“A minimalist game about the forces shaping our cities.”
A city doesn’t just grow naturally, as there are external factors and mechanisms that have an influence on it. One of those factors is the economical market. Some people are eager to make an immense profit by selling buildings and speculating with real estate. This can be quite dangerous and lead to financial bubbles: Driving the prices to the highest possible point, even beyond the actual value of the properties, and afterwards crushing it all.
In “Nova Alea”, you can play as one of these abstract market forces. You have to buy buildings at a low point to generate some profit afterwards, before the bubble pops. But you will have to face the protest of the townpeople. They will try to slow you down in the hope that their rents stay affordable.
With this simple juxtaposition of two completely different intentions, “Nova Alea” is able to explain the basic coherences between an unleashed capitalism and too high rents. Instead of just saying that, it offers the players to explore them on their own by letting them take the perspective of the economical stronger side. And who knows who will really win in the end? Different outcomes are possible.