Civic Story was developed and published by Shining Spark Entertainment. It released on July 28, 2023 on Steam. On behalf of the Handheld Gaming Community, I would like to thank Shining Spark entertainment for the review code.
This game centers around a parody of Canadian politics. Civic Story is a game that while making you laugh at clever writing, tackles some heavy issues. Buckle Up! Prepare Yourself! Civic Story will take you on an emotional journey.
Civic Story is an eight chapter visual novel with some point and click adventure elements. You play a person who works at Ad Nauseum. You write sensational headlines for different situations. This is where the story gets interesting.
You will have conversations at work with your three co-workers Tom, Ceceila, and Tamika. These conversations are centered the political candidates. They also focus on the big issues of the day.
You are asked your opinions on various issues. The better informed you are the better you will be able to answer. After work your character wants to get informed about what is going on in the world. You can watch tv news programs, look up information on your laptop, or check various sites on your phone.
The only issue I had in the game was when I first installed the game on my Steam Deck and Laptop. For some reason it wasn’t letting me click on New Game. I contacted the developer. Shining Spark Entertainment fixed the bug very quickly. The issue seemed to be one of resolution. The Steam Deck runs at 1280 x 800, and my laptop runs at 1920 x 1200. Both non-standard. I did find that before they applied a patch, if I ran my computer at 1920 x 1080, or my Steam Deck at 1280 x 720, the game did in fact run fine.
I did see that the framerate did get all over the place when I was moving around. On the Steam Deck this wasn’t all that noticeable, but on my computer it was noticeably slow. The game has room to be more optimized for sure.
The graphical style is a very simple low polygon style. It is very simple, but it works very well for the game, and still allows the characters to convey their feelings and emotions. For the most part when you are moving around in the game, the motion is smooth.
After your first day in the game, you go home to see on the news that there has been a vote of no confidence in the current government, and a new election will commence. There are five candidates from different political parties that will be campaigning to be the new prime minister. Each party has a different philosophy on the issues that Canada is facing.
One thing I really enjoyed was the diversity of viewpoints amongst your co-workers. They are not locked into those viewpoints. Your co-workers can be persuaded by the people around them, and by the information available to them.
The sound in the game is not the focus. The music was pleasant, and never really got old. The sound effects in the game were effective, and helped move the story along.
You can purchase Civic Story on Steam for $15.99. I think that for this price you will definitely get your monies worth. I finished the story in Civic Story in about 5 hrs. In that five hours I learned a lot about the structure of the Canadian government. Civic Story made me think about the different issues it tackled.
Civic Story took me by surprise. I was expecting a visual novel, but not one with this much substance. The developers were very responsive. I contacted them on a Thursday, and I went out of town. By the time I got back into town, they had fixed the bug in the game that was giving me problems. The game has a good message for people regardless of which country you live. Participate. As long as you participate in the voting process, and keep yourself informed on the issues, that is really all that matters. I would like to thank Shiny Spark Entertainment for the review code. You can buy Civic Story on Steam for $15.99.