Author: Paul Sumner
Publisher: Addictive Games
Machine: Spectrum 48K

Published in Crash #42


Elections are held every two years in your country, and your success as President is dependent upon opinion polls. Political events affect your standing, too - winning tank battles improves your popularity by two per cent, but allowing your people to be hungry takes it down one per cent.

You rule the main 'oil screen'. This is the battleground for tanks, which you control in combat - and the centre of your country's economy.

You can survey for oil, build rigs, build roads for tanker trucks and sell the crude on the international market; to feed the oil workers you must plant the right amount of crops, and to protect them set up anti-aircraft guns.


The value of your country's currency is based upon gold purchases and reserves, and you must keep your currency strong to purchase oil-production equipment, military hardware and food. Gold is bought in the futures market, affected by future world growth - by anticipating growth rates, you can buy gold when prices are low.

To maintain your country's health, money must go on preventing diseases; epidemics are made worse by food shortages and the disruption caused by explosions, but food overproduction increases your people's resistance to disease.

An Income And Expenditure listing is given for each month and from this a balance-of-payments figure is obtained - another factor in your popularity.


Control keys: C/A up/down, V/P left/right. ENTER to fire (or cursors)
Joystick: Kempston, Cursor
Use of colour: very simple
Graphics: character blocks
Sound: 'at the third stroke...'
Skill levels: one
Screens: one, plus menu screens


'The inlay is similar to the cover of Harry Harrison's book Stainless Steel Rat For President, but don't be misted. Harrison's book is brilliant, and President is of really, really low quality. The graphics are tiny, animated awfully, and coloured badly. Is this compiled BASIC? If not, it must be someone's very first attempt at machine code. President is boring, badly written and unplayable.'


'This is just too tedious for words. Every decision is carved out over and over again. I know this is how a government is run - but there could be other elements like campaigning and revolts, which would have livened it up immensely. I didn't find any of the small stages very taxing, I never felt I was in control of the country, and it all seemed far too random for realism. President might be the best game of its type, but the whole concept is very boring.'


'President brings to mind Football Manager, and like that it's interesting for a while. The concept's good - building up and maintaining your country's economy, fighting the odd war and making import/exports - but there's no action, and I soon tired of it. It may appeal to strategists, but not to many battle-hardened blasters.'

Paul SumnerMike DunnMark Rothwell

Other Spectrum 48K Game Reviews By Paul Sumner

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  • The Sentinel Front Cover
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  • Inside Outing Front Cover
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  • Super Sprint Front Cover
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  • Top Gun Front Cover
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  • Martianoids Front Cover
  • Nemesis Front Cover
  • Bedlam Front Cover