So what exactly is Agenda? Agenda is a strategy simulation game in which through your independent agency you try to take control of the world. Even if that sounds easy it most certainly is not. The only game I can compare it to is Plague Inc. I don't usually play that type of games but I am pretty sure if you liked Plague Inc. you will also like Agenda. Instead of spreading the disease you spread world control by bribing, intimidating, smuggling weapons, media infiltration and other bad things and a few good ones... at least they sound good.
At the moment the game offers three difficulty levels, and for a first play-through, I do recommend trying it on easy even though there are tips to help you out. After you get the hang of the game you can go on hard for some challenge.
There are 5 main aspects of power, which you need to take care of for total world domination. Before you start you can choose one of those 5 aspects to be your main which gives you some bonus in that field. Each area gives you higher influence in their field, two positive and one negative benefit.
Economic has lower operating costs and higher resource production but also higher exposure rate.
Politics gives less exposure and more influence per operation but also slower operation speed.
Military has increased resource gain and more regional power with the same disadvantage as the economy, higher exposure.
Science gives a boost in resource production and operation speed at cost of lower influence gain.
Media is the last and operations give you less exposure and more influence but less regional power.
Different difficulty and specialization will start you in any of 17 different world regions.
In order to win you have to raise your global influence to 100% before your global exposure gets to 100%. You increase your global influence by increasing regional influence in each of the regions. I know, complicated, right? But that is not all, there is also region power, which you also need to increase so that you get more monthly resources and the region to ally with you. Why do you need allies? If you ally with a region they will not rebel against you and you will gain extra resources from them. Since I mentioned rebellion, I feel like I need to explain that part as well.
Rebellion happens in all non-allied regions when you hit a certain percentage of global exposure, and with that, you will get fewer resources from non-allied regions, fewer operations at the same time and war with your allied regions. To control it you have to execute operations that give you influence, resources, power and/or exposure in the region you execute them.
If you think this is all confusing, it is not, you execute an operation, get resources, influence, power, and exposure. Resources are needed to expand to new regions and execute new operations. Influence gives you upgrade points to buy upgrades that give you bonuses, and at certain global influence percentage you get agency weapons and at 100% you win. The amount of power increases your resource production and gives you allies, and the exposure causes rebellions and if that reaches 100% you lose.
Visually the game is very simple and flat, not in a bad way, everything is based around the UI which I think is better than in most games of this type. There is also a lot of different charts, overviews, bars which visually help you with what is happening in the game. What I really like is that there are just a few colors in the game, it is pretty much 50 shades of blue and they managed to achieve the feeling that you are doing something shady. In addition to blue there are few additional colors for each of the aspects and red that appears on the map that signals you something has gone wrong. I did run in few bugs, like a region never allied with me or didn't need any power, but that's expected for early access game. I did finish it multiple times, and must say that sometimes I forgot about the tech tree so maybe limiting the amount of power or influence you can get with basic operations would force player to use the tech tree for more advanced operations.
Agenda is an early access game developed by the small indie studio from Croatia. It is not the first game developed by Exordium Games, but it is their first in early access. A few months passed since the last update but we contacted the developers and what we heard sounds promising.
Exordium stated "We were surprised by the negative reactions from our players because, obviously, we didn't succeed in our mission to deliver a great experience to the players. It wasn't our intention to give the world a bad game but the lesson is learned."
Currently, they are working on some new ideas for Agenda to spice things up a little bit, but they are much more careful with their future decisions.
Despite Agenda having mixed reviews on Steam, I am on the positive side because I played it when they already fixed a lot of issues and added a lot more new content that people complained about in the reviews. I am sure if some of the people that left negative reviews tried the game now they would surely change their opinion about the game. More content would not hurt the game and I can't wait to see what new ideas the developers come up with.
You can get it on Steam for regular price of $9.99 or in the Exordium Games bundle along with all of their current titles.