I seem to have upset a few people with my reviews of The Jackbox Party Pack 3 and Office Freakout, so gather round reader, I've got a fun game for us all to play. I thought what we could do for a nice group bonding exercise is play a game so undeniably bad that nobody will be able to defend it. So load your shotguns, pack your bags and get ready to shoot some fish that have been conveniently placed in this metaphorical barrel. No, I don't know where I'm going with that metaphor move on.
The Race for the White House 2016 is currently available on Steam for the price of £6.99, which for you Americans is $9.99. Jesus Christ that is a lot of money for this game.
Something I noticed straight away before even booting the game up was this was a rip off of another terrible game made by Everism. Everism are the company that made this game, along with another game similar in almost every aspect, World of Leaders. The game I'm reviewing here has the exact same features as World of Leaders, just one or two minor changes here and there. It's the same layout as the other games, the same bad design and most notably the exact same graphics and assets are used in both games. Both games are equally as bad as one another.
I should also point out that when launching the game a number of bad things happened. Firstly it wanted me to subscribe to a newsletter to do with the game. I would recommend you do not subscribe to this newsletter. I didn't subscribe to it, mainly because it's going to be 98% spam, 1% election updates and 12% maths equations, but it does nothing to benefit you. It's not explained as to what the newsletter is, always be cautious about stuff like that.
If that wasn't bad enough, after I declined the newsletter, it stated the game would not run properly because I didn't have "XEID Codes". I literally have no clue what these are still, I'm pretty sure it's something not needed because the game ran fine. Well, I say fine. It was bad. A disgrace to the gaming industry I dare say.
But what makes it so bad? Surely you're just using hyperbole here, right? Wrong.
There isn't one. Sorry, that's the easiest way of getting this section over and done with. You can play as one of three candidates, each representing a different party. Republicans, Democrats and The Yellow Party, which as far as I'm aware is some sort of crossover with Nick Clegg's Liberal Democrats Party that isn't even a party anymore. Sorry, the voices in my head are telling me not to get too political about things, so I'll stay away from my opinions on politics.
Yeah, so the game has you take the role of one of three parties and the aim of the game is to obviously get into power of the United States. I only just realised it's quite fitting I'm reviewing this around now, just before the Presidential Election.
Obviously so as to not be sued the game uses fake names. But little to no effort has been put into these names and it really takes you out of the immersion when you're running against "Ronald Drump". I wish I was making that up, I really do, but no, the game decides to use some ridiculous names that don't fit into anywhere at all.
Being a simulator, the games main aim will be to simulate things as accurately as possible. Before you start the game you can pick the difficulty you would like to play on. Easy, normal or hard. Very basic stuff, at least it works and it was worth mentioning because it's one of the few things that actually does work. Although, if the image below is your title screen, I'd be surprised anything worked.
You can actually learn more about a subject you're not sure about on Wikipedia. This is both a pro and a con for me. It's a pro because it's there, it's a neat idea that, if executed well, would make the game much more enjoyable. Of course, the con is that if you're playing a simulator the experience is playing it over and over until you do it perfectly. That's what it is for me anyway. I don't think a person running for President would ever say in a debate "Hold on, I don't understand the question, however our friend Wikipedia may know a thing or two about the war in Iraq".
The game apparently has multiplayer, which honest to God really did surprise me. But of course it doesn't work, I didn't even try it, I just know it won't work. Mainly because there's no sucker paying $9.99 wanting to play multiplayer with me, and if there is, too late, the review is out already.
For some strange reason, when you get so far into the game, Russia will contact you. Yes, Russia. For whatever reason, they offer you a chance to frame your opponent for fraud and tax evasion and all that horrible stuff. Naturally, I accepted it, just to see what it would do. You pay $150,000 to frame your opponent, with literally no consequences. Their party suffers a big loss in votes and their reputation never recovers. Utter nonsense, that's all I can describe that as.
You can create ad slogans at least. Well, I say create. You can pick from a drop down menu, each being more terrible than the last.
I suppose they aren't too bad and maybe I'm being a little harsh. But come on. They're just generic texts. Maybe make it so that, you know, we can type our own? Yeah, that'd be much better. Let us come up with what we want to say instead of picking from a selection of about thirty slogans. Thirty slogans are finite, you'll use them all eventually.
A cool little feature in the game, yes I did just say cool, is that wealthy businessmen will sponsor you and your campaign by donating money. It's a little odd that they're giving literally millions of dollars to you but hey, it's free money. I'm a Brit, but I'm fairly sure there's a limit to how much one person can donate. Like isn't that the rule? $10,000 per person or something? I have no clue. Not important, it's not important to the game anyway. Quick note as well, you do televised debates. It's not really important, nothing happens as far as I can remember.
Of course, the problem with that happening is that it takes away from the pacing of the game, to which there literally isn't any. One minute you'll have little to no money, the very next turn you'll have ten million dollars and a plane to catch to go and give a talk to a farmers club or something uniquely strange like that.
The entire game just boils down on clicking random things and hoping you win. I got bored about twenty minutes in so I just clicked random things. I was president in no time. There are these random event things as well like earthquakes and stuff. I'm not being horrible, but those earthquakes are really bloody annoying. I'd set up to go and do a speech and then had the choice between flying to see earthquake victims or giving a speech at a stadium. The random events only seem to happen when you're doing something important so they're really just more annoying than anything.
Graphics and Sound
Unsurprisingly the options menu has little to no options to actually change. What I did think was strange is that there was a button you could press to be taken to the developer's website. A neat little thing, yes? Well, not exactly, mainly because it opened in an outdated, unused browser that I still have for some reason. It opened in Firefox and took five minutes to load. I guess that's my bad but it should've opened in Chrome like literally everything else does.
And another thing, if you're going to give me some tips, don't show me it as the bloody ten commandments.
I mean what am I supposed to learn from this? Not only does it look awful, but I'm presuming you can barely read it. Yeah don't worry, neither can I. It's out of place for a game like this and just straight up weird to see. I got unnerved seeing the ten commandments in a game that has literally nothing to do with the ten commandments.
I suppose this is the tutorial? I mean, I could find literally nothing else that would be considered a tutorial, literally
Abysmal is defined by Google as "extremely bad, appalling". I would most certainly call this abysmal.
I mean Christ, just look at it! There is literally not a single thing I can name that is right about this image and how the game looks. This is a fully priced game for $9.99 currently available on Steam. Look at the character models, they aren't even Playstation 2 tier. Look at how big the buttons are too, it's inept design at best.
I'm a big advocate of "graphics don't matter" and they should never affect your playing experience. But this is just taking the piss. I mean come on, you expect me to stand by the one golden rule I never break when I'm presented with this? It's almost 2017, I get that people don't have enough money to make expensive, good looking games, but this is made by a company with a number of games under their belt. Bad games yes, but games none the less. It's lazy design and poor work ethic when you create a game that looks like this and it isn't the first time you have done so.
Also, there is sound. I forget what it was, don't think there was any music actually, along with some horrid voice acting that sounds like a robot did it while taking a break from killing humans or whatever robots do. But it's just downright terrible.
Do I really need to say anything? If the words I've written up there aren't enough then I'm not sure what I can possibly do to demonstrate the unfathomable awfulness of this "product". Poor graphics, poor sound quality and effects, graphics from a pre-PS2 era, little to no immersion for a simulator, better games similar to this on the market and to top it all off it's not even an original game. At least it loads. But so did The Slaughtering Grounds, and that game was somehow worse than this.
Democracy 3 and The Political Machine 2016. Two games that are actually around the same price range or cheaper and have some actual effort put into it, along with a functioning game too. The Race for the White House 2016 really falls a hell of a lot short when compared to those two games. I mean $9.99 for this? It's insane.
|+ It loaded up without causing me physical damage||– Pre-PS2 Era Graphics|
|– No immersion whatsoever|
|– Much better games that do a better job than this|
|– Sound is horrendous|
|– No tutorial to explain anything at all|