Play as the campaign manager for a host of candidates including Barack Obama, John McCain, Hillary Clinton, historical candidates or design one from scratch.
Players then choose their campaign battlegrounds and are off on the campaign trail to face a host of challenges including fundraising, talk show appearances, hiring spin doctors and winning endorsements. The game is won on Election Day by the player who gets the necessary electoral votes to become President.
The updated version of the title includes vastly enhanced multiplayer features including supporting match-making via Stardock’s Impulse, allowing for better online play. It also includes features allowing players to print out bumper stickers and campaign pins from within the game: Players can create their own candidates, controlling everything about them in how they look, and then export them as an avatar for on-line use or use the new print shop to create a variety of physical media with their creations including campaign pins, bumper stickers, and more. The update adds the new vice presidential candidates, Joe Biden and Sarah Palin to be incorporated into campaigns as well.
“This is the ultimate game for political junkies and a really fun way for anyone to learn about the election process,” said Brad Wardell, lead designer of the game. “Once you put yourself in the campaign manager’s shoes, you really get to see how each campaign tactic ultimately affects the outcome of the vote. The whole point is to be fun but part of that means being reasonably accurate.”
“Political junkies will appreciate many of the political consultants and strategies employed in the game such as the use of smear merchants, spin doctors, intimidators, cheer leaders, movie stars, etc.,” continued Wardell. “Strategy gamers will appreciate the balanced game mechanics that allow players to research new campaign tactics that even novice political observers can see from the current election.”
Real-world scenarios are mixed in with fantastical scenarios. Players can choose the U.S. 2008 election, an election in history, or play in fun and humorous fantasy campaigns including one that takes place on an alien world and one that takes place in “Europa”. Players can also choose what television shows to be a guest on and will face tough questions from the hosts of shows like “The Colvert Report” and “The O’Malley Factor”.
The Political Machine is both a single and a multiplayer game - players can either compete against the computer or against others online on www.politicalmachine.com. The website also provides an ideologically neutral location for users to discuss the current election.
The Political Machine 2008 is avaiilable via download on Stardock’s new digital distribution platform, Impulse, as well as in major retail outlets across the U.S. for $19.95.
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