Review: Can you Brexit?
Can you Brexit? is a rare genre mix of political satire and gamebook by the well-known Dave Morris and Jamie Thomson. The duo is known for the Fabled Lands gamebook series and more.
Book Cover (Credit: Dave Morris and Jamie Thomson. Fair use.)
The book puts the reader in the shoes of the Prime Minister (PM) of the United Kingdom first day after the Brexit vote till the bitter very end of the Brexit process. At least basic knowledge of the UK or the EU is required to follow the story even though the books goes into great length to explain the actual problems that need to be handled. These include the National Health Service (NHS), Exit Fee, Immigration, EU Trade Talks and Residency Rights. As PM, you cannot decide everything as you like. You have to consider not only the facts but also have to delegate decision-making, respect the party and popular opinion. The books make it very clear that this is the worst job you can have in current Europe.
While the actual Brexit is not yet the complete, the book allows the reader to follow alternative paths and already finish the Brexit in an alternative reality. For this alternative reality all names of political figures have been replaced with somewhat funny names. Everything is in the cards for the reader including political suicide to great disaster for Britain. As long as the real Brexit isn’t over, the replay value is high as you can play it again with current political progress in mind. The overall presentation is very dry with no illustrations. The gameplay requires keeping track of certain decisions and results in a lot or check boxes. No deice are required but a seldom coin toss will decide for you. The outcome of the story is base on four stats: Authority within the party, Economy of Britain, Goodwill of the EU and Popularity with the voters. Those can be increased with good decisions and very easily lost with any kind of backlash.
Can you Brexit without breaking Britain? It’s a difficult task and the book gives a very good glimpse into the process and facts behind the decision-making. It also makes very clear that Theresa May has the worst job any politician. Reading her memoirs and comparing it with these books a few years will be the only reason to replay it after Brexit. This book is for the political interested gamebook fans. For a gamebook beginner the story and presentation can be too dry to enjoy it at first.