Cyber Judas is the sequel to Shadow President, a strategy game of political and diplomatic power. In Shadow President you lead the country through the mysterious Shadow Network, an only vaguely described virtual network. The people don’t elect you – instead, you were put into power (and kept there) at the whim of a mysterious panel of anonymous figures. You maneuver to stay on top in whichever way you can. You can be the next great peacemaker or the next great conqueror in an effort to satisfy the people or the panel of anonymous mystery men.
In addition to updating the basic Shadow President simulation with new world data and better graphics, Cyber Judas adds two new layers. First off, you can now choose to play with a very autonomous Cabinet with power-hungry members. For an even greater challenge you can play the so-called Cyber Judas Gambit where, in addition to a feuding cabinet you’ll encounter one or more traitors out to destroy the U.S. and to lay the blame on you. It’ll be your job to uncover the traitor(s) through spying, thwart their plots and maintain power in the Shadow Network.
Cyber Judas has lets you access a variety of controls to view information and influence actions throughout the world. Because you are the President, you get to chart the course for the Nation’s policy almost single-handedly. Things happen in the world, and you have to choose how to respond. The gameplay is very abstract and complex. Adding in the fractious Cabinet members to the mix only increases the complexity – you have to weigh their advice at all times. Sometimes they might even give you bad advice, with nefarious purposes.
Another problem I have is that this simulation definitely focuses only on the Executive branch; Legislative and Judicial are basically ignored. While this does fit in with the fiction of the game, having to deal with Congress and the Courts would have only increased the game’s realism. In the end this is still a very niche oriented strategy game that will only appeal to those who have enjoyed the previous game, Shadow President, or another obscure gem with the same setting – Balance of Power.
System Requirements: 80486/33 MHz, 8 MB RAM, DOS
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