The power is yours: 8 games that let you play God

Because absolute control is addictive

Enjoy being intoxicated with the sweet, sweet wine of power?

Put your control freak tendencies to effective use with these games that put the fate of civilisations, armies and even the very universe, squarely in your hands.


We all sit around complaining about the government/country/current state of affairs from time to time, and posit that we can totally do a better job if we just got the chance. Well, Democracy lets you put your money where your mouth is.

The turn-based game gives you charge of a nation, and through a series of decisions, you must win the support of your people and the ensuing elections that take place. Here’s where it gets interesting — depending on the laws you decide to pass and the policies you enable, the citizens of your country are going to react in kind. Lower the mandatory drinking age? The masses love you, but violent crime starts spiking. Legalize drugs and prostitution? Liberals celebrate but get ready for the religious and conservative bunch to riot. In the end, we found ourselves running a country similar to communist Russia and wondering how everything went so wrong.

On top of the arduous task of actually minding an entire country, the game also throws you real-world chaotic scenarios like an epidemic, sudden rise in pollution levels or economic crisis, so you can fully appreciate just how much of a shit storm being in political power really is. On the plus side, the game does much more for helping you understand how a government works in three hours than any social studies lesson ever could.

Total War

Fancy yourself a warmonger or simply have some bloodlust to fulfill? In the Total War franchise, the aim is simple — control a vast army and conquer. Forget things like diplomatic ties or establishing trade routes, this 10-part series does away with silly notions of peace and benevolence, instead getting straight to the heart of warfare. Because in case the title wasn’t obvious enough, this isn't a game that says, "Build an empire to win and feel great about yourself." It says, "You need to build an empire or you are going to die, pal."

The game blends turn-based strategy where military force, espionage and economics influence the player’s actions, with tactical battles that are fought in real-time 3D. There’s also a strong emphasis on historical accuracy (unless it’s the Warhammer edition, then yay, dragons!), whether you’re playing as a Shogun in the Warring States era of Japan or Henry III during the crusades. Emerging victorious or getting squashed along with your legacy is entirely up to you and the tactical strategies you adopt. Hey, no one ever said having all this power was going to be easy right?