Political Animals [official site] is a turn-based strategy game. It's also a colourful election simulation where candidates are replaced by cartoon animals. It should be released in time for November's US elections. No, really. As the blurb goes:
"Building a wall around a country to handle migration is completely insane, except when the candidate suggesting it is a mongoose with severe hair problems, then it's practically cute."
Political Animals takes place on an island: the player is a presidential candidate, and each turn they have to choose where to campaign and what for, how to best raise funds and how to spend them. Of course you can be a boring goody-two-shoes, appeal to good causes and try to be honest; or you can actually join the fun side of life, with bribery, fabrication of press scandals and intimidation tactics.
The game is aiming to be a funny and liberating experience for all those who feel dread and hopelessness when they read the headlines.
"Distressed by your own country's politicians? Why not fight the good fight as a politically savvy chicken or a pig in a bow-tie? Politics will never get you down when sex scandals involve scantily dressed cats and the only political violence comes from police-helmet wearing warthogs."
To tell you the truth, as much as I do feel hopeless when I read the news, I'm not at all sold on the "wacky politics" angle. But it does make for a good opening quote, I'll give it that. And maybe there'll be enough going on with the gameplay to carry the game forward. Surely I'd be curious to see if they'll balance it so that being honest is a viable strategy, that'll be an interesting statement in its own right.
Political Animals is being developed by Squeaky Wheel, a new studio lead by Ryan Sumo, an artist who's worked on Spacechem and Prison Architect. Positech, them of Democracy 3, are publishing it. The game should be out for Windows and Mac before the Presidential elections.