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The Political Machine 2008

Submitted by Chris Stavros on July 13, 2008 - 10:34pm. Exclusive Game Review

2008 is an election year in the United States and that always brings an air of frenetic excitement to the country. People from all over the USA decide and back politicians that they quite often have never heard of before in their runs for the ultimate office, President of the United States. The process used to elect to this high office is the subject of this game and it will allow players to explore being a politician, all you need is a copy of The Political Machine 2008 and you too can give it a try.

The Political Machine 2008 is a simple little game that allows players to be either a Democrat or a Republican and run for the office of President of the United States. Players can select for a field of the current political candidates from both parties, as well as former presidents like Jimmy Carter, George Bush II and Bill Clinton. You also have the option of creating your own character and others are locked and unavailable at first.

This is a turn based game that allows players to act as long as their character has stamina points left in the turn. Each turn players have the a number of options to accomplish in each state and can move about to other states as well trying to convince the electorate to vote for them. There are a number of ways this can be accomplished and it will change throughout the election run.

The options available are broken done into several categories the players can select from. These include advertizing campaigns, making speeches, fund raising, building election buildings, hiring operatives, and gaining endorsements from political groups. The choices made give you various results based on the state you are in and the issues involved.

The advertizing takes the form of three types of media including the newspaper, the radio and television. Newspapers are the cheapest and usually the least effective type of place to run a campaign ad. This may be cost effective but the return you get for it hardly justifies the cost. Radio will reach more people and cost more, while TV is the most effective but may bankrupt you. Choose carefully how you run ads.

The next option is to give a speech. The game allows you to select the issue from a list, and shows what party and how the independents view your stance on said issue. You can also go negative and make your speech about your opponent’s positions on the issues. What issues are most important in a given state are listed, and this helps in the speech selection. A powerful speech will gain you recognition and sway the electorate; a bad one could ruin you.

Building political buildings comes in three flavors, your headquarters, an outreach center and additional campaign headquarters in other states outside of your home state. Your main HQ provides you a base of support for raising money and political capital that can be used like money to buy operatives in the game, as well as winning endorsements from special interest groups within the game.

Fundraising will help to replenish depleted funds, as it costs money to travel as well as to advertize. The amount you get varies from state to state, and if you keep hitting up the same states they give less and less. Fundraising is a major issue in your campaign as you must have money to get your word out.

Buying operatives and gaining endorsements is the last option available in each state. This depends on how much political capital and recognition points you’ve earned, and building structures and so on increases this. The operatives can both help you and others hurt your opponent. The groups are stylized versions of real special interest groups in the United States.

The look of the game is somewhat campy but fun and the game is not meant to be overly serious. It will pass a few hours of gaming time and should hold your interests and it that, it’s worth a play. If you like politics don’t expect too much, this is a fun game and meant to be light entertainment and it succeeds at that.

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