Megalo Polis is funny… At first. Then, the repetitive gameplay and the grating, squeaky voices of the ridiculous, bobble-headed candidates drags down the whole experience. If the “strategy” tag on this game appealed to you, you’ll be sorely disappointed.
Author: Lady Dawn
Developer: Black Sheep studio
Publisher: Black Sheep studio
Genre: US Elections
Release date: 26th of October, 2016
In the 2016 elections, anyone can run. Play as a giant form of presidential candidates Hilary Clinton, Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz, or Donald Trump and try to win the popular vote by running around the states.
Anyone can run in the 2016 election…
You run—literally—using the mouse. In fact, the entire game can be played via your mouse, though there are a few hotkeys that correspond with the number keys.
But to win you’ll need to be fast.
The race is on. (See what I did there?)
In order to conquer districts, you’ll need to get there before your enemy and sway your constituents with honeyed words that you may or may not mean. You know, like an election. The squeaky voices that utter these honeyed words are aggravating, but if you listen closely, you’ll hear phrases that you might actually expect the flesh and blood candidate to say in real life. That was a nice touch.
So long as the coloured ring around your candidate’s feet are touching your constituents, who are much, much smaller than you for whatever reason, you’ll convert them into loyal campaign supporters. Sort of.
A claimed district will change colours to match your candidate.
You’ll need to backtrack.
Constituents’ loyalty is easily swayed by the other candidates, so you’ll need to touch claimed areas frequently in order to lock them and stop them from being claimed by another candidate.
Locking only lasts for a few seconds and so expect to run back and forth frequently—especially if you expect to win over that state at the end.
The game will tell you when an opponent is attacking one of your districts, which is helpful, but it needing to drop what you’re trying to claim in favor of saving what you already own quickly becomes tedious.
Revisiting areas will also allow you to pick up the cold hard cash they’ve produced. This cash is a key factor in your campaign because…
You’ll need… To make it rain?
That’s right, folks. If you circle the mouse around your candidate, you can encourage your constituents closer to you by showering them with campaign funds. This makes it easier to convert larger groups of people at once, but take care you don’t go broke.
A timer will tick down, indicating when the next city over will wake up. Once a city is awake, you can run to it, which is quite slow, and then start conquering districts anew.
You’ll keep doing this until the timer on the final city runs out. Then, you’ll be taken to the stats screen where you’ll be shown how well you did. After, you’ll be allowed to choose another state… And you start from the beginning of this section.
You do this again and again until you or one of the A.I. becomes president. I’ll be completely honest: I couldn’t find it in me to play until presidency.
The game has three difficulties, five candidates to play as, and you get to choose your own campaign trail (sort of).
It also has special ability cards, each of which fall under one of three categories: attack, defense, and support. These allow you to do a range of things like double your range of influence, trap other candidates to prevent them from running around and touching your stuff, and flip a claimed territory to neutral so that you can claim it for yourself without any fuss.
*Unlocking cards is a matter of fulfilling arbitrary tasks given to you. If you’re going for them and trying to win the popular vote at the same time, you’re in for a rough ride.
Regardless, there’s not really a good amount of differentiation in gameplay.
- Fun idea, particularly given the recent election.
- The candidates’ chibi forms are accurate.
- Fun idea, poor execution. Gameplay gets very repetitive, very quickly. You find yourself clicking a bunch to run around, sometimes pausing to draw a circle so that you can lure in voters. The game very easily becomes a tug of war in which you’ll be balancing conquering neutral areas and dropping everything to run back to the ones you’ve already claimed because the computer is trying to flip them.
- The “strategy” tag is misleading due to the above.
- No multiplayer. On that note, this would be more fun as a board game than a video game.
- The squeaky voices grate on the nerves—especially when they overlap.
- No real replayability. The cards don’t change up the core gameplay in a significant way, neither does selecting a candidate.
- The random events before embarking on a campaign are almost guaranteed to fail. The RNG seems harsh and unfair in this case.
- The asking price is steep given what the game offers.
If you’re hardcore into politics and have a high tolerance for repetition, this may be worth a shot. If not, well… You’re better off just watching a YouTube video and having a laugh. You’ll still get about the same amount of content and it would be free as opposed to spending the 9.99.
Let’s break it down!
Story/adherence to a theme–7/10
Polish (How well the idea is delivered)–5/10
Atmosphere (Sound and graphical content)–5/10
Good for one playthrough, but not much else.
Stay in the know, gamers <3
~Dawn, NeedtoKnow Gaming