Crisis! Earth's ecosystem is crippled! People are dying! Polar bears are dying! Unstable and erratic climate change sweeps the world! Hunger! Famine! The world is being torn apart!
Solutions? Give people food, discover new sources of renewable and clean energy, start reforesting programs, focus on educating the latest generation, and get them ready to tackle all the problems that will come down on their figurative shoulders.
Yet it's never that simple. Solutions for problems at this scale cost vast amounts, of time and money and those are two things of which you never have enough. It'll never be easy, and your answers will never satisfy everyone. That is the crux of Fate of the World.
Fate of the World is a game of decisions you make that will have far-reaching implications as you commit to them. You start in the year 2020. Tossed into a variety of scenarios with real-world problems (energy crisis, climate change), you spend on decision cards every turn that range from squashing civil unrest to investing in nuclear energy; the kind of policies that you'd see in the real-world. Commit to your decisions, and the game jumps five years, where you're given various news reports on what your decisions have done, how much favor you have gained or lost with any given region, and you start the process all over again until either you complete the prerequisites for victory, or the world reaches a point that it won't recover despite your best efforts.
"…Fate of the World is exciting in how it manages to hammer home just how impossible it is to find the correct solution for everything."
It's simplistic in theory and practice, but Fate of the World is exciting in how it manages to hammer home just how impossible it is to find the correct solution for everything. Focusing on one area of world or discipline negatively affects others that don't get as much attention. A jack of all trades method gets everything going at a crawl, while the world steadily declines into completely imploding on itself.
There's an ambiguity in really every decision you make, even when the decision card you commit to is all positive and good for the region, because you have the rest of the world to look after. Due to a deliberate lack of information on every single aspect of the world, it feels like you're merely making the best educated guess, and hoping you did the right thing.
There isn't much of a commentary in Fate of the World; it just presents facts of life and asks you to deal with them. It's an interesting game. It lacks deeper mechanics and intricacies that could've given the game more layers, but it'd sap much of what makes Fate of the World such a unique product. You don't have that kind of control, because in reality, you wouldn't have it. It's hard to really knock it down for that, but at least know that this the best 7.5 game ever.