Overall Score 40%
Dress The Politician
It's a big night for any American political candidate. They need to look their best for the nation - so it's up to you to get them dressed. Hey, you don't get to be president if you spend your time deciding on trivial things like clothes. You need to save that mental processing for big things, like wars and the economy, or whether man and fish can live together in harmony - though maybe that one was just George "Dubya" Bush.
Well, with this app from Nerdy Lizard, you can do just that. Select your mostly naked political pundit - all Americans, I'm afraid, if you were hoping to dress up Sarkozy or Cameron or even Putin - and pick the outfits for them to wear. You have a choice of tops and bottoms - do you go for a suit? Jacket and jeans? - and there's also a selection of dresses. As there's no restriction on gender, there's nothing stopping you putting Rick Santorum in a flattering gown that shows off his legs. And if you feel the need to bleach your eyes after that image, pass me the bottle while you're at.
Right! So you've dressed your politician. Now you can select the background. Are they chilling in the White House? Are they showing off their new threads on CNN? Or are they just admiring themselves in the walk-in wardrobe? All done? Tap the button and stand to attention as the music plays. And, er, that's about it. You can restart with another outfit and/or politician if you like.
I think this may be stretching the definition of "game". It seems rather thin - especially for a paid app - and is unlikely to have much appeal outside of the States (or after the election). Though, as a marketing method, it might be quite effective - a UK edition allowing you to dress the cabinet, or an EU version... there are plenty of localisation options. Even so, it isn't really a game. It's more like the character generating screen at the start of an RPG, and I probably would pay money for a game that let me equip the Republican nominees with broadswords and set them against a horde of orcs. It would be the most exciting thing to happen to politics since Churchill took on those Nazi velociraptors with his bare hands. Or did I dream that?
The graphics are rather basic and the politicians are presented in a caricature style. The construction of the app somehow manages to give all of them the same height and build. Being in the UK, I'm not as familiar with American politics as the intended audience and had no idea who some of these people are (and would struggle to recognise the ones I've heard of, including the current incumbent, if the names weren't given). Sound is very limited - the only significant use of the speakers was the rendition of "Hail to the Chief" when you've finished assembling your creation.
The general interface is simplistic. It's hard to identify any major differences in the outfits themselves, which are limited in number and not overly extravagant. Suits and dresses? Is that all? Why not go further and include T-shirts, cheerleader outfits, soccer kits, halloween pumpkins, angel wings? You could add a whole extra element with hats (including Lincoln's famous headgear, of course, but also beanies, caps, bowlers, trilbies, helicopter hats, devil horns...). The selection method for each element is a single button, so if you go too far you can't go back but have to go round again. If you had a lot to choose from, it would take forever to search through. And when you're done... now what? There's nothing to actually do. You can't even save the image or post it somewhere, which is possibly a good thing if you're planning on putting Ron Paul in a ballgown. I don't THINK that would count as libel...
There's plenty of room to expand on this app. At the moment, it's just too simple to warrant paying for (and having adverts at the beginning as well is plain cheeky). With a better interface, more content and some options to finish off with it could be more diverting - until then, it simply doesn't cut it.
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