Race To The White House: A History Of Miniclip’s Presidential Games

As Obama and Romney battle it out on the White House campaign trail, I thought it’d be an appropriate time to remind you that you can help Obama and Romney battle each other (quite literally) in the White House itself with our game Presidential Paintball.

But Presidential Paintball is only the latest in Miniclip’s long tradition of making political games. In this post I’m going to take you through a history of how it all started, right back  to Britney Brawl (featuring President Clinton)  and Hillary Clinton Dancing.

Recognise this? This was Miniclip.com back in 2001.

…and this is that same game on the site today!

One of the first games to make it onto the Miniclip site was Dancing Bush, which features the then President showing off his dance moves. I had a chat with Alex, Miniclip’s Head of Games to find out a little more about the history of Miniclip’s Presidential titles.

We made Dancing Bush by the co-founders filming themselves in the flat the company started in. We had to make some enhancements to the animations to make President Bush as flexible as he is in the game. The game was so popular that Miniclip fans sent it on to thousands of their friends, really kickstarting the viral nature of Dancing Bush.

Presidents’ Day 2004 saw Bush Shoot Out released, with President Bush having to repel a terrorist attack on the White House and Condoleezza making a cameo appearance with some sub-machine guns she happened to have lying around.

Miniclip.com back in 2004: I spent many a happy lunch break in my youth looking at this loading screen.

This was quickly followed up later in the year by Bush Royal Rampage. Alex commented on the game:

Bush Royal Rampage sees the action move to the UK, President Bush is over in London on a State Visit. During a ride in the State Carriage, Terrorists attack and Bush is required once again to save the day; at one stage in the game the Queen has definitely had enough, and taking a compact out of her handbag reveals a powerful laser.

Around the same time, John Kerry was campaigning to defeat the incumbent President Bush, so Miniclip’s co-founder reprised his role as the incumbent President and Alex tried his hand at dancing and joined President Bush in the game as John Kerry. The result of this unusual pairing was Hip Hop Debate.

Fast forward another three years to 2007, and the selection process for the 2008 election battle was underway, so Miniclip released Presidential Paintball. This featured six potential Democratic and Republican candidates, who got knocked out as the selection process went along and quite literally fought it out for the Presidency. The game also featured voting, as Alex explained:

Presidential Paintball was developed for the last US election and we had voting in the game. The users’ choice of candidate accurately reflected the outcome of the election to within 1%. The game has been revamped to feature just Obama and Romney for this year’s election.

After the candidates for the 2008 election were confirmed as  John McCain and Barack Obama, Miniclip released Commander n Chief (which is no longer available), which gave users a chance to make their favourite candidate the hero… and then reduce the other candidate to a quivering wreck. Presidential Pounding was also released for the 2008 election, where users chose between Obama and McCain and then the two candidates fought it out fist-to-fist.

President Obama sits down for a quick game on Miniclip.

As Barack Obama stormed to election victory and became President Obama, aliens stormed the earth in 2009 release Obama Alien DefenceAlex commented on the game:

Obama Alien Defence sees Obama tasked with saving the world from evil once more. Neither domestic nor foreign, this bunch are from Mars. In this game Bo (Obama’s Portuguese Water dog) comes in handy when helping Barack out of some tricky positions.

Now that we’re up-to-date with Miniclip’s games featuring Presidents and Presidential candidates from elections past, that concludes our tour through the Miniclip archives. Make sure you check out Miniclip’s latest Presidential game, Presidential Paintball, as well as follow us on Twitter and join us on Facebook for updates on what we’re up to.

My thanks, too, to Alex for giving this post its insight into how Miniclip’s Political games have evolved over the years. See you next time, folks 🙂