The Political Machine 2008
The political machine 2008 follows up the 2004 version which, so the developers claim, accurately predicted that the state of Ohio would prove key to securing Bush's second term. Maybe it did, maybe it didn't - but this is a sober and enlightening game, with all the forced wackiness of bobbleheads.
As with most videogame diplomacy everything goes in turns, and one turn of the game translates into a week of real-world campaigning. You use this time to travel around the various states, build up your Campaign Headquarters, and fire off opinions in multiple-choice chat show interviews. Building Consulting Offices earns you Political Capital, which allows you to hire units such as the Fixer. He can eliminate your opponent's Intimidator, a shadowy character who affects public opinion with fear tactics. Meanwhile, your own Intimidator is roaming their states barking about terrorism. It's depressing how much like a game the reality is, which is why The Political Machine works so well.
In your bid to win in the complicated American electoral college system, you'll be presented with an updated set of hot political potatoes, and campaigning will require you to advertise on the right medium, on the right issues and make speeches on the fly. For instance, while visiting Alaska you should focus on oil drilling and undermine your opponent by pointing out their policies on petrol prices. To stop the game getting stale, Stardock are even planning to update the issues in the game as they change in reality.
The game does realise we're not all amazed by US politics too, even though it's distant enough to be an entertaining pantomime. The European and alien Drengin campaigns are far less developed though - but at least provide relief from the intensity of the US election. It does feel slightly insulting to have our politics equated to that of a fictional race of aggressive aliens, but then again, Boris Johnson is Mayor of London.
At its heart The Political Machine is a great strategy game with some fun tension-breakers thrown in for good measure. If you're not interested in politics, this will bore you stupid - and who can blame you, when everything's as transparently corrupt as it is? Yeah, get back to Massive Bucket of Sand Simulator. The graphics are awesome -and you get infinite ammo.
Download The Political Machine 2008
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP