The Political Machine 2008

Written by Joe Martin

June 29, 2008 | 12:21

Tags: #bush #casual #iraq #politics #president

Companies: #government #stardock

Wag The Dog

Victory in The Political Machine 2008 is achieved by winning the election, obviously. Just because the goal is clear though doesn’t mean that the path to it will be easy, oh no.

In order to stand almost any chance of winning a campaign in The Political Machine 2008 you’ll have to have your bobblehead screwed on tightly and your wits about you – it’ll take a true lord of the public courtroom to beat the likes of Bush, Cheney, Lincoln or the alien Lord Kone.

Thankfully, nearly all of the possible characters on the list could be considered master debaters.

Also, there’s a wide selection of options in terms of game length and difficulty to help you find a game that's just right for your skill level. That’s a good thing since The Political Machine 2008 is going to appeal to a huge spectrum of people as a result of the old-school strategy gameplay and charming presentation.

The Political Machine 2008 The Political Machine 2008 - Conclusions

Unfortunately, there are a few niggles and quibbles which prevent The Political Machine 2008 from being the landslide winner it could be. One of the main problems is that on almost every turn you’ll want to win over some voters in whichever state you happen to be in by airing an advert, going on Barry King Live or simply running a smear campaign on your chosen rival.

By timing your arguments correctly and speaking on whichever topics happen to be in the public eye at the time, you can easily accumulate support. That support can be translated into votes, endorsements and money. The problem though is that there’s rarely any penalty for crossing your arguments and contradicting yourself. Nor can you point out the contradictions in your opponents’ arguments.

Likewise, while parts of the game feel sublimely, almost anally detailed and layered with wit and sarcasm, other parts are far more general and the gameplay suffers as a result when you can always pick an issue that nobody will ever object too. Everyone loves going green for example, but not everyone is as keen on the idea of wind farms and an extra layer of retentiveness in a few areas wouldn’t have gone amiss.

One of the core and most pressing issues with the game though is the simple lack of replayability for most players. Most players are going to want to get to grips with the game on the low difficulties first, opting for shorter campaigns to try and get a feel for things before progressing.

The Political Machine 2008 The Political Machine 2008 - Conclusions

The issue there though is that the end-game is pretty universal no matter what and the game isn’t all that taxing to the average gamer unless you push the difficulty up a notch or two. So, once you’ve done the game on the easy settings, there isn’t really anything to push you to try it at the next level up save for your own masochism and the lure of hidden characters rendered pointless by your ability to create your own.

Conclusions

The Political Machine 2008 The Political Machine 2008 - ConclusionsSo, the results are in and all the ballots have been counted and, while it’s tempting to just say “Democrats Win” and leave it like that without any real conclusion, we do actually have to offer up a score at the end of the day.

The Political Machine 2008 is a game with a few minor issues and flaws, that much is true, but it isn’t the whole truth because there’s also a hell of a lot to like about The Political Machine 2008.

The game may not be as in-depth in some areas as it could be, but it’s still going to be plenty detailed enough for most players and the layer of ironic humour that overlays the game like a coating of politician’s slime is enough to compensate for the occasional fuzziness and the odd omission.

The Political Machine isn’t a game you can expect to be playing for weeks and weeks like you might with other strategy games of this time, but it retains a lot of lasting appeal all the same. Just because it looks cute and casual doesn’t mean it’s only for Peggle fanatics and PopCap fanboys though – there’s a wonderful turn-based smear-em-up under the surface here and the final product is educational, entertaining and appealing to all.
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