Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Election Jammer



Don't tell me my finger's not on the pulse of society. As the U.S.A. and the rest of the world (who has to live with you) celebrates the election of Barack Obama to the office of President, I found myself considering this blog. In keeping with this brave, new world, so full of hope and opportunity, I had to ask: is this right? Maybe from now on I should focus on the positive side of online games, the pros that naturally outweigh the cons.

But then I thought, no. No, I won't be doing that. Even as we live history, I still gotta bitch about Flash games.

Anyway, with the election results dominating the headlines, I felt it only fitting that I take a gander at the many election-themed games that have popped up over the last year, and while I was surprised by how good so many of them actually are, I wasn't shocked when I came across Election Jammer.



It's all very simple - fly around collecting stars (which somehow equate to votes) in order to win the election. I played as Obama, because I figured if anybody can collect stars while flying a plane across the United States, it's him. The arrow keys get you around, but you have to be careful as you only have a limited amount of fuel, here shown in the guise of campaign funds. Take too long to collect the stars and you'll literally crash and burn.



Of course, you're never given anywhere near enough fuel to complete the level, but you can pick up refills in the form of money bags that top up your funds. Still, it doesn't help when you're in situations like the one shown above. Without fuel, I can't reach that last single star hanging right above me.



In fact, the only thing I can do is fly off the edge of a platform and crash, so I can start again. At least you're given unlimited tries, but you receive far fewer points every time you fail.

One of the main reasons behind so many restarts, and my biggest gripe with the game, is the sensitivity of the controls. Press too hard and you can send your little nominee shooting offscreen, not to mention waste valuable fuel. Every moment you're in the air costs you more and more of your minuscule fuel supply, so you can't really hover and line yourself up with the stars. More often than not you need to devise a way that will allow you to collect all the stars as you go hurtling around the screen, and as far as I can see there's really only one solution to each level.



Eventually bad guys show up. Here's Bill O'Reilly, doing what I'm sure he'd love to do if he ever got the chance - smacking Obama around the face with a fly swat.



Glenn Beck also makes his presence felt, prompting me to ask "Who the fuck is Glenn Beck?" Apparently he's a conservative talk show host who once compared Al Gore's efforts to raise awareness of global warming with the tactics Hitler used during the Holocaust. If that doesn't piss you off enough, these levels are more often than not evil.



And while we're on the subject of all things evil, here's Rush Limbaugh. And what I found was, a few changes aside, these levels are remarkably similar, meaning that play quickly becomes monotonous.

Oh, if you're wondering who McCain has to face when you play as him:



I'd also have a picture of him facing off against Oprah, but apparently if you go back to an earlier level in the game, you lose all of the later levels that you worked so hard to attain. So, even though the game saves your progress and gives you the option to play any level you choose, should you go back to an earlier stage, you have to play through the whole game again.

Sometimes game developers can be as stupid as the Bush administration.

So, in summation, Election Jammer sucks. Not that anyone reading this cares - you're all too drunk to give a rat's ass about Flash games. And hey, given the enormity of recent events, maybe the games can take a back seat, just for this week.

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