The Republia Times

Good
  • Free and browser based experience with thought provoking outcomes
  • Interesting core mechanics that provide good challenge and player choice
Bad
  • Limited replay value with a lack of variation between game plays
7.5

The Republia Times explores a unique theme as players step into the important role of editor-in-chief and select the articles that will appear in the daily paper. Created 2 years before the popular Papers, Please you’ll find similar themes across the games as players struggle with determining what is right and then making that decision at potential personal cost. Playable for free in your browser The Republia Times is a short but thought provoking experience as you make many small decisions that compound into larger impacts given the influence of media.

the-republia-times-gameplay-welcome

Set in the nation of Republia the game takes place just after the war with neighbouring Antegria begins and the crushing of rebel forces that attempted to rise up against the government. As with any event of this nature the the public is still uneasy about their leaders and your newspaper company known as the The Republia Times can tilt the public’s loyalty in the direction that you choose. This is achieved by the stories that players opt to publish which can paint the same event in two different lights entirely or alternatively not publish information on a particular event at all.

To make your decision more difficult though players will find that their wife and child are being held by the current government in power. With your family under their control the government assigns the player objectives that need to be achieved through your newspaper with the first of which being to raise the public loyalty to 20 towards the government within 3 days of news cycles.

the-republia-times-gameplay-newspaper

Each day in The Republia Times lasts from 6AM-6PM which is just over a minute in real time and requires players to select from a number of article headlines which appear in front of the player for selection. From this list players will select the article they want, along with the applicable size of the article by dragging it onto their newspaper front page with a drag and drop game mechanic. Shifts in public loyalty accordingly come through both the stories you select but also the level of attention you give it with a large headline article having a greater impact than a small headline in the corner. With 20 newspaper hexes to fill each day you’ll have some small puzzle mechanics to contend with as you large large 9 hex articles, medium 4 hex articles and 2 small hex articles to fill the space.

Just talking about political activities is of course a dull way to run a newspaper so in order to expand your readership players will need to report on other things such as sports, entertainment and the weather. Balancing these with pro-government messages about military actions (or lack of) results in that interesting balance where players want to both grow their readership and alter the loyalty of the public within the time frame they have to keep their family safe.

the-republia-times-gameplay-result

Ultimately while it is a fine line to walk players can direct reader loyalty to either the government or the rebels which alters the game ending that you’ll receive. While neither of these endings and the pathways to reach them will be spoilt here they are both indeed thought provoking just like Papers, Please which would later be developed by the same person.

Summary:

  • Use the media to sway public opinion between the government and rebels based on the stories you select for your newspaper.
  • Meet your set loyalty targets from the government to keep your family safe.
  • Grow your readership with the right mix of articles by covering popular topics amongst your required government articles.
  • Pick the articles and sizes each day with a drag and drop interface.
  • Take one of two paths that are both equally thought provoking.

Links:

Videos:


Review Platform: Browser

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Written by
Samuel Franklin
Samuel Franklin is the founder and lead editor of the Games Finder team and enjoys video games across all genres and platforms. He has worked in the gaming industry since 2008 amassing over 3 million views on YouTube and 10 million article views on HubPages.

Games Finder is a Steam Curator and featured in the aggregate review scores data of MobyGames and Neoseeker.
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