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SummaryA flirt with political science
The GoodThe opportunity to play with politics
A very rare gaming subject
It's good to see the consequences of each agenda unfold
The BadPresent sometimes, a narrow political spectre
The Bottom LineIn Hidden agenda you are the new leader of a fictitious country in Central America called Chimerica. Chimerica, as most countries of Latin America at the time (the game takes place at late 70's or early 80's), was ruled by a corrupt dictator.After losing support from the US, the government of Farsantes (the dictator), who was already facing a strong opposition, falls, and you are chosen to become the temporary leader in the democratization process.
However your mandate will be a difficult one, as all sections of society have been neglected and expect you to fulfill theirs expectations.The first thing you do is answer journalists about yours plans, and select ministers from the most eminent characters of the three political parties.When facing a problem (and soon there will be lots of them) you have the option to agree with the proposition of the person interested in the matter or stick with the opinion of your minister, so selecting the right ministers will be the key for an productive government .
You are free to chose a right-wing, a moderated or a left-wing solution for any problem, but be prepared to deal with the consequences of your actions.At any point, you may face a coup, or even be exiled by your own party buddies, so don't expect a long reign if you try to become a bloody dictator.
As I see, the left-wing policies are stronger in this game, because most of their agendas are popular, even for the sake of the country.At the same time, the right-wing displayed comprehends only Chicago-like neoliberals (so if you are a neomalthusian or keynesian you will be closer to the center than to the right), something that prevents a right-wing leader to be successfully most of times.Also, the socialists are much more likely to reach a successfully coup than any other group.
Even with these strong problems, hidden agenda is still a very solid flirt with political science, and is recommended to any player that doesn't mind with it's black and white simple graphics.