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The Political Machine 2012 announced: join the US presidential election this summer

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Sins of a Solar Empire publisher Stardock has announced that the 2012 version of its recurring presidential campaign strategy game, The Political Machine , will be available on "most digital distributors" this summer for $9.95 USD (about £6, if directly converted). The players are Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, or a custom candidate, and the goal is to "win the hearts and minds of America's voters" against a human or AI opponent.

The Political Machine 2012 will feature topical national issues, such as gay rights and the war in Afghanistan, as well as regional issues to test your doublespeak on. Stardock says the updated game will also include UI, graphics, and gameplay improvements over the 2008 version, and "better support for updating the game issues based on new polling data even after the game is released." Stop by the official website for more screenshots and future updates.

So, will you "take back" America, as Romney has put it , attempt to overcome Santorum's internet rebranding , post a screenshot of your Ron Paul victory to Reddit, or fight for Obama's second term?

Tyler grew up in Silicon Valley alongside Apple and Microsoft, playing games like Zork and Arkanoid on the early personal computers his parents brought home. He was later captivated by Myst, SimCity, Civilization, Command & Conquer, Bushido Blade (yeah, he had Bleem!), and all the shooters they call "boomer shooters" now. In 2006, Tyler wrote his first professional review of a videogame: Super Dragon Ball Z for the PS2. He thought it was OK. In 2011, he joined PC Gamer, and today he's focused on the site's news coverage. After work, he practices boxing and adds to his 1,200 hours in Rocket League.