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Grab your fistful of mud and prepare to sling it at your opponents. This is the ultimate battle for electoral votes. Choose your party (Republican, Democratic, Independent, Libertarian) and running mate and win some states over! You can change election history for the 1960, 1980, and 1992 elections. If you want to predict the future with the 2004 election; you can be George W. Bush, John Kerry, Ralph Nader or Gary Nolan. This is a turn-based strategy and you can choose how many parties are competing for the presidency and whether your opponent is human or computer powered.

How real do you want it?

You can enable these options to make the election process more realistic:
Regionalism
-Different states have different issues/agendas
Economy
- How well the economy is doing affects the candidates
Spies
- Allows you to create spies to infiltrate other candidates
Fog of War
- Public polls are not always accurate
Dynamism
- Campaigns have more effect but less realism

Candidates

Each candidate has their own stats such as leadership, integrity, experience, charisma, stamina, debating, and issue familiarity. Your running mate will boost one of your stats so choose wisely. They also have their own positions on many important issues such as abortion, affirmative action, business tax, education, gun control, same sex marriage, public health care, social security, etc. You can change your candidate?s views on these individual topics from left, center, right, and in between. There is also a campaign editor included with the full version game. You can permanently edit the candidates or add your own.

So how do I win the presidency?

You and your running mate will travel around the USA and start your campaign. You only have 6 weeks to gain the majority of the electoral votes. Each turn gives you 6 control points to spend. With these points you can debate, get foot soldiers, run ads, spin news articles, get campaign crusaders, and cast polls. Keep an eye on your finances and don?t be shy about doing fund raising. Your energy level is also critical, as you don?t want to enter a debate exhausted. Each state is color coded to the direction it is heading, so keep an eye on the percentages and pay attention to their needs to win them over. You have a limited amount of speeches you can do on each subject. Don?t underestimate the power of endorsements either. Extra money in your funding or a campaign momentum never hurt anyone.

Graphics

This game is 2D and nothing spectacular visually. The pictures and icons look nice and the interface is easy to use. One disappointment is that you cannot change the game resolution (800x600) at all.

Sound

There is some drum music when you first start the game. Other than that, there are some sound effects when you click buttons making decisions and changing turns. There is no background music during game play.

Multiplayer

Since this game is turn based you can challenge the computer or play against another human sitting close by. Unfortunately, there is no Internet or online play.

Appropriateness?

The only fighting in this game is in newspaper scandals and mud slinging. Many of the topics are real life agendas that are addressed in every election. I find nothing inappropriate about this game.

Final Thoughts

Any person interested in politics or a good strategy game should give this game a chance. There is a demo available and the full version is only $12. Granted it?s not as pretty, doesn?t have online play, nor does it have as good a music score as most big budget title games, but it is very involved and very challenging. The computer AI is tough to beat. Running for president is not cheap or easy.

Final Ratings

Game Play B Graphics C Sound C Interface B+ Appropriate A Stability A

Overall 76%

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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