Summary: Parents need to know that this game is a simulation that can teach families the ins and outs of the political system in the USA. Both Republican and Democratic parties are represented here with current members, as well as party members from years past. The game focuses on current events; and each state in the union is fairly represented with regards to their political leanings.
Excerpt: The Political Machine 2008 gives you the chance to take on the role of a presidential candidate on the campaign trail. Getting elected president is no easy task, but The Political Machine 2008 does a nice job of abstracting the process to the point where it can be simulated by a board game. In a typical game, you select a candidate from among the pre-primary hopefuls of both parties and begin the game 41 weeks (one week equals one turn here) before Election Day.
Excerpt: Before we get started I should let you out there in reader-land know that in another life I'm a political reporter covering such crazy things as elections, campaigns, and the wonky policy decisions that take place in each of them. I've seen everything at the political level from president's sex lives stripped naked to senator's maybe making up words that cost them their seats, from councilmen admitting they're out of their expertise to mayors playing a banjo and hoping...
Excerpt: The presidential race is split into forty one weeks. This gives you forty one turns to play out in the same time as your opponent to fly all over America and convince as many states as you can to vote for you.
Excerpt: Name: The Political Machine 2008 Genre: Simulation Platform: Windows PC The Political Machine 2008 is, at its core, a simulation of the 2008 election. Players are able to choose from dozens of stock political characters such as Barak Obama, John McCain, Hillary Clinton, and Mike Huckabee, as well being able to create their own character, all of which are represented as shiny bobble heads.
Summary: The real question on the title is if there’s enough meat to keep gamers satisfied. Stardock’s $19.95 price point is a good selling point. There’s really not enough to this game to justify a standard $39.95 or $49.95 price point, but a $19.95 price point makes the game worth checking out. I’ve certainly gotten enough replay value out of it to justify a $20 purchase, and I’ve enjoyed playing around with it.
Pros: Deep enough to be accurate, but not deep enough to scare off players, 2008 campaign is good, roster of present-day candidates is extensive, Fun, Relatively quick games can be finished in one sitting, Attention to individual state issues (Katrina relief, farm subsidies, etc), The Drengian campaign and Europe campaign are tongue-in-cheek funny
Cons: A little too shallow (no 3rd party candidates, no outside groups, useless VPs), Not enough media interaction, 1860 election feels particularly wrong when using present day candidates, Not enough historical elections or differing scenarios, Not enough issue points for create-a-candidate, Limited replay value due to lack of scenarios
Summary: The Political Machine 2008 is a strategy game that lets gamers take a shot at running for President, allowing you to design a candidate or choose a pre-existing one and campaign across the country against either a human opponent or a computer controlled opponent.
Summary: Four years seem to be making a lot of difference in the real American political landscape, but things haven't changed all that much in the virtual one created by Stardock. The Political Machine 2008 is nearly indistinguishable from its 2004 predecessor, with the same board-game-style mechanics, fast pace, and charming personality.
Pros: Easy-to-grasp board-game-style gameplay, New scenarios let you change up the electoral battleground, Attractive new 3D visuals
Cons: Core game is little changed from its 2004 predecessor, A bit formulaic