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Game Review: Carbon Warfare (Mobile)

5
Game Name: Carbon Warfare
Platforms: iOS/Android
Publisher(s): Virtuos Games
Developer(s): Virtuos Games
Genre(s): Simulation
Release Date: November 10, 2016

“The time has come. I have bestowed you with wealth and power. Now it is time for you to repay me. Your world is doomed. Humanity is intent on destroying itself. You will help seal their fate”

Carbon Warfare is a realistic strategy simulation mobile game that allows players to experience the lethal consequences of carbon-warfare-1global warming from the effects of excessive carbon emissions. You ultimately are an overseeing power who is in control of what happens to Earth as time passes and the ultimate decider of the future fates of the human race.

The basic gameplay involves the player using strategy to find a winning combination of industries to invest in and application of natural disasters to cause the development of mass carbon emissions…increase the temperature of the Earth…..thus leading to catastrophic results.

To start the game, a tutorial level is provided to get you used to the gameplay and controls. The difficulty level is very basic and only gives you access to use your power to invest in industries and disasters in North America.

All main levels in the game grant you access to manipulate and invest in industries in all six continents around the world.

Just like a real life situation, time ticks away in days and months as you play to keep track of how long your decisions take to carbon-warfare-2come into effect and length of game.

The game starts you off in with a view of the Earth in present day, sitting at a stable 15 °C. Each continent reflects realistic day situations, including economic stability and climatic situations in each location on the planet.

You start off with twenty little gold coins (that have a devil looking symbol on them), and you start by investing in an industry in the continent (such as wood furniture or SUV’s). Investing in industries helps create demand for a product, thus causing more usage of different machines and materials….all which will contribute to the development of further carbon emissions. Any city contributing to the investment will have a red glow hue around it, indicating activity. As an affected continent starts to produce more emissions, you are randomly rewarded with more coins, which are necessary to further invest in industries. Each industry has an increasing coin cost to invest in, so sometimes you need to plan to save up for certain ones. Other investments are linked, due to similar materials, so investing in a chain of them can cause rapid growth in emissions.

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Periodically new headlines will pop up showing the effects of your investments, including temperature rises or effects on land quality due to the emissions. Also headlines indicating humanities efforts to battle emissions will appear in order to give you a heads up on so that you can strategize on how to stop them from spoiling your plans of planet destruction. This is done by carbon-warfare-4investing in media headlines, which promote that emissions are good and to throw off the public from become aware of the severity of CO2.

The Earth has 33 dedicated cities that will be affected by the decisions you make in the game (the tutorial will give you 5 cities in North America to work with).

Natural disasters, rising temperatures of the Earth, and resulting disastrous events all will have effect on the health of a city. This is marked by a house meter on each city, which will decrease in health as further progression deteriorates the population as an effect of the changing planet. Once the health meter drops to zero, the city is destroyed. A banner marker will appear to indicate the destruction of a city.

Once the Earth’s temperature rises by two °C, you will gain the ability to earn disaster points. A meter is slowly filled by emissions being created in the cities. Once this meter is filled, you can cause a natural disaster to occur. This can depend on the landscape of the continent, but disasters like wildfire, cyclones, and mudslides are possible. Sometimes the effect will spread carbon-warfare-5out and cause damage in a larger scale rather than in the localized area that you select. It may even trigger a domino effect, causing one disaster to become another. As you progress in the game, due to increase in emissions, this meter fills faster and you can cause massive disasters one after another.

As certain events occur (such as temperature rise has hit a marker point, ice caps melt, sea level rises,), there will be a general cut scene playout to show the effect of the event, including damage (or destruction of) to a city or change of the overall appearance of the planets landscape.

The game ends when either all of the cities are destroyed or humanity is successful in battling carbon emissions and saving the planet from utter destruction. A splash screen with your results from the round shows things such as, how long your planet survived and how hot you brought the planet to.

Once the tutorial level is completed, you unlock the ability to play the game in full. The basic game, called The Real World, has three difficulties (Normal, Hard and Lunatic). Obviously each one is harder than the next, and adds a depth of intensity to keep you on your toes in order to successfully wipe out humanity.

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In addition to the difficulty changes, each level also has a Hot Earth value associated with it. These are earned by successfully winning a game round (or you can use real money and utilize the in app purchasing). These Hot Earths are needed to unlock other Earth situations of gameplay, such as Nature’s Fury (where you completely invest in natural disasters) or Good Government (where you must also thwart government involvement to make good decisions for the planet).  These too have three levels of difficulty to play.

carbon-warfare-8Beyond that, the game is basically free play to explore and test out your capabilities to be a destructive force .

Overall I loved playing this game. It reminds me a lot of the game series, Plague Inc, wherein you experience the idea of facing real life simulation of cause and effect on the Earth. It is interesting to see how little changes in temperature can cause such extreme destructive effects on cities and the planet as a whole. The graphics in the game are well depicted and thorough, showing effected visuals as the Earth burns step by step.

I have to admit it is very entertaining to have this kind of power, and be sending massive firestorms followed by mudslides withcarbon-warfare-9 an impending cyclone one after another towards a vulnerable humankind. I enjoy the replay capabilities of this game, as it causes you to really focus on what is happening as you manipulate the planet, and the added difficulty adds an exciting challenge to outsmart humanity. Each gameplay is never the same, and sometimes you can figure out new tricks to be faster or more effective than the last.

I highly recommend downloading this game and investing some time playing it. It will  in the least give you a striking educational lesson into how the effects of carbon emissions on the planet.

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