The Political Machine 2016 Review: A Political Strategy Game of Lies and Slander

Everyone loves a little campaigning and political strategy, no? Sure, that may genuinely not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it is made quite fun in the new political strategy game called The Political Machine 2016 by Stardock Entertainment. This new game will let you feel the joy of lying, slandering opponents with smear ads, hiring sleazy operatives, and doing whatever it takes to win in your quest to become President of the United States… so honestly, this is like politician-training 101. No, this game is actually very enjoyable!

The Political Machine 2016

The Political Machine 2016 Concept:

The concept is simple. Take to the campaign trail like a real politician: give speeches, go on talk shows, hire operatives, and win the presidency of our great nation. The Political Machine 2016 allows players the choice to play as one of over a dozen candidates such as Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, The Political Machine 2016Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz and more. Or are you the type that likes to write in a name on the ballot? Why not choose to create your own custom candidate, complete with their own unique avatar, political party, and hometown?!

“The game deals with topics like the Keystone XL Pipeline, human trafficking, and other issues that are current and relevant to this year’s election, said producer Patrick Shaw.  “We’ve added a poll tracking feature so that you can see how your own political races are matching up to what’s going on in the United States right now.” All of the 2016 hot-button issues are there; just tell them you support fighting ISIS… everyone loves to hear that.

Other Features in The Political Machine 2016:

  • Interview on various talk shows to raise your candidate’s ratings in the polls.
  • Torrid affairs, natural disasters, email scandals, and other random events will keep you on your toes and ready to deal with unexpected problems.
  • Purchasing advertisements that address and relate your political stance on the issues near-and-dear to each individual state.
  • Hire operatives to bring down your opponent or make you look good, like the Speech Writer who gives your speech power a boost or the Intimidator who decreases your opponent’s awareness in a target state.

 Overall Pros and Cons:

The Good –

Even if you are not crazy for politics, this game just has that special something that makes you care. It is interesting how every candidate has different stats (and often they are very realistic), like Bernie Sanders having great Charisma and Credibility and Ben Carson having high Intelligence and Political Machine 2016 Donald TrumpReligious appeal. Each of the attributes available in the candidates will determine what their strong point is; high Charisma increases the effectiveness of speeches and ads while high Intelligence will allow for more thoughtful answers to be given in interviews.

The Political Machine 2016 might seem a bit simple when you just read about it, but the game actually provides a number of ways for players to vary up and control the campaign. Use sliders to change your starting funds, how many weeks the campaign will last, and/or the difficulty. You are also able to randomize state populations, wealth, demographics, or even the importance of issues if you so choose; otherwise, the game stays pretty true to the current state of affairs and the current demographics of real-life United States. This level of realism is certainly to the game’s credit, but so is having the option to vary it up and randomize the states’ demographics. In short, this is not just a game about politics.

The Bad –

Perhaps my own moral compass stands in my way with what I’m about to say, but I can only imagine others would agree with me: I happen to find it in bad taste that you can easily win in this game by lying and smearing your opponent. Now rest assured, you can also play the game honestly and not use false slander against your opponent to still get a victory, but the victory will certainly be easier to achieve when you lie or make false claims about your opponents. Dependent on one’s views, however, this may not necessarily go in the “bads” category for The Political Machine 2016, as it may actually be bringing more awareness and teaching to the subject of lies in politics. Either way, my personal choice when playing this game is to stay true to the politician I’m playing as. By no means do you have to play that way, but I get enjoyment out of pretending I’m campaigning exactly the way Bernie, Trump, Hillary, or others are doing so out on the current campaign trail.


7 out of 10!

As stated before, a political strategy game may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but with the election currently transpiring in the United States and with the level of control given to the player in The Political Machine 2016, the game is definitely a success in my book. I also feel that it is very real and relevant to the times and demographics of the United States. The solid political game mechanics combined with the quirky cute art style and presidential music & SFX make this a political game you should not miss out on. Unfortunately, unless you are really into politics itself, this game might only appeal to U.S. citizens given the nature of its issues and candidates.

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The Political Machine 2016 is now available on Steam for $9.99. Visit  for more information.



I am Dr.Kendo, YouTube sensation, and my lovely wife is Mrs.Kendo... my dogs are Apple Kendo and Twoey Kendo. My interests are Blue Shells, long walks on Besaid Island, and Nintendo-shaped Candle-lit dinners.