I only very recently bought President Forever 2012, not having played the previous game for a long while, and I must say this is still the most awesome political strategy game there is. In recent years there have been some other political election games, but all focus on graphics and are no good simulation games. The level of detail that P4E has is great, and I love all the new additions to the game. I especially like that you can now court governors for their endorsement, and then actually use them as surrogates. So kudos to 270soft for a still-terrific game!
Still, there is room for improvement. Mostly in the interface, since the actual dynamics of the game are strong. Here are some things I thought of:
Most importantly: VP activity is not easily accessed. While you use candidate activities daily, VP activity is a submenu of the leader’s activity. You have to click two buttons before you get there, even though it’s one of the functions you use most, especially in the last stretch of the campaign when all else (endorsements, strategy setting, organization creation) has already been done. Maybe the VP could get his own button to the right of the leader’s activity button. If another button would have to go to make room, the Theme button could easily be put elsewhere: for example in the platform menu. It would make more sense. You use the theme menu only a handful of times in a game, while you use VP activity in every turn.
Sometimes I am unable to cancel VP activities
Is it possible to structure the surrogate activities panel in the same way as the candidate activities panel so that an orange X means cancelling an activity? I know the difference is that you can only check one activity for a surrogate, but making it the same as for the candidates would make more sense. Several times I wanted to switch the state where a surrogate would fundraise (because he/she would raise more), and clicking the fundraise button again cancels the activity instead of selecting a different fundraising location.
It would be great if you can ask for an endorsement in exchange for the VP candidacy.
Could the VP’s spouse be added as surrogate once the VP has been selected?
During my party’s convention I can still travel the country with my candidates. I should be forced to fly to the convention on the day of the candidate’s speech.
When selecting a state, the numbers are shown at the bottom right, but without the name of the state above. You see the flag, but no name. Moreover, right above the numbers it says “Candidate X is in state Y”, causing confusing. When looking for a state name with the numbers you only find the name of the state the candidate is in, but I think it should be clear in the blink of an eye which state you have selected. Maybe put the “Candidate X is in state Y” line at the top of the screen near his/her photo? It would make more sense.
When playing the 2012 scenario with primaries, Obama’s running mate was chosen randomly, and my ticket (Romney/Ryan) was suddenly facing Obama/Clinton instead of Obama/Biden. Could it be made possible to specify the opponents running mate when playing a game with primaries? Or could it be possible to set a default running mate for a primaries game?
Could interviews be linked to a weekday, so that the Sunday show interviews are only offered on saturday?
Can we get a switch for week-by-week play during the primaries?
After clinching your party’s nomination, your opponents are still able to actively fight you. Now I can understand that some candidates continue if they really don’t agree with you, but their ability to make news should be reduced dramatically. The media barely ever spend time on a sore loser, so all their campaign activity should have only a very minimum impact.
I was unable to cancel my spy. I could cancel spy creation, but not a working spy. What made this annoying is that a few turns after I found out I couldn't cancel, that spy got caught.
The recap screen would be more effective if notifications were grouped: first the result of activities of candidates, then organizational improvement, and so on.
Debate results are, in my opinion, way too detailed. I appreciate that more variables are put into debating, but if you play the republican primaries and have to click through 8 screens filled with numbers you don’t pay attention anymore. Maybe just show a screen with the total score per candidate, and then a button to click for more details.
In the ad screen, two buttons to select the political unit is confusing. Can they be merged, with the ones with ads currently being run or created at the top? Perhaps with brackets behind their names showing the number of ads.