Developer: President Studio
ESRB: Not Rated
I was kind of excited to play I Am Your President. It sells itself as a cynical political satire/strategy game. I just recently left a political job that left me feeling cynical about the whole process. In that kind of situation, I figured a little biting satire would be exactly what I needed.
I Am Your President is not exactly biting. In fact, it?s barely even satirical, and it doesn?t involve a whole lot of strategy. It?s more like if someone with a vague idea of what politics are looked at a few memes and decided to turn those into a whole game.
Needless to say, if you?re looking for an in-depth political simulator, this is definitely not it. The game doesn?t seem to understand how presidents are elected (there?s some vague reference to a candidate dropping out before the election). It seems to think cabinets are random people picked by the party, and that staff come with the office. There?s the odd reference to legislation, but only passing references here are there to opposition parties, and virtually no recognition of Congress. You can pick where to spend your money, but there are rarely any consequences of your decisions. For a game that?s about being President of the United States, I Am Your President only seems to have the vaguest idea of what that involves or how it works.
It would help if the story were at least half-decent, but again, since the game mostly seems to think in memes, it mostly just throws random scenarios at you and only rarely follows up with any of them. Occasionally the game will introduce a plot point (for example, your Russian grandmother might be a spy), but these rarely have any impact on your popularity. In fact, if you make it to your second term, you?ll be in a position where your spending stats are all maxed out, so no matter what you do, your popularity continues to increase. You can even do things like go to war with another country, lose, and not have that acknowledged by the game or reflected in any of your stats.
Given the lack of attention to detail, it probably shouldn?t come as a surprise that spelling mistakes abound here. While using words and phrases like ?Amiericans? and ?Secretary of Treasure? aren?t exactly game-breaking bugs, the fact they made it into the final version of the game only serves to reinforce the feeling that the whole thing is just a joke (and not a very funny one).
I get that I Am Your President isn?t trying to be Suzerain or Democracy, so expecting it to be on par with either of those isn?t fair. But it?d be nice if it made any effort whatsoever, rather than thinking that a few pop culture references and some vaguely political words are enough to make it a political simulator. There?s room for a good, snarky satire game, but this definitely isn?t it.
PlayWay provided us with an I Am Your President PC code for review purposes.