Do you have what it takes to be president? Play as more than 20 candidates including Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich or create your own candidate from scratch. Players take to the campaign trail against a computer controlled opponent or a human challenger over the Internet.
User reviews: Mostly Positive (219 reviews)
Release Date: Jul 31, 2012

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Recommended By Curators

"im gonna beat obama"

About This Game

Do you have what it takes to be president?

Play as more than 20 candidates including Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich or create your own candidate from scratch.

Players take to the campaign trail against a computer controlled opponent or a human challenger over the Internet. The goal: win the hearts and minds of America’s voters to achieve victory in the 2012 presidential election.

The Political Machine 2012 features updated political topics from across the United States. Issues such as Afghanistan, the economy, Obamacare, income inequality, gay marriage, and the national debt have been integrated into the game’s election database. Regional issues require the candidate to walk a tight rope between appealing to the widest range of voters and appearing to “flip flop.”

Key Features:

  • Make your run for the White House as a famous politician or create your own.
  • Take a stance on the issues, stretch the truth, or smear your opponents!
  • Travel around the United States in your bid to win electoral votes.
  • Outwit interviewers and win the favor of voters.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS:Windows 8 / 7 SP1 / Vista SP2
    • Processor:1 GHz Processor
    • Memory:1 GBRAM
    • Graphics:64 MB DirectX 9.0c 3D Video Card with Pixel Shader 2.0 Support
    • DirectX®:9.0c
    • Hard Drive:1 GB HD space
    • Sound:DirectX 9.0c Compatible Sound Card
    • Other Requirements:Broadband Internet connection, also to activate this game you must create a Stardock account while launching the game on Steam.
    • Additional:Minimum resolution of 1024x768
    Recommended:
    • Processor:2 GHz Processor
    • Memory:1 GB RAM
    • Graphics:128 MB DirectX 9.0c 3D Video Card with Pixel Shader 2.0 Support
    • Other Requirements:Broadband Internet connection
    • Additional:Minimum resolution of 1024x768
Helpful customer reviews
11 of 11 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 23
The Political Machine 2012 is a board game styled, abstracted simulation of the whirlwind campaigning that takes place in the heat of the race for the White House. You select your candidate from a who's who list of presidential hopefuls and big name politicians from both parties (or create a fictional candidate of your own), pick your opponent from the other party, and then set out to win the election.The game is played on a map of the US with bobble-headed caricatures of the candidates serving as playing tokens. Each candidate has a certain amount of "stamina" which translates into the number of actions that he or she can take in a single turn.The Political Machine 2012 really is like a board game in that there aren't a lot of rules to the game but those few rules make room for a surprising number of different strategies. And those who equate simple with easy will probably be surprised at the tough fight put up by their political opponent at the game's higher difficulty settings.That being said, after a number of games a feeling of repetition does begin to set in. Although the novelty can be extended by randomizing things like state populations and hot button issues, this is still a game that probably won't stay a part of your regular game rotation.The game suffers from a few bugs, from the occasional random crash to a slowdown issue that has the game slowing to a crawl after you've played a couple of rounds. It's a lot of work to get into politics, but it's also a lot to try and turn it into a simulation for us to play at home. I would never say this game is a perfect simulation of anything, but it does a great job of being a simple, accessible simulation game even for people who aren't really into that type of game. Overall 6/10.
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.6 hrs on record
Posted: September 25
Good Gameplay, fun costumization, I introduced this to my history teacher and we played it. 8/10
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 15
i'd be a terrible president, but thats why i made the other guy look even worse.

really fun game, pick it up if there is even a slight interest in it ;)
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: August 10
It isn't anything too special, and I wouldn't recommend it as training for an actual campiagn, but if you have any interest or knowledge of politics, it is fun and entertaining. So far, playing as different well known political characters is fun. I am Jefferson running against Mr. Washington (Im winning).
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
33.2 hrs on record
Posted: September 25
There is a metagame that turns it into an actually fun strategy game instead of just a wacky character creator president sim if you're willing to get past the learning curve the game doesn't really tell you about. Also I don't know if this is still in the game but when I played it you got to constantly bash Chick-fil-A which makes it the best game on Steam.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 7
Fun game and rather unique. It has some intresting challenges and the abbility to make custom characters is a very fun aspect. Being a Southern Gentlemen as I am, I created Jefferson Davis and ran him against Abraham Lincoln. Lets just say, Lincoln wasn't to pleased when I said he favor's Obamacare.

9/10
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 22
I do enjoy this game but I would NOT recommend it. I wouldn't pay more than 1$ for it.

- Finishing the game takes 30minutes
- A lot of the content is basically meaningless (e.g. characteristics of the candidate don't have a high enough effect on the game play or building upgrades can be completly ignored)
- Very simple graphics (it's mainly only a map)
+/- It's replayable, but you don't feel bothered because of it's simplicty
+ You can make your own candidate
+ Steam achievements
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 29
The problem is that the game has the tagline "Do you have what it takes to be president?" but it really is an election campaign simulator only without the political aspect. What I am looking for is a game where you can play as either the incumbent or the challenger and that when you are the incumbent you have to deal with actually BEING president while simultaneously trying to run for the job. Similarly, you should have to actually BE a governor, congressperson, or senator and be subjected to the demands of those jobs if you are a challenger and are currently sitting in one of those positions. Of course, incumbency (of any sort) should have advantages but it should also have the disadvantage of having to continue to do the job from day to day. Still, this is basically no better or worse than any currently existing political game, so I will give it an unenthusiastic thumbs up.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
15.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 28
Is it simple yes? Is it also fun and S4 YES
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3 of 6 people (50%) found this review helpful
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 10
So awful I don't even have the words. This is a puzzle game that uses politics as its skin. Filled with bugs and constant crashing I can't even recommend it as a puzzle.
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4 of 8 people (50%) found this review helpful
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 2
i made george bush win the election against obama

10/10
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 24
A game that holds alot of promise proves to be a suprisingly shallow game. The game is too easy, and gameplay is comprised of going to different states, making a speech or making an ad, and fundrasing. REPEAT. There is more to it, but I honestly tried my best to lose by randomizing demographics, putting it on hardest difficulty (masochist), least amount of money, and shortest days. I still won. Boring. Try again in 2016.
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38 of 43 people (88%) found this review helpful
25.7 hrs on record
Posted: January 4
This is only good for people who are iterested in American politics. If you don't care about politics, do not buy this game. If you are, you can get a couple of good sessions out of it here and there.
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32 of 40 people (80%) found this review helpful
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 28, 2013
out of all the politically-charged satires featuring bobbleheads this one by far features the most bobbleheads
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25 of 29 people (86%) found this review helpful
161.3 hrs on record
Posted: May 5
If you have an interest in politics, american politics, campaigns or election then at £2.79 you'll get your money's worth in no time. If you love any of those things previously mentioned, you'll get your money's worth tenfold, and then some. I have seriously enjoyed this game and even though I've played with nearly every candidate and turned every states party loyalty upside down, I don't think I'm anywhere near done yet.

Best played with a good few hours set aside and go for the 121 weeks campaign. You can smash it, even on a high difficulty you can turn California red, or Texas blue and it's great fun going for the 50-state victory!

Constructive feedback: What I'd really like to see from the game is for it to contain more Real-time Strategy. Give my candidate a press crisis mid-game, give me more options to work the media, voters, PACs, etc. Nevertheless, I am really looking forward to 2016, for numerous reasons! Stardock will always contain a special place in my heart because of PM 2012 <3
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19 of 27 people (70%) found this review helpful
14.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 30, 2013
A great game if you get the hang of it
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16 of 22 people (73%) found this review helpful
11.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 26, 2013
6/10 if you're into that sorta thing.
A light-hearted take on U.S. politics with some surprising depths. Having taken Obama to beat Romney in 49 states on Election night I discovered many hours of fun left to be had. For Example do you want to see Kennedy challenging Lincoln on his attitude to funding Big Bird? Would Washington or Jefferson go down better on Lary King?
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12 of 17 people (71%) found this review helpful
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: June 9
Couldn't ban Dihydrogen Monoxide, 0/10.

On a serious note, the game is pretty fun to play, but you can only be Democrat/Republican.
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9 of 12 people (75%) found this review helpful
3.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 25, 2013
Game is surprisingly fun with a fair bit of depth, and works well in online multiplayer as well. Very customizable, and though a little late now, was updated with events of the 2012 presidential run as it happened. Definitely looking forward to The Political Machine 2016.
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15 of 24 people (63%) found this review helpful
29.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 17, 2013
Very Realistic! I love the fun cartoon theme, the large number of debating subjects to choose from, and the characters! I CAN'T WAIT until hopefully they make a 2016 version. I'm especially excited about that because they will then hopefully have Ted Cruz and Rand Paul!!!
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