The Secret Service would tackle you in an instant if you ever tried to punch a politician, but you can safely fight a few of them in Glu Mobile’s latest boxing game, White House Rumble. The game isn’t specifically tailored to the 2008 presidential campaign, but White House Rumble is a timely political satire with some high-quality graphics and animation.
The full roster features ridiculous cartoon versions of six politicians, three of whom are candidates currently running for president. If you still harbor a grudge against George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, or Al Gore, this is a great way to let it out. Current candidates Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and Rudy Giuliani are opponents as well, and each character has a faster and tougher version for an extra level of challenge. The contenders are all detailed and expressive, especially when they’re taking punches or performing their taunts.
If you’ve played Glu’s previous boxing game, Super K.O. Boxing (or its obvious inspiration, Super Punch-Out!!), you’ll quickly grasp the basic mechanics. Using a combination of basic punches, blocks, and dodges, you have three quick rounds to knock out your foe. It sounds simple, but uncovering the right strategy to use for each fighter can be challenging. Each opponent has a special tell right when they’re most vulnerable, and that’s the best time to strike. “Mad Dick” Cheney’s bald head, for example, gleams when he’s about to smack you, and “Eco Al” Gore does a hula dance in his grass skirt before he fires off an inconvenient uppercut. The simple moves — including a powerful special punch you earn for landing repeated shots — are very satisfying to pull off thanks to the highly responsive controls.
Even more enjoyable than the smooth visuals and controls is White House Rumble’s sense of humor. Berserker Hillary rips off her business suit to reveal a Schwarzenegger physique squeezed into a pink tank top, and a ghoulish Giuliani’s eyes literally pop out of his head after a few solid punches. It could use a few more playable characters, but for hitting back at the political establishment with excellent style, White House Rumble is a real knockout.
Played on a Verizon LG 8300