Written by Nelson Hernandez Sr., and designed for the IBM-PC
by C.H.O.marzu, this computer game was released by SSI
(Strategic Simulations Incorporated) for MS-DOS
You basically control a presidential candidate in any of the campaigns from 1960 to 1988. If you choose to play the historical campaigns of 1968 or 1980, the race is three-way with the historical "two-party" candidates and the "third party" candidate (George Wallace
as the candidate of the American Independent Party
in 1968, John Anderson
as the candidate of the National Union Party
in 1980). If you choose 1988, you can pick from a variety of potential presidents, including Albert Gore Jr.
or create your own.
If you decide to create your own candidate, you rate 21 opinions ranging from social views to economic policy to foreign policy, on a scale of 1-9, with 1 being "completely disagree with the position" and 9 being "completely agree with the position". Then you rate your candidate's speaking ability, personal magnetism and poise (again on a scale from 1-9, with 9 being the best). You choose what state the presidential and vice-presidential candidates are from as well as what party is the incumbent
and whether the presidential candidate is running for re-election.
The next step is deciding the economic and political conditions of the year (such as the rate of inflation
growth, whether the nation is at peace
or at war
, the nationals morale and self-confidence compared to the rest of the world). Lastly, you choose which candidate will be managed by the computer (and which will be managed by you). The campaign lasts 9 weeks, during which time you choose how many "political action points" (PAPs) you'll use nationwide, regionally and in three specific states (in the case you want to focus on a particular big-vote state or on a "too close to call
" state). Then you choose which states you want to campaign in, and how many stops in each state you want to make. After you've spent your PAPs for the week, you'll be asked if you want to debate the other candidate (or candidates), and if at least one is willing to, you'll go to the debate screen.
The debate is Q&A, with a follow-up statement after each candidate has answered the question. This involves divvying up a percentage amount to different speaking styles (ranging from "discussing relevant considerations" to "stating your position"; from "attacking opponent's position" to "killing time" by either dodging the question or being anecdotal).
After the debate, the national poll is shown with a percentage of the popular votes and the number of electoral votes that each candidate has, including the total electoral votes for the states that are "too close to call
". The last screen shown before the start of a new week is the electoral map, showing how each candidate is doing in each state by color-coding (solid color meaning solid lead, and stripes meaning slight lead; "too close to call
" also has its own color).
Once the nine-week campaign is complete, the election night screen will show in "real time" the number of popular votes won by each candidate, and the number of electoral votes (as soon as the computer projects a state for one of the candidates). After the first states are projected, you then have the option of looking at the map, jumping ahead in 10 minute increments, looking at the final results, looking at the results in unprojected states or projecting the next state in "real time".