Over the years, we’ve seen quite a few terrible attempts at using or creating games for propaganda purposes. We’ve seen dictatorships use footage from military games to ‘illustrate’ war victories. We’ve seen armies use games as training simulators for their wars. And well, we’ve seen all kinds of bad attempts to mock political opponents through the medium.
But the EU’s recent attempt at gamifying propaganda is worse than any of them, as well as hilarious for all the wrong reasons.
Because it plays out like a parody of the EU rather than a defence of it.
Seriously. You know the pro Brexit camps talked of the EU taking millions in tax dollars and not using it for anything important? Or how the many saved by not paying the organisation to be a member could be used to fund the NHS?
Well Taxlandia accidentally supports that exact hypothesis.
That’s because while the game talks about the importance of raising taxes to pay for services, winning during the game doesn’t actually involve spending the money on anything important. Oh, sure you could use it for services like a good prime minister or president would. You could improve the schools, fund more fire stations and help save the populace from natural disasters like floods.
But the game doesn’t encourage that at all. Instead, the ideal strategy the game encourages is… Up the tax rate, then do sod all with the money.
That’s it. That’s the whole game in a nutshell.
Just up the tax rate to 50%, sit on your backside for eight years and hey ho, apparently you win the game. It’s almost like the title was designed by Nigel Farage and UKIP to illustrate why the EU is a complete waste of money.
Yet no, it’s official. It’s supposed to be a game put out to support the organisation and teach people the importance of taxes in a user-friendly way.
So, in that sense, good work guys. Your attempt at propaganda works like a shining endorsement of the Conservatives austerity plans.
But it doesn’t stop there. Oh no, it turns out that encouraging lazy governance is only one of the game’s many problems.
Indeed, in addition to saying that sitting around doing nothing for eight years is how to run a country, the game also seems to suggest that trying to improve your lot makes things worse too.
Really, it does. For instance, what do you think would happen if a company invested in education? Say, they built new schools and universities, inspired more teachers and trained people to be more productive members of society.
Well, a logical answer would be that things would get better. Crime would go down because people had other alternatives to make money, the economy would start booming because the more educated population would setup companies and come up with disruptive business models to improve society and the level of superstition would decrease as people stopped relying on stories of ghosts and magical beings to explain the world around them. All things you see readily apparent in Europe today.
Yet that’s not how it works in the game. Instead, building schools actually increases the crime rate and makes things worse! As does building fire stations, improving the police force or doing anything to make life better for your citizens.
It’s ridiculous, and basically goes as far as to imply the ideal role of a government is to line its own pockets at the people’s expense.
And instead of helping the European Union in a term of increased scepticism towards its structure and activity, it makes a brilliant case for its abolition or abandonment. All paid for by your tax dollars too.
Thanks EU game development teams. Not only have you wasted millions of euros on crap like this, but you’ve made a game that outright shoots down your entire organisation and suggests it’d be better if taxes didn’t exist to begin with. Quite the own goal for a propaganda campaign isn’t it?
In future, try and make sure your advertising supports your goals. Or better yet, just avoid propaganda altogether. Games are something to be enjoyed, not a medium to be perverted into a marketing tool for a political organisation.
Back in April 2016, Nintendo announced mobile games based on Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing. Yet while the former got released quite quickly (and become a major success under the name Fire Emblem Heroes), Animal Crossing just kind of disappeared from the radar.
First it was pushed to March 2017 to avoid overshadowing Super Mario Run. Then it was delayed again, pushing the game further back to the third quarter of the 2017 fiscal year. And then after all that, Nintendo delayed it even more, just stating the title would be out ‘sometime in 2017’ as a result.
It’s like the game’s been stuck in release limbo, without nary a detail about the gameplay or mechanics have been released to quell people’s appetite.
But it seems that’s now all about to change. Why? Because as the title suggests, Nintendo has announced an Animal Crossing Nintendo Direct about it for Wednesday this week. Due to be held at 7AM UK time, this Direct is a 15-minute affair revealing the game for the first time, as well as giving more info on how it works mechanically.
Here are the announcements about it on Twitter. Courtesy of Nintendo Co Ltd:
So, if you’re an Animal Crossing fan who’s been waiting for this title for years, worry no more. Because by Wednesday this week, you will know how this new mobile game works, as well as how it compares to other such titles like Mario Run and Fire Emblem Heroes.
Let’s just hope it lives up to the hype, shall we?
But as well backed up as this article was, it was still up in the air as to whether any of it would pan out. After all, generation 2 Pokémon were in the files for months before they were officially announced. And the exact same thing happened with everything from generation 3 to legendaries.
Datamines don’t prove anything concrete there.
So, while it was likely a Halloween event was in the foreseeable future, it was far from confirmed.
Well until now that is. Because as Niantic Labs have announced in a new trailer, generation 3 Pokémon are indeed being added to the game for 2017’s Halloween event! Here’s the official trailer for it:
Yeah, it’s a bit more limited than we initially thought. For now, the only generation 3 Pokémon being added to the game for the event are the ghost types, with others merely being announced as coming soon. It’s not like 100+ new species are being added in.
But it’s still a good update none the less. What’s more, like the Baby Pokemon update before it, it acts as a nice teaser for what’s coming afterwards. That’s better than nothing, right?
Yeah, we think so too.
So, if you’re a Pokémon GO fan, check out! The event will run from today to November 2nd, and you’ll be able to get all kinds of new Pokémon from it as a result.
A while ago, data for generation 3 Pokémon was discovered in the code for Pokémon GO. This proved without a doubt that Niantic was planning to introduce said species in a future update, as well as that updates for the game would be continuing for a while yet.
But here’s the thing:
While we had some of the data, we didn’t have all of it. Indeed, things like Pokémon cries were completely missing there, as were certain stats the new Pokémon needed to work in game. As a result, while we knew said Pokémon were coming at some point, we didn’t know exactly when it’d happen.
However, things have now changed. Why? Because the latest Pokémon GO APK update has thoroughly datamined, with a very interesting discovery made as a result.
As you can see, it’s a special start up screen for the game, like the ones used for Halloween or Christmas events.
But it has one very important difference on it.
Yup, generation 3 Pokémon are prominently featured there. Like Dusclops and Banette, two ghost types from families added in the third generation of Pokémon games.
So, it seems like Niantic has unintentionally confirmed that gen 3 Pokémon will be coming in the Halloween update this year.
And that’s not all they’ve confirmed either. Oh no, another interesting addition is coming in the next Halloween event for the game too.
The Lavender Town theme from Pokémon Red and Blue! No, we’re not making this up. They’ve actually made a remix of the song specifically for Pokémon GO:
It’s pretty interesting given the game’s refusal to remix other past era Pokémon songs. After all, Pokémon GO went with an entirely new soundtrack, with every song being its own take on the Pokémon music style.
So, to see them go against that (and remix previous songs like Super Mario Run does) is certainly a change in pace for the title.
Either way, you can find more information about it on the Silph Road subreddit here:
Or on their official blog via this link. Check it out if you’re interested in the game and its future updates.
And then maybe tell us what you think of the changes in the comments below or on social media today!
Along with much more in the latest update. Because not only does this update include Daisy as a playable character (with double jump ability), but much more besides!
Such as an all new mode called Remix 10. This is like an endless runner setup, where Mario races through ten short levels at a time across an endless array of randomly generated worlds. It’s an interesting setup, and the varied segments really make you think about what could be coming next at all time.
Because these segments… are not just bits of levels from the main game. Oh no, that’s how it starts off.
When you beat a few worlds however? Then all new ‘remix’ versions of stages start being added in too. These ones add new enemies and obstacles to existing stages, with tons more rainbow coins being up for grabs for players good enough to beat them.
And it doesn’t stop there either. Oh no, stages could also be:
Random boss battles with Bowser or Boom Boom
Bonus areas with tons of rainbow coins to collect
Or even parts of secret and Star World levels. So those pink/purple/black coins you collected for super difficulty levels actually come into play here too. Since those brutal extra stages can come up in the stage rotation for Remix 10!
But what if you’re not interested in endless runners or Toad Rally? Are there other additions here?
Definitely. For example, now a whole new Star World has been added to the game, with eight interesting levels to experience in it. However, there’s a catch.
You see, while the Star World option is always there on the Tour screen, you can’t immediately access the levels. Instead, you’ll need to beat certain challenges to unlock them.
And these challenges are… interesting. For instance, you’ll need to clear a level littered with Goombas without killing a single Goomba to unlock one level. As well as race to the end of a tower stage with 60 seconds left on the clock for another.
And that’s certainly not an easy task here. The challenges are… actually quite tough, with requirements that require near perfection on the player to beat. Once they’ve done that? Then it turns out the Star World isn’t the end of the new content, and collecting all pink, purple and black coins in those levels is needed to reach yet more additional ones.
So, for single fans, there’s a lot to see and do with this update to the game.
This is then made even better by how Nintendo wasn’t lazy when designing this new content. Oh no, while they could have gone the cheap route and made some simple kaizo type stages, they didn’t.
Instead, they brought back themes and enemies from earlier Mario games and used them in all new ways. You’ve now got a tower with Scaredy Rats for example, as well as a forest with Scuttlebugs and a ghost house with Fishin’ Boo.
Yup, that Fishin’ Boo. The one you probably last saw back in 1990 when you played Super Mario World for the SNES:
That’s some serious dedication on Nintendo’s part. Not only for bringing in new themes to a game which already had a fair few of them, but for bringing back an enemy that’s had very few reappearances in the last 27 years.
This dedication then continues with the new music, which is actually both surprisingly catch and incredibly nostalgic at the same time. Why? Because it’s not just a medley of classic Mario songs, but one which includes such otherwise ignored ones as the Easton Kingdom from Super Mario Land and the dungeon theme from Super Mario Bros 2.
Add a few Kingdom Builder decorations (like a Fishin’ Boo statue) as well as the option to use your own music in game, and it’s a pretty damn good update all things considered. It won’t make people who don’t care for Mario or Mario Run return, but it’ll certainly please any die-hard Mario fans wanting a reason to play the game again.
So, if you haven’t gotten the update, go get it. It’s free, and it’s a nice timewaster until the likes of Super Mario Odyssey are released in a few weeks’ time.