I promised I’d look at a strategy game this year, if only to contrive some level of variety in my output, and not just an endless cycle of old football games and vaguely obscure hover racers.

So far, it’s not going that well. The game I had in mind was Republic: The Revolution, a political strategy title from the mind of Demis Hassabis, who worked at Bullfrog – most notably on Theme Park.

I’d taken some confidence from my earlier revisiting of the Football Manager series, in that it was a game that could seem overwhelming if you tried to work everything out by endlessly rereading the manual before you started, but wasn’t too bad once you actually took the plunge and started playing.

Our glorious (and clueless) leader

Our glorious (and clueless) leader

Admittedly, I was helped in this regard by countless hours spent with previous iterations of the same game, but I thought I could apply this approach to a strategy game of my choice: rather than being simply petrified of starting, I wouldn’t fear failure, and work it out as I went along. Plus, I have a politics degree, and some level of interest in the subject, so it couldn’t be that hard, right?

I’m not going to review the game by not reviewing it, and my thoughts are based on limited (and nowhere near enough) play time. However, all I can say is that I devoted half a day to Republic, in a relatively open minded and calm mood, seeing as I was off work and not trying to cram the game in on an evening or at a weekend, and emerged none the wiser. I wasn’t cross, or frustrated – just confused. Things were happening, but I didn’t know why, really, although the on-screen advice sort of made sense in isolation, I didn’t really figure out what the game actually involved.

Plenty going on. I think it's all gone wrong.

Plenty going on. I think it’s all gone wrong.

There was a cut scene involving some military types going into a house and gunning down some innocents that was quite juddery: I remember at the time there was a lot of Edge-magazine-type bollocks (possibly in Edge magazine) about the fab-whizzo graphics engine and what it could do, but then when the game came out it seemed there was little point in it at all. The main bits I enjoyed were the superficial ones at the start: the quiz where you work out what kind of leader you’ll be, and naming your party.

In short, I gave up. It could have been my fault, or the game’s, or a combination of both. This isn’t a rage piece where I invoke pantomime anger at my own stupidity or the game’s lack of clarity in some areas. But I’m going to have to leave it there. As a result, my confidence in such matters has been knocked slightly although some contemporary reviews suggest I probably shouldn’t be too hard on myself.

Anyway, I need to find an alternative – requests or suggestions are, as always, most welcome.