Hail to the Chimp Preview

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Publisher: Gamecock
Developer: Wideload Games

Platforms: Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3
Official Site chimplove.com




Projected Release: Spring 2008

Kyle Ackerman

Well in advance of the 2008 presidential election, the same studio that brought us Stubbs the Zombie will release Hail to the Chimp, a political send-up that pits ten animals against each other to become King of the Animals. Nowadays, that isn't as simple as devouring every other animal in the royal line. Nah – with democracy, an animal has to be elected to rule.

As with modern politics, the candidate who wins the official vote is the one with the most clams. In the animal kingdom, clams are semi-sentient voters, but it still helps to have more of them in your pocket than any other candidate. As a candidate, you play mini-games against the others to secure the most clams. Between mini-games, GRR (the all-animal 24-hour news network) keeps track of the polls and ultimately the election is won by the animal with the most mini-game victories. Both the games and the GRR coverage of the candidates is presented as stylized and cartoonish visuals with construction-paper or corduroy textures, similar to early episodes of South Park.

Ten animal candidates battle for the animal kingdom's votes. Among them, Ptolemy is an Egyptian hippo who wants to bring a party atmosphere to animals everywhere. Toshiro, the octopus, reasonably believes that since most of the world is water, aquatic creatures should rule. Santo, the armadillo, is an urban artist looking to leave the desert permanently with the help of the people's support. Bean is a sloth from Seattle, Washington with a penchant for coffee. Her caffeinated take on life is that there's nothing animals can't do with the help of a serious workout and decent diet.

Wideload still has plenty of time before release, but I got a chance to play two of the fully-functioning mini-games. One had four of us racing to collect clams and stuff ballot boxes with them, while a second had us rounding up sacks of cash from fat cats. Both were frenetic fun, but the games are a lot more than simply racing between locations. You can attack other players, battering them to make them drop their hard-earned clams, and you can team up with other candidates for devastating attacks.

The team attacks are easily the most entertaining way to brutalize other candidates. While I played Crackers the Chimp, Toshiro the Octopus grabbed my feet like we were joining a wheelbarrow race. I controlled the direction of the two-animal team, while Toshiro got to power up the attack. Striking either of the other two animals lost them copious clams.

This lighthearted political parody supports up to four players, either online or on a single console, so you'll have a chance to manipulate your own election while working hard to ignore the long build-up to the 2008 United States presidential election.

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This page contains a single entry by Editor published on July 17, 2007 10:43 AM.

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