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Review: Mindjolt's U.S. Presidential Games Part 2
In the first part of Bright Hub's review of Minjolt's politically themed games we only touched the surface. As we get into part two, we will explore three more games offered up to Mindjolt's politically enthused Facebook fans. Each game features candidates Barrack Obama and John McCain and has its own theme. You can play the cartoon candidates through Olympic events, or a cash grabbing race across the country, or a mad dash for vote coins in front of the White House. Are they worth your time, or just a poor attempt at cashing in on one of the most anticipated elections in recent history? We'll take a closer look at that here.
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Presidential Olympic Trials
In Presidential Olympic Trials you can play as either Democratic candidate, Barrack Obama, or Hilary Clinton. You then select a candidate to challenge in four different Olympic events: hurdles, weightlifting, speed skating, and skiing. Unfortunately, this game is as ridiculous as it sounds. It is just an Olympic sport game where the athletes have the heads of presidential candidates. At least games like Dance with Obama and Election Madness were made to look ridiculous. This game seems to be a very typical attempt at an Olympics simulator, with the result being a mediocre browser game with no real point, and with very little fun to be had.
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Each event in Presidential Olympic Trials is done in the style of a mini-game. You start off by picking the candidate you would like to play. Then you choose your opponent in the events (either John McCain or the remaining Democrat) and play each event in turn. Although you are asked to choose an opponent, only two of the four events, hurdles and speed skating, require that you actually compete against the other candidate. Two of the events are also extremely easy, while the other two are only slightly more challenging. On the easy side there are hurdles and weightlifting, the mildly more challenging side has speed skating and skiing. There are no real tricks or tips to offer in this game as, over all, it's pretty easy.
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Graphics and Sound
Both the sound and graphics in Presidential Olympic Trials are as unimpressive as the gameplay. The graphics are rather boring, and unpolished. Also throughout the whole game you are forced to either mute the music, or listen to The President's March over and over again. As Dave Chapelle would say, “I wish I had more hands, so I could give this game four thumbs down!” I know this sounds harsh. I understand the effort that is taken when building a browser game and because of this, I wish I could say something positive about Presidential Olympic Trials, unfortunately I just can't.
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Race for the White House
Race for the White House is a Glow Monkey game, the same company that brought us Presidential Olympic Trials. Where Presidential Olympic Trials fails, Race to the White House succeeds. Race to the White House is a foot race between John McCain and Barrack Obama where you can play either candidate. Your goal is to run across America faster then your opposition, picking up as much money as you can along the way. You must avoid all the obstacles in your way, as they will slow you down. Whichever candidate makes it to the finish first becomes the president of the U.S. of A.
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This is a fun little game! In Race for the White House you run across the country from left to right, starting in California and ending in Washington, DC at the White House. Along the way you will have to avoid campaign barricades, banana peels and birds flying across the screen. Each time you hit an obstacle it will slow you down. The longer you go without hitting an obstacle, the faster you will run. I have a couple of tips that can help you get to the White House a little faster. First, every time you see a bump on the path, jump. Nine times out of ten you will jump over a barricade. Second, try and jump on to the clouds, you'll usually get some extra money and avoid a barricade and some banana peels.
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Graphics and Sound
In terms of the audio and visual components of Race for the White House, there are some ups and downs. The music is pretty good, and it fits in well with the gameplay. The sound affects are also pretty cool. I love the bowling pin sound when you run into a barricade. Visually, this game is hit and miss with me. The candidates' toons are pretty sad looking. They are same graphics are used for Glow Monkey's Olympic Trails game I talked about earlier in this article. The look of the course makes the overall graphics somewhat passable. You will run by all kinds of American landmarks in the background, it's a cool idea and pulled off very effectively. The final verdict is that this game is fun for the first few times but that's probably about it.
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Vote Grab 2008
Vote Grab 2008 is a fast paced, grab as many votes as you can, race around the White House grounds, kind of game. You can play as either John McCain, or Barrack Obama. You must race around the White House lawn grabbing coins faster than your opponent, each coin represents a certain number of voters in each state. You can slow your opponent down by running through a mud puddle or pick up a speed bonus by grabbing a newspaper (I'm not sure how one person running through a mud puddle can make another slow down, that's how it works). Whichever candidate picks up the most votes over all fifty states becomes the new president of the United States of America, or at least a bunch of stars fly around him indicating something good has happened....it's a little vague there.
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To beat your opponent in Vote Grab 2008, you have to be quick and accurate. The vote coins pop up randomly all over the White House lawn, if you are not fast enough the other candidate will beat you to the coin and pick up the votes. Your candidate must walk over the shadow of the coin to pick it up, that's where accuracy is important. Often two votes will pop up at the same time. You will only have enough time to pick up one before your opponent grabs the other. Make sure you check the number on each coin and try to grab the coin with the higher number to get more votes. Also grabbing the newspapers and running through mud puddles whenever you can will help you gain the advantage.
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Graphics and Sound
Personally, I really like the graphics in Vote Grab 2008. They have a real South Park kind of feel to them which I find entertaining and fun. I love that the heads of both Obama and McCain are real picture cut outs. This proves that, by doing something unique and fun with your toons, you can still reach your audience and make them laugh, even if the rest of the game is really simple. The game only has one song but the song works for the pace of the game. It could use a few more sounds though, the one bleep that goes off every time you pick up a vote coin gets rather annoying after a while. All in all, this game is not bad, but you probably won't be running to play it every day.