The Political Machine 2008: First Impressions

I’ve been playing around with Stardock’s The Political Machine 2008, which arrived in the mail a couple of days back.

While dealing with a serious topic, its graphics give the game a light-hearted feel. After working through the tutorial, I made the mistake of jumping into Campaign mode, which pitted my candidate of choice – Al Gore – against… Ulysses S. Grant.


’twas then I realized that the campaign mode runs you through a series of elections against historical figures. Beating Grant unlocked Richard Nixon, and so forth. What I really wanted to use was the Quickplay mode, which allows you to pick your opponents. So I ran Gore against McCain. And then Obama against McCain with Gore as VP. And then an Obama-Hillary slate. McCain, for some reason, kept picking Dick Cheney as his running mate.

While not a truly hardcore sim, the game does get you focused on electoral votes, campaign finances and the whole red state-blue state thing. Based on my early impressions, it’s well worth the $20 asking price. I’ll have more to say in my Philadelphia Inquirer column on June 27th.

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone


  1. Chris Schwartz-Brown says:

    Has anyone figured out how the opposing candidate chooses their running mate? GP said his McCain kept picking Cheney, but I’ve yet to see McCain pick anyone other than Romney for his running mate.

  2. Anonymous says:

    GP = Liberal rag?

    That would explain why GP makes sense and doesn’t bitch and complain like certain people.

  3. Haggard ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Across the entire western hemisphere, the USA is the only country in which liberalism is frowned upon. The only real value of conservatism is "more money for bastards" in the words of Frankie Boyle.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Well, trends show that the more educated somebody is,  the more liberal they are. (With a few minorly notable exceptions, though thier intellegence is somewhat suspect.) 

    And the people behind GP seem like a smart group…

    So, if the glove fits…

  5. Anonymous says:

    Oh gee, what a shock. GP picks the dem candidates. The smart thing would have been not to tell us who you picked. But of course, anyone who reads this site knows GP is a liberal rag.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I take it there’s no way to run a Cthulhu/Hasur ticket? Will I have to settle with McCain and Cheny? *Pauses for lame pun laughs* Cheap shots aside, I was wondering if there was any customized input or not.



  7. Anonymous says:

    What do you mean? Its already happening in Real life, why would you want to do it in a game?

  8. Anonymous says:

    You mean just like I could slam Obama and Hillary for anything I want if it lowers their standing with the Democrats?  Yay!


  9. E. Zachary Knight says:

    Exactly. I love that aspect of the game. One of the first things that tips you off on that is one of the default Republican candidates is an alien.

    You get to create your own candidates and run elections from most any era.

    It is great to be able to slam McCain for anything I want. I was slamming him on everything even if it wasn’t a real position of his. Just pick a topic that would lower his standing with all parties and do it. Fun stuff.

    But just trying it out, the current running is a great place to start.

    E. Zachary Knight


    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  10. Stinking Kevin says:

    I haven’t had a chance at 2008 yet, but if it’s anything like 2004 I think you guys are sort of missing the point — or at least focusing on the wrong feature.


    The game does have real-life politicians as characters, to flesh out the narrative and add a layer of fun (or at least silliness), but the game is not at all about predicting which real-life candidate is going to win the real-life election this coming November.


    The way I played it, at least, the game is all about the mechanics of the system — the way that the presidency is actually won and lost in our country. That is, as far as modeling the workings of the electoral college goes, I’d say the Political Machiine is about as "hardcore" a sim as you could ask for.

  11. MaskedPixelante says:

    Sounds like an interesting game. If I actually cared about the US elections, I’d probably play it.

    —You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

  12. Jabrwock says:

    McCain, for some reason, kept picking Dick Cheney as his running mate.

    Funny, considering he’s been accused of running for Bush’s 3rd term. 🙂

    On the other hand, they need to patch the game, McCain has declared he’s definitely not picking Cheney for his Veep.

    — If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap…

  13. E. Zachary Knight says:

    I had a go at this last night myself. I will have a review of it posted on my site tonight.

    I ran a quick play mode as Obama vs. McCain. Obama trounced McCain. 406 electorial votes to whatever was left. McCain won the midwest from Texas to North Dakota. But Obama had almost everything else. I even spent less than McCain.

    The game is great fun.

    Dennis, we should get together some time and play againast each other.

    Also, I love the alien Republican.

    E. Zachary Knight


    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

Comments are closed.