And you thought this election season couldn't get any worse
Almost no one watched the last presidential debate in order to choose a candidate – they actually tuned in because they're either terrified or delighted that, in a matter of weeks, Duke Nukem might be President.
But if tomorrow's would-be Leader of the Free World is intent on imitating gaming's most gratuitous highlight reel, at least enterprising indie developers have been busily returning the favor by coughing up a motley bunch of new Donald Trump-inspired titles on the App Store, Google Play and Steam. The choices on offer are almost as binary as your options on November 8th: All you get to choose is whether you want (A) to be Donald Trump or (B) to beat him to a bloody pulp.
If you've been wondering what might happen if the man with a constipated frown somehow gets into the White House, there's Jrump, developed by Oddboy and AppArcanum. The game features a delusional halfwit called Donald Jrump, whose unexpected electoral success is only curtailed by him immediately bringing about the apocalypse.
As Jrump, you have to escape the planet you destroyed by jumping through its atmosphere on your favorite things – walls you can somehow create from thin air, and promises. Along the way, you battle famous liberals and unlock new outfits for your hero. Thanks to Jrump, the list of things I'll never be able to unsee now includes the image of a disgraceful, cartoon shitweasel wearing a jaunty leotard and tutu combo. On the upside, at least Jrump doesn't threaten to send you to jail in real life if you point out that invading the galaxy makes you an illegal alien everywhere.
For those who'd rather perpetrate violence on Donald than save him, there's no end of throwaway screen-tappers to drown a few precious minutes of life with. Brutal Studios' low-brow Punch the Trump is perhaps the most simplistically literal of the bunch: A melted Trumpface stares out at you from your screen while you jab at it artlessly in order to smash him about a bit. More entertaining, if equally as shallow, is Badabun's Derrota a Trump, which asks you to shoot fruit, cakes and old boots from a cannon at unending waves of invading Trumps and red-eyed Trumpbots. Every time you fail, the game starkly reminds you why lethal fruit-bombardment might be the only sane response to our current electoral dilemma: "Game Over," it says. "You Have Condemned the World By Not Stopping Trump." I just refused to accept the result and played the thing all over again.
Meanwhile, over on Steam are two very different games called Make America Great Again, that are both loosely based on the premise that a jingoistic slogan is just a disingenuously wholesome way to dress up tomorrow's corpses with today's nostalgia. The first, by e-Solutions, is a platformer where our poorly-rendered hero lurches ever further to the right to singlehandedly defeat terrorism; no mean feat for a man who avoided the draft with heel spurs. Appropriately enough, the game's so broken that it's literally unplayable, making it something exactly as unachievable as any of his pledges. It's not so much a game as a metaphor for futility that you can purchase digitally.
But Maverick Game Studio's Make America Great Again: The Trump Presidency is something far better. It's a satirical sim of the Donald's future reign featuring gameplay that might almost have been designed to mimic the unironic vitriol you can find posted as online reviews by Trump's most ardent fans. What making America great means – in life as much as in this game – is getting to patriotically bully and invade your way around a world that inexplicably hates you and everything you stand for, clicking spitefully on your enemies with all the finesse of a 3 a.m. tweet, and divorcing yourself from the very real consequences of your actions like they're so many discarded ex-wives. Do it well, and you'll somehow not just defeat ISIS but also pay off the national debt. Do it badly, and all you are is a victim of a liberal conspiracy robbing you of your God-given, Constitutional right to rob them first.
Who cares if the game misspells the word Amendment as long as it's talking the about the one where you get to keep all your guns? And who cares if it isn't really all that good a game at all – more a meme-generator with some Nineties graphics stuck on? This is the first time since 2002's Donald Trump's Real Estate Tycoon (yes, this was an actual game) where, if you take everything that happens in the game literally, you get to spend a few happy hours living in a madman's daydream.