Codex Gamicus
The Political Machine
The Political Machine Coverart.png
Developer(s) Stardock
Publisher(s) Ubisoft
status Status Missing
Release date 2004-08-10 (NA)
Genre Government simulation
Mode(s) Single-player, Multiplayer
Age rating(s) ESRB: T
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
Arcade system Arcade System Missing
Media CD
Credits | Soundtrack | Codes | Walkthrough

The Political Machine is a government simulation game from Stardock, in which the player leads a campaign to elect the President of the United States. The player accomplishes this goal by traveling from state to state and engaging in a variety of activities to either raise money or raise poll numbers.

Each game starts with the selection of a pre-created candidate or creation of a fictional candidate from one of the two major American political parties, the Republican Party and the Democratic Party.

Headquarters and fundraisers are possible, the effectiveness of which depends on various factors.

When enough money is accumulated the player can "invest" it in advertisements (either through newspapers, radio, or TV media). The effectiveness of these ads are determined by several factors. An ad supporting tax cuts will work better with Republican Texas than with Democratic Massachusetts.

A key factor in the game is the concept of "Stamina" and "Turns." In each turn (representing one week), a candidate has a set amount of stamina to engage in activities. For example, establishing or upgrading a campaign HQ costs more stamina than creating a newspaper ad.

The sequel, The Political Machine 2008, was released June 16, 2008, with new characters introduced, such as Barack Obama and John McCain.[1]


Basic candidates[]


Chloe Sullivan has several strong areas as a candidate, but suffers from a lack of experience.

  • Bill Clinton
  • Hillary Clinton
  • John Edwards
  • Al Gore
  • Jeffory Jackson (fictitious character based on politician and 1984 and 1988 presidential candidate Jesse Jackson)
  • John Kerry
  • Chloe Sullivan (character from Smallville)
  • Tom Vilsack


  • Barbara Bush
  • George H. W. Bush
  • George W. Bush
  • Laura Bush
  • Dick Cheney
  • Mike Forbes (fictitious character based on 1996 and 2000 presidential candidate Steve Forbes)
  • Bill Mason (although there is a Bill Mason, he is not related to politics. The computer game character is based on the 1996 Republican presidential Nominee Bob Dole)
  • Condoleezza Rice
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger

Unlockable candidates[]

These candidates have to be defeated by a member of the opposite party in Campaign Mode in order to unlock them.


  • Wesley Clark
  • Jimmy Carter
  • Bill Richardson
  • Dick Gephardt
  • Lyndon B. Johnson
  • Woodrow Wilson (mislabeled as from Georgia)
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • Thomas Jefferson (member of the Democrat-Republicans, predecessors to the Democrats)


  • William Taft
  • Gerald Ford
  • Ulysses S. Grant
  • Richard Nixon
  • Theodore Roosevelt (mislabeled as from Ohio)
  • Ronald Reagan
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • George Washington (sympathetic to the Federalists, predecessors to the Whigs, and in turn the Republicans)

Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 71.79% (24 reviews)[1]
Metacritic 72% (21 reviews)[2]
Review scores
Publication Score
GameSpot 7.4/10[3]
GameSpy 4/5[4]
IGN 7.9[5]

External links[]


  1. The Political Machine. Game Rankings. Retrieved on 2009-07-28
  2. Political Machine, The. Metacritic. Retrieved on 2009-07-28
  3. The Political Machine. Gamespot. Retrieved on 2009-07-28
  4. The Political Machine. GameSpy. Retrieved on 2009-07-28
  5. The Political Machine. Retrieved on 2009-07-28