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PAX 2008 Impressions: The Political Machine 2008

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There aren’t too many political simulators out there, which is surprising given the number of people who tend to follow politics on TV in the United States. Then again, maybe they’re not into the whole drawn out process, just the results. Regardless, one of the best political simulators out there, Stardock’s The Political Machine, has rolled out a new edition for 2008, featuring new candidates and slight tweaks to the original’s game play.

The Political Machine 2008 puts you in the shoes of a candidate of your choice in either the Democratic or Republican parties. Your goal is simple: become the President of the United States. To do that, however, you’ll have to manage a campaign, raise money, promote yourself, slam your opponent and much more, all while your rival is attempting to do the same exact thing. Strategy is king here, as your funds are not infinite and your time is limited.

The graphics are very cartoon-like, with the candidates looking more like Miis than their real-life counterparts. It gives the game a much more light-hearted feel, perhaps to help make the game appeal to a slightly larger crowd. The other main differences are that there are increased focuses on how your stances on issues affect the game and the importance of raising money. Difference stances lead to different results in parts of the country, but by changing up your general messages too much, you can in fact hurt your own candidacy.

Playing the game can be kind of hard for even some long-time gamers, and actually beating the game will likely take hours of planning out to accomplish. That said, if you are a simulation/management fan looking for something a little different, and/or if you have a deep love of politics, The Political Machine 2008 might just be what you’ve been looking for.

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