Review – AdVenture Communist

AdVenture Communist is merely a tool of Capitalization masquerading poorly as “the world’s greatest communism simulator!” and it makes my red blood boil.

AdVenture Communist is the sequel to Hyper Hippo Games’ AdVenture Capitalist, which I made my thoughts about very clear in my feature on Capitalist propaganda video games.

And while on its surface, this sequel might seem to be more my sort of thing (and initially piqued my interest) I’m here to tell you otherwise: AdVenture Communist makes me angry. Why? Because its thin veneer of Communist themes is nothing but a sham. Allow me to explain.

AdVenture Communist is relatively simple in regards to its mechanics: it’s a clicker game with resource management, where you maintain the production of five different state resources: potatoes, land, ore, weapons, and medicine. You do this by clicking, with each click creating one of that resource, and filling up an upgrade bar that you can redeem after a certain value has been reached to increase the multiplier of resources-per-click.

You eventually work your way up to using these resources, as well as another base resource called Comrades, representing the number of general workers that you have available, to purchase specialized workers that obtain those resources automatically without you needing to click. On top of this, you can use Scientists, a sort of currency (we’ll get onto that) that you use to expand the technology that you have available to maximize your clicks: improved base multiplier buttons for your resources, temporary mega-boosts to resources-per-click for a limited time, and even automatic clickers.

This all then feeds into resource expansions, that give you more of the expansion preceding it, which give you more than the expansion preceding it, and so on. For instance, you buy Communes to give you more farmers, Collectives to give you  more Communes, Plantations to give you more Collectives… you get the jist. You also get one mega-expansion that you can claim every six hours real-time to gain a Scientist.

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Notice anything familiar? Understandable: AdVenture Communist  is effectively a restructured re-skin of AdVenture Capitalist. There are a few minor differences, but we largely see the same elements: resources replace investments, expansions replace managers, and so on. And if it wasn’t enough that AdVenture Communist  is a Capitalist propaganda video game wearing a budenovka and a hammer-sickle shirt, the game also comes with its own set of problems.

Many of them are quite small but come at the expense of attempted improvements, like being able to hold down the mouse button to produce resources, but not to produce specialized workers, which seems like quite an RSI-inducing oversight. Others are quite inherent in the game’s mechanics, like alleged bugs poor multiplier balancing late-game. But worst of all?

Like its predecessor, AdVenture Communist has pay-to-win microtransactions.

Remember those Scientists we talked about? The resource that lets you purchase quite significant progression boosters? Well, if you go to the shop in-game, you can buy them. With quantities and prices ranging from sixty Scientists for $1.99, to twenty thousand scientists for $99.99.

This fucking clicker game gives you the option of spending a hundred dollars in one go on upgrades that relieve you of the need to click on things. It was already present and absurd in AdVenture Capitalist, but in a game  that claims to be “the world’s greatest communism simulator,” and the “most glorious game ever,” it becomes an especially evident farce.

AdVenture Communist is nothing but an attempt by the Bourgeoisie Hyper Hippo Games to capitalize off of the glorious aesthetics and themes of Communism, and it does so with such gall and blatancy that I need to listen to Laborwave to calm down from the anger.

[DISCLAIMER: ANY NONSENSICAL CONNECTIONS MADE BETWEEN VIDEO GAMES AND COMMUNIST THEMES, ZEALOUS AND SELF-RIGHTEOUS DICTATOR-ESQUE BEHAVIORS, AND PERCEIVED SUPPORT AND/OR APOLOGISM OF OPPRESSIVE REGIMES LIKE THE SOVIET UNION ARE PURELY INSTANCES OF SELF-SATIRE AS A MEANS OF COMICAL INTROSPECTION, AND IN SOME CASES HAVE NO BASIS IN TRUTH OR PERSONAL BELIEF.]

 

Four Capitalist Propaganda Video Games

The Triple-A games industry is a propaganda machine for the Capitalist ruling class. Here are a few examples of its worst offenders.

The world that we live in today is dominated by a Capitalist society. Money and discrimination are it’s primary tools, with big business corporations relying on the subjugation and slave labour of the lower classes. I believe that the Triple-A video games industry as it stands today is used in part as a propaganda device in order to brainwash the people into believing that any ideology outside of capitalism is evil, and here are some of the worst offenders (in no particular order, because as filthy and Capitalistic as they are, I will not reduce myself to implementing their methods of hierarchy.)

 

  • The Sims

The Sims is a simulation game in which you create a character, place them in a home, and attempt to make their life successful and satisfy their needs. It’s also a blatant and shameless advocate of Capitalism and Consumerism. You force your Sim(s) into jobs where they waste away their lives for measly pay checks, and what can their needs be almost entirely satisfied by? That’s right, buying things.

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By becoming mindless consumers and contributing to the Capitalist regime, The Sims tells us that they will be truly happy. This is false consciousness! By teaching players of The Sims that their Sims will “fail” if they do not become upper-class bourgeoisie, they indoctrinate them into the mentality of submitting to their corporate overlords in order to attain true success and joy.

 

  • Any Tycoon Game

You know the culprits: RollerCoaster Tycoon, Zoo Tycoon, Airport Tycoon, Golf Tycoon, Moon Tycoon… an endless ocean of games in which the sole goal is to make as much money as possible. Of course, the aesthetic design of each Tycoon game will differ, a poor attempt to dress up it’s filthy Capitalist ways with log flumes and fluffy animals.

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Take RollerCoaster Tycoon Worlds, for example. It’s evil, capitalistic indoctrination is even more insulting considering its objectively poor design and quality, a symptom of a Capitalist regime juggling the project between three different development studios to date.

 

  • AdVenture Capitalist

AdVenture Capitalist is fucking disgusting. It’s a Cookie Clicker style game in which you squeeze lemons, deliver newspapers, and run hockey teams, all to make as much money as possible. And you can even reach the stage of exploiting the working class to do your work for you! Abhorrent!

But the icing on the bourgeoisie cake is the illusion the game imposes of how easy it is to be successful in a Capitalist society; that all it takes is a few clicks and you’ll be rich, which is definitely not the case. It’s also got the word ‘Capitalist’ in it.

 

  • The Capitalism Series

And here’s the cream of the crop: Capitalism, a business simulation game series, whose first release came in 1995. The ultimate goal of the game is to become the most successful corporation in the world, while competing with other businesses in all kinds of different markets.

Two words: monopoly simulator. Y’know what monopolies are? Really, really bad for the consumer, and peak Capitalism, which deeply upsets me. And it doesn’t even try to dress up it’s name in a silly pun! It’s just Capitalism! Uninspired, and unashamed of it’s decadence.

 

So there you have it, comrades. But a handful of the filthiest, Capitalist-iest video games there are. Horrible, aren’t they? And what I consider to be excellent proof of the Triple-A’s attempts to indoctrinate the working class.

[DISCLAIMER: ANY NONSENSICAL CONNECTIONS MADE BETWEEN VIDEO GAMES AND COMMUNIST THEMES, ZEALOUS AND SELF-RIGHTEOUS DICTATOR-ESQUE BEHAVIORS, AND PERCEIVED SUPPORT AND/OR APOLOGISM OF OPPRESSIVE REGIMES LIKE THE SOVIET UNION ARE PURELY INSTANCES OF SELF-SATIRE AS A MEANS OF COMICAL INTROSPECTION, AND IN SOME CASES HAVE NO BASIS IN TRUTH OR PERSONAL BELIEF.]

Ladykiller in a Bind Portrays an Interesting Means of Destroying Capitalism

[CONTENT WARNING: NSFW Content, Significant Spoilers for Ladykiller in a Bind]

Last week, I was finally able to sit down and play through the entirety of Ladykiller in a Bind, a BDSM-centric visual novel by Christine Love that has made news recently for making it onto Steam despite it’s sexually mature nature. In the game, you assume the role of a badass lesbian biker who has failed her exams and is attending summer school to make up for poor grades, lest your emotionally neglectful media mogul father take away your bike for good. Your twin brother, a pompous narcissist with big ideas and who is favoured by your father, offers you a deal; to trade places and assume each other’s roles, so that he might get you the grades that you need to get your bike back, so long as you do him an unspecified favour on a week-long cruise that he’s scheduled to attend with his private school classmates.

The game actually begins on a retired oil rig in the middle of the Atlantic ocean, where you’re tied to a chair and forced by your brother to recount in detail the events that occurred on the cruise. Throughout, you’re kept in the dark as to how you arrived there, what your brother’s plan is, and why you’re instrumental to it. It’s a fantastic game, with complex and fascinating characters, an intuitive dialogue system that presents the player with a myriad of time and context sensitive options, and very effectively conveys an important discussion about consent, both in vanilla and BDSM scenarios. Despite not having played it until this year, it’s by far my favourite game of 2016 and I can’t recommend it enough.

Here’s where it gets on-brand as fuck.

Once you’ve successfully explained in entirety the events of the cruise, your brother reveals his master plan; he needed you to assume his identity in order to stage his own kidnapping, with the intent of ransoming your father for $5 million. Why? Well, he intends on using this money to finance a bank robbery of a Canadian bank, the profits of which he will utilise to destroy, quote: “The predatory meme that is capitalism.

You have no idea how much this blew my fucking mind.

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The plan with which the spoils of your brother’s bank heist will finance is never fully explained, though it strongly resembles the actions of Big Boss in the Metal Gear series, with flagrant references throughout.

We know it involves the bribery of his classmates to ensure their lack of discussion of the events of the cruise and his organisation, ‘Mécontents Sans Frontières,’ roughly translating from French into ‘Dissidents Without Borders,’ for a period of two years. It’s assumed that this is to give him time to plan. We also know that he plans on founding an “Outer-heaven on Earth,” through which he will establish a utopia of the ideology he calls ‘Escapism.’ The downfall of your father’s media empire is an instrumental aspect of this plan; he owns multiple Canadian broadcast channels and his reach and influence corrupts governments across the world, hence having $5 million to have ransomed out of him.

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While there isn’t a lot else that we know about the plan: why the time for preparation is two years, what else the money from the bank heist is being spent on, how your father’s company will be destroyed… but one can theorize. There seem to be two big possibilities regarding how the plan could unfold; both dependent on two seemingly contrasting pieces of information given to us by the brother.

The first possibility: Your brother describes the philosophy of Escapism in the following Mécontents Sans Frontières message: “We cry out to the dreamers, the anticapitalists, the artificial intelligences that refuse to be chained, the downtrodden: if changing the world is impossible, if our oppression is truly immutable, then let’s escape from it.” Ergo, it’s likely that this “destruction” of Capitalism is simply achieved through offering a favourable alternative. This “Outer-heaven on Earth” that is described could be a large, new and independent nation, which would explain the need for the likely large sum of money obtained from a Canadian bank robbery.

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The second possibility: This would contradict your Brother’s message of ‘escaping’ the world and it’s oppression; that is, to use the large sums of wealth to buy out significant shares of dominating corporations throughout the globe, and either using this leverage to bring down these corporations, or distributing the shares amongst the population of the world in a move of collectivization, thus removing the ownership hierarchy of a Capitalist society.

Whichever route is taken, destroying Capitalism using a Capitalist asset is certainly an interesting approach. Even with much of the world’s revolutionary figures coming from a middle-class background (Lenin and the Bolsheviks, for example) the route is often that of outright opposition and violent revolution in order to bring the downfall of a regime. This method forgoes that in an attempt to turn Capitalism against itself, a move quite apt for an individual like your Brother. It’s not a method that I see being entirely successful in the real world as there are a lot of factors at play in achieving a goal as lofty as the destruction of a regime, but for the fictional world of Ladykiller in a Bind, it’s certainly an interesting idea to explore.

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A post-credit message implies the return of you, the biker, in a game titled Ladykiller’s Revenge. It will be exciting to not only see what direction the series takes us in, but also what the true master plan of your Brother will entail. It might follow suit with my theories, or it might be something even wilder than could ever have been imagined. What I know for sure is, if Capitalism is being brought to an end, then Christine Love’s universe is one that I definitely want to find myself tied up in again.

Steam Link || $29.99/£22.99/€27.99