success, Axias success and, yes, your competitors success. Which way to go? How to figure out whats next? Well, that is the constant challenge. You have to plan and you have to adopt.
Speaking of plans, I tend to like my plans a bit too much and react a bit too late when change is needed. That is a theme in many games and in many games this is costly, in Crisis it is totally brutal. One misstep and you'll find yourself lagging behind, your only hope is that the others see you beginning failure as threat to their own progress and decide to give you just a little help so Axia, and you, doesn't topple over completely in a near future.
The engin building in Crisis has some really nice elements. From the placing of managers to get actions, to the industries and allocation of worker. There is a lot of fun stuff and a great feeling of building and creating something that brings you and the nation of Axia forward. The competition to manage and maintain your chosen path is diverse and intense in every turn. And still, you have to balance your greed and need with the other players so you don't sink Axia. At least not too fast.
And herein lies the beauty of Crisis. It's not you against all other, it's you alone. You play with other company leaders to bring Axia back to prosperity while at the same time outsmarting them and filling your coffers with riches. The jockying, the negotiation and the worker placement and engine building works so well together in Crisis. It's as brutal as it is rewarding which brings a really satisfying, challenging and enjoyable gaming experience.