It's fun,& it's got Kennedy!!
The Political Machine 2008 is an excellent TBS (Turn-Based Strategy game) based on this year's elections.You'll get to do a lot of crazy things (which the candidates really do to win,then at the election you'll yell Republicans/Democrates for each state that turns red/blue.But let's start with the start (or would you have liked to start with the end? ).
Believe it or not,the graphics suit this cute game very well.Ummm,no,it's not CryEngine 2.Nope,not Unreal Engine 3.This is a TBS for God's sake,so don't expect any high end graphics with High Dynamic Range,Bloom effects or other things like these.Nope,you'll be in front of a map of the US from start to end.It's something like the map in Europa Universalis (or Supreme Ruler,if you wish),only it's better designed & the colours are chosen very well. Now of course there are the candidates,who look really really funny.They are comically drawn,& some of their facial traits are exploited in order to make them look even funnier.Abe Lincoln's long face,George's big ears & not only were exploited by the designers in order to create their game correspondents.But you can also make them bang their head in the menu as if they wer in a Maiden concert or something,which is surely a great idea.
Unfortunatelly,the sound doesn't really stand up high.It's not annoying,but it could have been a lot better.Why?Because all the sound means the music.An electoral-political theme,which is well chosen & won't bother you,but that's all.Oh,pressing the menu buttons also make a "click".I never thought I'd take that into consideration when reviewing a game,but this is an exception.The lack of voice acting is unpleasant.Imagine hearing Bush say :"Ossama Bin Laden,we'll find you wherever you are" ,ore Hillary Clinton with some of her "blah-blah-blah s" & you'll get a clear picture of what we're missing here.To be honest with you,I should have given the Sound a 4 ,but since it's not all that important & won't really bother you if you don't think about it,I have made this tiny exception (& the mouse click sound seriously boosts it).
As I said before,this is a TBS game on the United States map.After you'll choose your candidate,you'll be thrown on this map,& you need to win the elections in 41 weeks.Now,each turn means a week.You can control your candidate to travel from state to state,create political advertisments,give speeches,raise the campaign budget,build buildings,win endoresments or hire staff.You'll get a full stamina bar each week,& you should be careful how you use your actions,because each of them lowers the stamina bar.When you reach 0 you'll have to click "TURN" ,so that you enter a new week,with a full stamina bar.But your opponent also moves & does stuff each week,so beware!Now as you know,there are 41 states & the same number of weeks,so you can visit each state in a week.Now,as you know,the candidate with the highest number of electoral votes wins.Some states have a high number of electoral votes & are very important for you to win.So my advice is to get California,New York,Texas,Florida,New Jersey & others to vote with you,cause you'll really get a boost with them on your side.If you're losing in a state with,let's say, 3 electoral votes,don't bother trying to get it on your side,because it's not worth it.Just be careful with those big states,because I started with California & when I saw I was winning,I ignored it,only to see by the end that I was losing there.Remember,the opponent also focuses on the important states,so you should do the same.Now to win a state you need to have 51% or more votes in that state.If that happens,all the electoral votes from there go to you.Now I'm gonna tell you how this thing works.Money is really crucial,so you'll get the option to raise your campaign funds in each state you visit.The wealthier the state,the more money you get,so I'm again recommanding California,Texas & New York.Now you can also build Campaign headquarters & other types of buildings.Some raise your points you need in order to hire staff,& some raise the points needed to win endoresments.They raise each week.Okay,there are a lot of types of staff,so I'm gonna speak about some of them.Three of them are unique & can be hired only once,& cost 5 points each:a speech writer,in order to be more influential with the speeches,a guy that boosts your appearance with cool cloathes & another one which I forgot what does.The other ones cost 5 points at the beggining but raise as you hire more of them.They raise your media awareness,which means that the ads you make will be more influential on the public,some which raise your results & lower the opponents,one guy which can eliminate one of the rival staff members,& so on.Now you can move each of them in any state you need them to be,& they'll help you in your campaign.The endoresments are also very useful & can really increase your poll results.Some are better suited to the Democrats,some ar best fore the Republicans.I won't get into details,but organisations such as Christian Confederation, Environmentalists Club,Foreign Policy Agency or the Gun Control Association are only some of them.Now there are a lot of society,economical,financial & military problems mentioned in the game.Improving the economy, withdrawing from Iraq,a strong military,universal health care,the environment,high gas prices,more jobs...stuff like these.Now as you know,there are three sides of voters:Democrates,Republicans & undecided.Now,all of them oppose high gas prices & favor the environment, but withdrawing from Iraq is wanted only by the Democrats ,while the Republicans oppose it.Trough your speeches to the public on in your ads you can either tell them you support a cause such as improving the economy to go up in the polls (& maybe gain the unecided voter's trust) or you can tell them that your opponent favors high gas prices or opposes more jobs,which will certainly make him go down the polls.Aye,that's how politics is.What you also can do to increase your results in the polls is to participate to some TV shows,such as Barry King Live or local news.You will receive a set of funny questions & you will have to choose from 4 even funnier answers,based on those problems I spoke about earlier.If the people like your answers,your polls will rise.Also,you can come across some states marked with "?" at some time.If you go there immediatly,you'll receive a good or bad bonus.You can gain some money or get a cool staff member for free,but you can also lose some money or lose all your stamina for that week.You'll decide if it's worth to visit them or not.At half-point you will have to choose a running mate,which has to be from your party.Speaking of candidates,there aren't only Obama & McCain. You can try out (or go against) Hillary Clinton,Bill Clinton,George W Bush,Al Gore,John Kerry,Theodore Roosevelt,Rudy Giuliani,Abraham Lincoln,George Washington,Woodrow Wilson & other former US presidents or important political figures.Even my favorite president,John F Kennedy,is one of the candidates.Yay!!!
The multiplayer works exacly as you think it would.On turns.It sure is cool to defeat your friend's Hillary Clinton while playing with Honest Abe.No more about the multiplayer,but if you really want to get kicked in the 00 ,come challenge me.
With all its politics mix with funny exploits,original ideas & a non-boring gameplay,you'll have a wonderful time while playing The Political Machine 2008.A strategy game that doesn't seem to be big deal,but after you'll play it for a bit you'll come to the conclusion that The Political Machine 2008 is the best strategy game of 2008 so far.Just 4 more years till we have The Political Machine 2012.Now go,Obama & McCain are waiting...