Love him or hate him, Donald Trump has been the president of the United States since last year. Since then, there are certain individuals out there that love to remind the world this is the president we currently have. For example, the mobile and Steam marketplaces have since seen plenty of video games loosely based on either the presidential election or Donald Trump’s status as a president. One of these games, of course, is Super POTUS Trump, a blatant parody of the Paper Mario series where Mario’s replaced by a far less endearing old person.
With all that in mind, let’s pretend that no one pleaded guilty in the Russia investigation, that Puerto Rico has been assisted by the administration, that MAGA hats aren’t made in China, that Trump golfed only a few days in his entire presidency so far, that he gave up all of his businesses before being sworn into office, and that Hillary is relevant.
Ready? Here we go.
The plot consists of an abridged version of the 2016 presidential campaign, from the day Donald announced his candidacy in 2015 to the final debate between him and the evil Crooked Hillary. There are six chapters containing significant aspects to the campaign that the brave Donald Trump fought hard against. These include things like the illegal immigrants that will totally be blocked by a wall, the constant fake news, and Hollywood stars pandering to liberals.
Before every round, Super POTUS Trump has an option for you to learn about the event in question. When you click on that, you’re greeted with…a YouTube playlist of videos catering to Trump supporter sensibilities?
Look, I’d be here all year if I tried fact-checking every corner of this game. It’s clear that it doesn’t feel like taking itself seriously, anyway. After all, as seen in one of his attacks, Donald uses emojis in his Twitter posts; we all know that’s incorrect.
For some reason, there’s only one resolution option before having the game boot up and it’s not the smoothest. Look past that and you at least have a decent-looking game in terms of its presentation. Super POTUS Trump emulates the cutesy Paper Mario aesthetics almost to a tee. It’s not quite as super-polished as the average Nintendo-made game, but it runs smoothly and has a variety of creative set pieces inspired by the election.
Beginning with a chiptune remix of The Star-Spangled Banner and heavily borrowing voice clips from footage of the campaign, the audio clashes in design but isn’t too bothersome. In fact, I actually got a kick out of some of the one-liners chosen for the game (Donald’s mouth being lip-synced to them is a nice touch as well). The rest of the background music is fine as well, albeit they are not really what could be considered as battle music.
Super POTUS Trump is a very short game that’s made up of six battles – one for each major event. There’s no exploration or story-driven moments to be found here; the battle system is the meat of the entire package. Donald is able to use one of up to four different attacks and he can chow down on some KFC or steak to refill health. After winning a battle, you can choose to have more health or garner coins to unlock up to two new outfits. Battling is typically an exercise in clicking on virtual buttons either quickly or at proper timing. It’s worth noting this game is also on iPad where it makes sense having on-screen buttons to press. This PC version, however, has no keyboard controls; unless you have a touchscreen, you can’t reach the max power of the hat-throwing move because it’s impossible to move your mouse and click fast enough.
Even after adjusting to the virtual buttons that pop up onscreen, the game can be rather stingy when it comes to letting attacks land. If just a couple attacks miss the opponent, chances are you might not be able to win the fight. Enemies can take great chunks of health, so there’s not as much room for error as in actual Paper Mario. Unfortunately, the game doesn’t leave it up to you to capitalize on anything. You can’t dodge attacks on command, nor can you press a button again to deal more damage with the same attack. You just have to deal with whether or not the game decides if you or the opponent misses. And it will be you more often than the opponent. If misses don’t become an issue, though, it’s possible to get enjoyment out of performing the attacks; although they are similarly executed in design, the animations that play out and the smack sounds that come from them make the move worth it. Building up each attack makes for a nice payoff when the enemy receives extra damage, too.
Is the game as a whole worth the price of admission? Well, considering this is Steam we’re talking about, there are definitely other games that offer much more for $1.99 than Super POTUS Trump (and are likely better optimized for PCs). It has its amusing elements but it gets downright discouraging when luck plays a factor in deciding the outcome of a battle. Still, as a game starring Donald Trump, I could have expected much worse. I’d prefer playing this over the games he actually did put his name on.