Stardock Entertainment (Galactic Civilizations
series) has announced The Political Machine 2008, a new PC game that allows players to take the role of campaign manager for U.S. Presidential candidates including Barack Obama, John McCain, Hillary Clinton, a range of historical candidates or create their own.
Players then choose their campaign “battlegrounds” and face 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 game uses a 3D engine designed by Stardock to give the candidates a unique “bobble head” look, and offers both single and multiplayer modes.
A sequel to the 2004 edition, Stardock have claimed that using actual demographic data, the 2004 edition accurately predicted the 2004 election “months in advance: In June of 2004, Stardock's CEO and Lead Designer Brad Wardell said that The Political Machine
predicted that Ohio -- not Florida -- would be the key state and that whoever won that state would win the Presidency.”
The game is to be released at retail in June, is self-published by Stardock, and requires Windows XP or Windows Vista.
"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.," said 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."