Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Freeware Love: PMQs

For some strange reason I've always enjoyed watching Prime Minister's Questions. There's something alluring about watching the leaders of your country act like the unadulterated school ground toffs that they are. It's almost like watching a parody of itself. So what better way to celebrate this strangely addictive spectator's sport than having a go yourself? PMQs, a game developed by Mark Richards alongside his blog Pixel Politics, allows for just that.

PMQs is best described as a text-fighting game which harks back to Monkey Islands' insult duels in which the player achieves victory by retorting with the correct comeback to the enemy's insult. In PMQs the player takes on the honourable role of David Cameron (the PM) who has to defend himself and his government against the dastardly Ed Miliband. You do this by first reading the question from Miliband and then choosing from a variety of answers of which to deflect the question. And deflect is the right word here. Without answering any of the specific questions you must choose the answer which vaguely hints at the subject. Miliband asks you about Europe, the answer simply requires you to insult the previous Labour government's position on Europe. It's a pretty accurate depiction of the usual PMQ repartee (however I think Milibaby gets off a bit light). As you either win arguments (which sometimes go back and forth a few times) or lose them, Cameron and Miliband take damage. The one to lose all their hit points goes down and the show is even rounded up with a brief comment from everyone's favourite, Andrew Neil.

It's all pretty quaint stuff. Each match takes only a few minutes but it's still fun to go back and read all the cleverly redundant responses which make up the Pm's arsenal. The special attacks are particularly amusing. The game uses pixel art to represent the House and the various MP's while the audio, such as it is, seems to be direct recordings from TV or youtube. PMQs takes possibly the most weirdly enjoyable part of Wednesday daytime TV and turns it into a charming and genuinely enjoyable little game. 

Here's a picture of Andrew Neil for good luck
Oh yeah! The games available here:

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