Trump Card: The Political Machine 2016 Released

When we sent Marsh in to prematurely evaluate Stardock’s election sim The Political Machine 2016 [official site], Donald J. Trump won the presidency in a landslide victory. It’s purely a coincidence that Marsh is no longer our Premature Evaluator, that our new chap is someone who knows better than to tempt fate.

Three months later, with the presidential race picking up, The Political Machine has left Early Access and properly launched. I’m interested by how its model has changed issues since that first release to reflect developments.

For example, check these adjustments listed in the changelog from a December update:

  • Updated issue importances to reflect current events. For example, recent events in Chicago have increased the importance of #BlackLivesMatter in Illinois. ISIS, Migrants, and Securing the Border (immigration) are also likewise more important as national issues.
  • Increased Trump’s “Media Bias” score a bit to reflect that fact that his supports are energized by negative media attention.

The game’s a crude simulation of the 220 million people eligible to vote, sure, but I’m often interested to see what a simulation’s makers think is going on and is important to reflect. It’s like how the methods and results of polls can be fun to pick apart. I really enjoyed this comment from a campaigner telling us what they believed was wrong with the game’s simulation. I mean, I know TPM is a game, not a serious sim, but still!

The Political Machine, I should explain, is a sim about trying to win this year’s US presidential election, either as one of the actual candidates or someone of your own creation. You campaign, plan strategy, take stances, run ads, and all that malarkey. It’s £5.24 on Steam, with a discount for folks who own earlier Political Machines.

Here’s a cracker of a change from the launch update:

  • Removed Donald Trump’s baldspot.

He doesn’t have a baldspot, okay. And his fingers are not short either.


  1. leeder krenon says:

    Can clearly see Stardock’s right wing bias in the way that they have made Trump look like some kind of suave super hero.

    • RabbitIslandHermit says:

      The hilarious thing is that Wardell is pretending that he’s some kind of moderate. This is a guy who boycotted UPS because they boycotted Glenn Beck.

    • Captain Joyless says:

      While I agree that Wardell is a right-wing nutjob, I don’t think he’s actually a Trump supporter, based on his November interview with

      link to

      • pepperfez says:

        I can see heinous-twerp solidarity leading him to back Cruz.

    • Distec says:

      Because they forgot to draw devil horns and Muslim blood dripping from the corner of his lips. That’s why, right?

      Truly, they made him look a god.

      • rabbit says:

        spot the right winger

        • Distec says:


          It’s the Muslim blood dripping from my lips, isn’t it?

          • rabbit says:

            no, it’s the fact that you seem not to understand the sane world’s mortal terror at absolutely everything relating to donald trump

    • Joshua Northey says:

      ???? Umm the game is trying to represent what is going on in the election, and right now Trump is killing his opponents. That should be represented in how they are represented. I doubt Wardell’s politics come into it at all whatever they are.

      I would be much more concerned about the fact that the bobble heads still look terrible, I just find the art design of these games an affront to good taste. In addition it is disappointing it hasn’t improved since 2004 or whenever it first came out.

  2. racccoon says:

    If trump ever got in, Our freedom would be gone & world wars 3,4,5,6,7 would be on the cards & the earth would become nothing but a pile of shit.

    • Fenix says:

      Still better than Hillary Clinton.

      • Imbecile says:

        Why? I’m not necessarily Clintons biggest fan, but I struggle to imagine anyone as potentially disastrous as trump

        • Fenix says:

          Well if we’re talking from the point of view of an American, yeah, Trump is by far the worst one. But since I’m not American, I don’t care about that as much as I care about international politics, and Hillary Clinton really scares me when it comes to that.

          • pepperfez says:

            As a USAmerican, this frankly seems bonkers to me. Sanders is probably in general a little more skeptical of military intervention, but any given Republican will be dedicated to, among other things, starting a war with Iran and undoing the small steps made with Cuba. HRC is, at worst, a representative of the US consensus, which is shitty in a variety of ways but better than the right-wing alternative.

          • Fenix says:

            Funny you mentioned that, because I am Iranian. Just from reading and listening to what they’ve said, it appeared to me that Clinton is as likely to hurt Iran as any of the Republican candidates, maybe not direct war but she’s always wanted even more sanctions.

          • Cinek says:

            Clinton scares you when it comes to international politics? Yea, I’m non-US too, but in no way it seems to be the case. I’d much rather see her than Trump as a US president when it comes to international politics. And as for sanctions with Iran – let US have them, in the end what matters more to Iran is having an open relations with the EU, and EU seems in no way interested in sanctioning them again.

          • pepperfez says:

            Fair enough! She is kinda nonsensically bad on Iran, and noticeably worse than Obama or Sanders, but she remains better than any conceivable Republican.

          • Fenix says:

            @Cinek, that is true, but most of the EU being part of Nato means that the US will try to force Europe to copy her on the Iran-bound decisions that the it will make; as a recent example look up the new Visa restrictions that the US passed a bill for for Iranian nationals or even non-Iranians that have ever visited Iran.

            @pepperfez, you’re probably right. But for some reasons I find the blatant out-in-the-open horrible ways of the Republican candidates less scary than Clinton’s supposedly ‘democratic’ ones.

      • pepperfez says:

        The leaders on the R side this year are a guy hated by almost literally every person he’s ever met, corporations included; and a billionaire who’s gotten himself blacklisted by every bank in America and openly muses about fucking his daughter. Still theatre, rapidly approaching Brecht.

      • pepperfez says:

        This is, of course, intended for Unsheep below.

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        The Borderer says:

        Nah, Hillary is better than any of the Republican candidates, but that isn’t saying much. The reanimated corpse of Richard Nixon would still be better than her.

  3. Unsheep says:

    In reality though, whoever has the largest corporate backing is most likely to win. Following the elections in the US is like watching a theatrical performance,…the same goes for my own country.