Brexit The Game is a free to play game brought to us by Mill Media and developed by Mladen Tachev. Much like the Trump games (Trump Bounce, Trump on the Run, Trump Dump, Run from Trump) that came before, a well talked about real event is a great way to either make money or get a load of marketing for next to nothing.
The problem there though is that the games released to coincide with these life events are invariably rushed, badly designed and hard to handle. A bit of credit goes to the developers of Brexit The Game because it is actually free. It is free to play, free to download and there are no in app purchases. That is a phrase that is barely ever used anymore. It does make up for that though with very regular ads.
Most of that credit quickly goes away once you play the game which is flat, uninspiring, hard to control and as far away from creative as we can get. Brexit is a big complicated area and so game makers could actually be clever here and create an RPG or RTS styled game or something. Something where you have to make decisions that affect the economic strength of the countries involved.
Brexit The Game didn’t go for any of that cleverness. Instead it has 2 basic modes, Try to Leave and Try to Stay. Each game mode has 4 levels to it before the game is completed. Starting with, Try to Leave, you control a London styled bus draped in the Union Jack. Your bus moves across the screen from left to right. You move the bus up or down the screen by sliding your finger that way. The aim is to reach the right hand side of the screen.
To prevent you from reaching it, coins, styled like Euros, come tumbling out from the right at different heights and speeds. You move your bus up and down to avoid those coins and continue progress to the “far right” of the screen. If you make it, you move onto the next level, called Week 2 of 4. Do it 4 times for 4 levels and you succeed completing that mode. If you hit a Euro, you get knocked back. If you get knocked back to the beginning you lose. Also, as your bus moves it burns fuel. Burn too much and you also lose.
In Try to Stay mode, there are again 4 levels classed as weeks. This time you have little characters running towards “Leave” ballot boxes. They come from the right and you ping stars at them to stop them. The stars are styled to represent the European State stars from the flag of the EU. Hit a character 3 times and they can’t vote to leave. Repeat 4 times. Miss too many characters and the Leave vote takes the lead so you lose.
Sounds alright so far, if not a little weak on content, but it is no fun to play more than once or twice. Firstly, it is obviously extremely repetitive and therefore very quickly becomes dull. Secondly, the controls aren’t good. With the bus in Try to Leave, you have to keep your finger on the screen always as if you take it off and put it back on again, the bus jumps towards the center. Also, the imprint doesn’t feel quite right. You have to clear the Euros by a good distance as even ones that miss you by a couple millimetres knock you back.
With Try to Stay, the stars are laboriously slow to shoot and the screen feels unresponsive as you tap multiple times to get one to fire. On top of that, you get multiple characters come at the same time and speed but can only shoot one at a time making it impossible to stop every voter.
Musically, there is not title screen music in Brexit The Game. Starting Try to Leave sees church bells ring and then a little folk style theme. You also get the chug of the bus. The failure and success screen sees a military style brass band play a traditional tune. Try To Stay sees a different folk tune play with irritating little laughs, think high pitched evil villain, from the voters that succeed in avoiding the stars.
In fact the only thing about this game that is worth commending is the occasional clever little touch. For example, the little characters that try to vote Leave in Try to Stay are designed to look like a caricature of Boris Johnson. The bus that aims to reach the right in Try to Leave has a counter on top of it. This adds money as you move further away from the background EU flag on the left towards to UK flag on the right. If you reach the end, the sum it closes on is always 350 million. A significant number in Brexit pre vote campaigns.
That is the game – it is dull, repetitive and unresponsive. The music is nothing special, there are no options or difficulty levels. It is free but there are ads after every level, win or lose. There are some nice little recognisable touches but they are only clever the first time you see them. The fact that the bus has a Union Jack on it is great until you realise the thing won’t move where you want it to go.
It is free, so why not give it a go. I imagine you will do exactly what I am about to do. Try it, delete it.
Brexit The Game is available on the apps store and android now.
Brexit The Game