dismiss The Political Machine as a boring game about
politics. Even if the very though of politics makes
you feel like taking a nap, you're certain to have
a whole new appreciation for the profession after
playing this game. It offers an insider's look into
the machinations of the secret, cunning, underhanded
and sometimes comical world of political strategy.
It's part documentary, part board game, but totally
Political Machine puts you in the role of a campaign
manager for the 2004 presidential elections. You can
choose from a Democrat or a Republican at which time
you will take on the campaign of Bush or Kerry. In
a nutshell you have to parade your presidential hopeful
around the country appearing on TV shows, giving speeches,
answering questions and generally making him popular
with the voters.
out like a board game, you have 41 weeks to do your
job. Each turn equals one week. Your opponent then
makes his or her move and so the game goes until you
win or lose the election. Each game is relatively
short but there's plenty to do. A map of the States
will show how you're doing in each region in terms
of popularity and other stats such as employees and
headquarters. You will field questions and have your
client speak on issues that range from Social Security
to their stand on cloning Elvis. Primary public concerns
revolve around the war in Iraq, the war on terrorism
and the occasional question of aliens visiting our
yourself with the proper organizations and paying
for endorsements will give your client a wider appeal.
Woman's Rights, the church, and colored people should
be appeased to make it look like your presidential
hopeful cares about everyone. Don't forget to promise
better paying jobs in the blue-collar regions of Ohio
doctors can be hired to increase your popularity by
15-per-cent. At the same time you can undermine your
opponent by hiring a smear doctor to decrease his
popularity by 15-per-cent. You can even hire thugs
to intimidate your opponent's voters from going to
the poles. While this may seem like the easy solution,
you only have so much money available and hiring these
professionals can be very expensive. You have to use
your money for lot of other things such as endorsements,
travelling expenses and advertising.
with money, your client has a limited amount of stamina.
He can't be everywhere all the time. Overwork him
and you'll run out of steam, crippling your campaign
and allowing your competition to get ahead.
a way, The Political Machine is kind of like Monopoly
in that it's got some depth and strategy to it with
just the right amount of luck. Unfortunately the AI
won't be able to keep up with you once you get the
hang of the basic strategy. It follows a fairly straightforward
and obvious course which is excellent for beginners
but not challenging enough for experts.
you can play online courtesy of the Stardock server.
You may be hard pressed to find an opponent since
it looks pretty empty out there but if you know of
someone who has a copy or you can find a player in
a forum thread get their email and schedule some games
the map gets covered with stats and icons it can be
a little difficult to discern. However, the regular
interfaces are easy to read and use. All of the characters
are represented by cartoon caricatures which make
them almost look cute. You can unlock more presidential
hopefuls including Hillary Clinton and Ulysses S.
Grant but the campaign will always take place in 2004.
don't have to be a political scientist to play this
game. You don't even have to like politics or know
anything about it. Knowing nothing could actually
work to your benefit, as it's certainly worked for
many successful politicians.