NationStates Review

Following new legislation in Felix Terra, the nation is ravaged by daily union strikes.

Gee, all I did was give in to union demands…

For a while now, I’ve been spending most of my time with NationStates, a free, in-browser, text-based political simulator. This is how it works: you set up a nation, with your motto, national animal, currency, etc. Then you respond to “issues” once or twice every day. You then watch as your political, economic and civil freedoms unfold.

Now, this probably sounds like the most boring game in the world. And if it was just the issues, it would be. But it’s not. Although there’s no formal war or diplomacy mechanic, there is a forum where the users have created their own. Basically, you get on the forums and talk war, peace, riots, oil, water, the environment-all the fun things of geopolitics. Unless you don’t like forums, this is were you will spend most of your time.

Again, this isn’t a very detailed game, unless you’re a fan of forums, but I enjoy this game a lot. 9/10.

My flag. It even waves.

While your here, I guess I’m obliged to promote my region, 10000 Islands. Very friendly community, no chance of invasion(see the FAQ of the site), has an offline forum(which I haven’t joined… yet) and is generally a nice region. Check it out if you join.

Now, back to utopia building…

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Universe Sandbox Review

There is a very cool program called Universe Sandbox. It lets you mess around with the universe by adding planets, changing the size of stars, etc. You can even place silly things like bowling balls and dice. I downloaded the free demo, which includes the premium features for an hour, and basic simulation viewing as long as you want.

I must say, I’m very impressed. I opened up the Solar System simulation and placed the biggest star I could find just outside the Asteroid Belt . The gravity sucked everything into it within days(seconds in real-time). I was strangely… pleased. 😈 Anyway, It is a very cool program.

Some screen shots from Google Images:

This is Endor. Yes, it is in the game. The Death Star is even there. Geeks UNITE!

I divided by zero, and now a bunch of stars are in a row. Never. Divide. By. Zero!

I wonder if eggs would really orbit bowling balls in zero-gee...

I am extremely impressed and I plan to buy it when I have the money. Here is the link:

http://universesandbox.com/

THE VERDICT:

Pros:

*Very cool

*Includes a Star Wars Easter egg

*Extensive tutorial

*Reasonably easy to use

* Graphics are simply stunning

Cons:

*A bit expensive, at an asking price of about $20, or $10 on Steam

*Not always accurate, especially on higher times per second in the Solar System simulation

*Planets just get a bright impact point when hit by a smaller object, but will occasionally get bigger when hit by another planet

SCORE : 8 out of 10