Invisible economy

I loved Democracy 3, so I was excited to see this come across my Twitter feed today. Two issues:

  1. I got the Steam key, added it to my library, Steam acts like the game is ready to play, and then . . . nothing. Steam stalls out on the “Preparing to launch Democracy 3 Africa” pop-up and won’t let me actually play.

  2. I went back to the email and downloaded the non-Steam version. So far, so good. Except anytime I go away from the main screen - like, say, to check email, or to change the volume, or to close the tutorial - all the bubbles go blank. They still will say what they are if I click on them, but all the icons and words are gone. Needless to say, I think that would make for a very long game :-\

Are these known bugs? Is there a fix? Did I mess something up?