A week in the life of the British Prime Minister. But not just any Prime Minister, this game puts you in the shoes of Prime Minister James (Jim) Hacker from the classic BBC television comedy "Yes, Prime Minister".
Much like most political simulations, you must balance your popularity with the needs of your party, the meddling of foreign governments, and the small minded incompetence of the civil servants that surround you. All of this is played out with multiple choice dialogues between Hacker and the other cast members of the series (complete with lo-res digital pictures). The dry humor of the show abounds as you must deal with crises such as the French refusing to continue work on the channel tunnel until Waterloo station is renamed. Fans of the show will recognize much of the material and non-fans should still find enough laughs to keep them interested.
I'm quite sure you're familiar with the brilliant British political satire called Yes Prime Minister. Well now is your chance to be Jim Hacker that very same prime minister in charge (if you really think the PM was in charge) of that very same cabinet!
With that technicality out of the way I can finally start telling you about the game itself. It's political intrigue at the highest level. You'll be the leader of an entire country. Off course you're not a dictator, so your actions aren't unlimited, but there's quite a lot you will be able to do.
All the decisions you make will be made in a form of a dialogue with the other person giving you suggestions and you choosing from them. Every answer will have a different result. Sometimes you'll be able to wiggle your way out if you make a wrong decision, but sometimes you won't.
To help you a little there's a notice in the drawer saying: Diplomacy is about surviving until the end of the century, politics is about surviving until next week.
This is certainly true! There is a popularity counter in your office (it's behind the Union Jack) that starts off with 50% popularity. You'll be able to see it either raise or fall, depending on your choices.
There are some things that will be happening according to plan (the scheduled appointments), but some random things can happen as well.
So it's up to you to handle the situation to the best of your ability and hopefully become popular and successful enough to stay in the office.
The sounds are extremely basic and only used to draw your attention to the devices in your office. If the phone rings it will start blinking and you'll hear an annoying sound. This is very handy however, because you can't see the whole office at once, so you'd always have to move around to see if you're being called, or getting a fax.
The graphics in the game are also very basic. There's the picture of your office, there are small pictures of the people you talk too and there are different insignia on the official papers, but besides that, the graphics are not even needed.
Still the game is good fun for all who love political intrigue or are simply the fans of the series (you can even play a prank on Sir Humphrey - and I'm certain this is the only game that allows you to do that ;)
Yes Prime Minister is a very rare PC version of a "cult" Commodore 64 game based on the hit BBC comedy series of the same name that aired in the 1980s and was widely hailed as one of the best shows ever made about British politics and humor. Yes Prime Minister the game lets you be the Prime Minister in the show, Jim Hacker. Your goal: survive one week in politics (surely one week in politics is a lifetime in many other professions...) As in the show, you will be constantly harassed by Bernard Woolley, the Home Secretary, the press, the Irish Prime Minister, and Sir Humphrey Appelby.
Gameplay is similar to other political games, e.g. The Fourth Protocol or Floor 13, except it is a lot more tongue-in-cheek and much more limited. Most of your time is spent in the office, where you cn answer the telephones, read incoming telexes, answer the intercom, check the diary in the desk drawer, and read memos that appear on the desk. You can also click on the safe to see the latest opinion poll, i.e. your score in the game. You can only go outside the office when you have a meeting to attend, at which time the game will prompt you to choose your destination. You can advance the time by using the clock, but usually there are enough events that demand your attention simultaneously that this is not usually necessary. Your actions are limited to choosing from multiple choice options during meetings and telephone conversations.
Overall, Yes Prime Minister is a fun, "light" strategy game that focuses more on funny dialogues and political parodies than on taxing your brain. Fans of the show will really enjoy the game, and the British humor may make non-fans curious enough to find out more about this classic comedy. Recommended, but as a neat adjunct to the show rather than a good game.
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