Supreme Ruler 1936 is one of the grand strategy games from Supreme Ruler series, in which we become leader of a nation in chase for global domination. As the title suggest we start in 1936 as one of the Axis countries (campaign mode) or we can choose any of the independent countries in the world (sandbox mode). With plenty of options we can choose the way our country will progress - improving the technology, economy, army and diplomacy - but unfortunately the game mixes the historical events with the gameplay, so we do not really have freedom in creating the future. World War 2 will take place (I guess destroying Germany within 3 years would stop it, but it is unlikely) - in 1936 Italy will attack Ethiopia, in September 1939 Germany will attack Poland, and so on and so on.
This unfortunately limits our steps - since the world war is inevitable our first moves must be protecting the borders and prepare for conflict. The diplomacy is also affected - there is no way f.e. to choose Belgium and join the Axis, because the Axis are hostile against future Allied countries and there is no way to change it. Not to mention that starting alliances could be a problem since no matter what happens United States will not accept any offers and United Kingdom is also reluctant to put anything to paper. For small countries it is also impractical to try to build strong army - in 3 years you won’t reach enough potential to face the Axis.
Economy is based on the natural resources and gives the chance to improve the production by building industrial objects or buy them from other countries. The reports are unfortunately rather simple and often it is hard to spot where the problem is, the financial reports are simply tragically simple, but all those flaws are linked to one huge flaw in Supreme Ruler - the game interface. There are plenty of options to fiddle with, there are hundreds of military units to take care of, but most of the things we have to do in the game are pushed aside to a small menu that cover about 20% of the screen while rest of it is a 3D map that apart from fight is rather useless.
The military side of the game is far better - we can improve technology, develop new units, produce units, transfer them, sell or buy - more than we need. The battles are... a mystery. Usually plenty units are involved in fight and their icons are put over one another, which makes it impossible to see the detail. There are no reports from the fight (apart from short info that some unit was lost), so it is very hard to tell if we actually are winning or losing in a battle.
Overall interesting game, but spoiled by impractical interface and limitations put by introducing historical events instead of letting the gameplay decide what will happen.