The science fiction reality
Vote!!!: App of the day
What is it?
A colourful 3D beat 'em up from developer Chair Entertainment, which is best known for its two Infinity Blade games. The stars this time aren't warriors or monsters though: it's US presidential candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.
Its surreal humour. If the thought of a clown nose-clad Barack thumping Romney with a rubber chicken doesn't bring a smile to your lips... well, it should.
iPhone/iPad - £4.99
Few people would have expected US presidential candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney to be coming to blows publicly by the end of this summer, let alone with giant sausages and lightsabers. Yet that's the promise held out by iOS game Vote!!!
A silly novelty? Wait a second. The game's developer, Chair Entertainment, is the company responsible for the two Infinity Blade games, which have been big hits on the App Store. In fact, Vote!!! borrows those games' basic combat mechanics, and applies them to duelling politicians.
So, your first choice is whether to play as Obama or Romney. Each can be customised with an outfit, weapon and accessory. Karate gear and superhero costumes for the first of those, sausages, sabres and other silliness for the second, and a mixture of shades, hats and masks for the third.
All these items cost virtual dollars, mind, and you don't start with many. The more you play the game, the more you'll earn to unlock more items, although you can buy stacks of coins through Apple's in-app purchases system to speed this process up.
There are also power-ups such as 'Health Care' (you can't be knocked down), 'Fundraiser' (the coins you find when fighting are all worth $20) and 'Filibuster' (rounds are 30 seconds longer), but they cost virtual dollars too.
The fighting itself is simple to grasp: tap and hold an on-screen button to block or a pair of arrows to dodge, then swipe across the screen to attack when your opponent is stunned. It can be a strange experience, seeing a virtual Romney use moves you recognise from a giant slavering beast in Infinity Blade.
Every so often, the action cuts to an animation, during which you can tap on your opponent to get coins. The game itself takes place in a variety of political hotspots, including the Oval Office and White House lawn.
Along the way, there are achievements to hit, and friends to outdo via Game Centre and Facebook, if you choose to connect your account in the latter case.
If you're in the US, there is also information about various voting resources for the real election, while your efforts in the game contribute towards a mock-poll on the two candidates - Obama has 65% of that chart at the time of writing.
Vote!!! doesn't feel like it has the long-term depth of the Infinity Blade games in its current state, but neither does it feel like a tiresome novelty game. There's some good fun to be had here, no matter how clued-up you are on the actual election.