Posted Saturday, 1-Oct-2016
The satirical game about politics you didn’t know you wanted.
“The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.”
The Mark Twain quote which opens the KS project sells Presidential Election: The Board Game better than anything I could write, but I’ll try anyway because unsuitably for a game about politics, I am an optimist.
Also an optimist is the game’s designer Matthew Leitz, who complained to me in an interview that: “this election cycle bites”. Using humor as his weapon to deal with the malaise, Presidential Election is a cock-eyed look at the political process that wants to make you laugh.
Scandals, cover-ups, and throwing money around – all the fun parts of an election without any of the boring math. By dumping such political game standbys as the electoral college, Presidential Election looks to differentiate itself not just by being funny (although it does do that) but by changing what you actually do in a game about politics.
Presidential Election also has a neat tactile element as you flip up your vote counter and move the little American flag up the election cycle track, figuratively and literally moving America closer to its fate.
Apart from being aligned on the issues and managing the constant cycle of scandal/coverup, the game adds elements of dexterity and improvisation in its debate portion.
Presidential Election believes that candidates should have a range of skills: Poise, Knowledge, Composure, Intimidation – from trivia style Smarty Pants challenges to trying to make each other laugh – these portions should add fun and interactivity to the game outside of the cardplay.
While Presidential Election does use randomness to simulate the ups and downs of a real election cycle and a light, humorous take to make it approachable, the game aims to have an element of strategy to make this head to head game more replayable – It’s about playing the right card at the right time based on the ever-changing landscape of the election.
Deciding when to buy advertising (based on fluctuating ad prices and what issues are currently in the news) as well as which cards to play during the weekly “campaign battle” over the media.
Every round you must decide if you want to build your own campaign, try to beat your opponent head to head, or try to damage your opponents campaign – all are important, but which do you choose?
The 3rd party expansion adds vice presidential running mates, fundraising via super PAC – throw a little wrench into your campaign! (and watch out for upcoming stretch goals.)
If you’re looking for a fun, lighthearted approximation of the political process (including caricatures of the 2 current candidates!) with a dollop of strategic bite, Presidential Election should be on your ballot.
Published by BoardGamePrices.com
Check out our top picks for the big releases from the world’s largest board games convention, plus some exciting Kickstarters!
On our ongoing Road To Essen coverage, we take you through more of the most exciting games of the world’s largest board games convention.