I am Your President Review

I can’t decide whether releasing I am Your President – a game where you become the president of the United States of America – in this year is a stroke of genius, or madness.

The Canadian government looks to be veering Right as the good looks of Trudeau no longer sway the public like they used to. The UK has been in complete freefall for the last decade with the callousness of the conservative government having cut every nose off it could to spite its own face. Holland and France are in the throes of a hard right embrace. And US? They can’t seem to decide whether they want to elect a geriatric war criminal who can barely put two words together, or a geriatric criminal that can’t shut up.

So, it is bold of I am Your President to ape popular political imagery like the Obama mic drop and then allow the player to choose the first scenario of their game which is called ‘Make America great again’.

The good news is that despite all this I think it mostly sticks the landing.

So, first I will get into what I am Your President actually is.

Essentially a politics simulator, it starts with the player picking what their newly-elected President promised during their campaign. This is all done on very basic 2D screens, with other characters being presented as crudely animated photographs of people. It is not particularly snazzy but does the job.

The player is then required to pick what kind of tone the game will have and runs them through a little quiz to see what their political alignment looks like.

 These choices will balance out 6 meters: Society, Politics, Industry, Economy, Military, Diplomacy. As the President, it is up to the player to decide what suffers in favour of the other things but the key is to make sure none drop to 0.

Each day is divided up into signing bills, talking to different members of staff, enacting foreign policy and investing public funds. Occasionally there will be a speech to write, or a press conference to hold.

Each of these things cost action points and there are certain things that might need to be sacrificed to meet goals. Want to sign a law enforcing stricter gun control laws? Might need that action point to invest in better medical research in order to hit a political promise. Want to destabilise Libya? Might have to sacrifice improving the military for a few turns.

Answering questions during the interactive moments also yields some interesting moments. I am Your President has a political compass and where a player stands will change as they answer questions and impact their standing with people. There are definitely moments where it is better to stay quiet, which feels like a valid observation of real world politics.

The tone choice also works well. I set mine to jokey, and a lot of the comments felt like something Clinton, or Bush would have said. Mildly moronic, maybe harmlessly so, or possibly stupid enough to start a war on terror. I will say that I chortled a fair bit and when it then presented scenarios like on how I should reply to the prime minister of the UK’s nudes I was all onboard.

The game is immensely replayable too, with every choice having so many splintering outcomes and differing goals.

I focused on trying to bring free healthcare to the US and I was surprised by how non-judgemental the story was of this. There were certainly some wranglings I had to do, and some public trust lost due to missed commitments. There is compromise but I am Your President doesn’t go extreme centrist and expect the player to completely abandon their principles.

That said, I am Your President takes the same kind of tack when you go ultra fascist. You can build a wall, enforce stricter immigration, topple/exploit vulnerable nations. Admittedly this is something that the current US government does, but it is possible to crank that dial all the way up on the country’s worst tendencies.

Ultimately, I think this works because this is a measurement of how successful the player is at being the kind of President they promised to be, and not whether I am Your President thinks that is a good or bad thing.

I was genuinely pleased with how deep the game goes, given its shallow-looking presentation. Was it a genius or madness to release it in this year? I am still not certain. It was definitely an interesting year to do so. Hard to tell whether it will look prescient, or woefully naïve in a year’s time.


I am Your President is a funny, unnerving President Simulator that is well worth the time. It will make you laugh,, but maybe bitterly.

This game was reviewed based on Xbox S|X review code, using an Xbox S|X console. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. Game provided by publisher.

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  • Sharply written
  • Fun(ny) balancing act of politics
  • Finally being Joe Rogan’s worst nightmare and bring free healthcare to the US
  • A lot of different directions to go
  • The controls are designed with a Mouse and Keyboard in mind
Written by
AJ Small is a games industry veteran, starting in QA back in 2004. He currently walks the earth in search of the tastiest/seediest drinking holes as part of his attempt to tell every single person on the planet that Speedball 2 and The Chaos Engine are the greatest games ever made. He can be found on twitter (@badgercommander), where he welcomes screenshots of Dreamcast games and talk about Mindjack, just don’t mention that one time he was in Canada.

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