In an effort to politically connect with “meme-loving” millennials, politician Clive Palmer has released his very own mobile game. Titled Clive Palmer: Humble Meme Merchant, the game is definitely a mess of political messages but admittedly, it is also a successful marketing tool. At the time of this article’s publication, the game has overtaken Fortnite and is sitting at the top of the Adventure game charts on the App Store.
If you don’t know who Clive Palmer is, the businessman and United Party leader is well-known for his interest in bright yellow billboards and controversial statements such as: “Make Australia Great.”
The app, which apparently took several months to make, was developed by Australian company Emu War Games. In a press release, the company’s Creative and Strategic Director, Tom West said:
“Mobile gaming is a rapidly growing segment of the mobile economy in Australia and we believe this app represents a world-first political communication strategy.”
Is Clive Palmer’s Game Actually Good?
While this mobile game is definitely an instance of good marketing strategy, does it hold up as a good mobile game? Technically speaking, it’s a game by design but it’s not a fun game to play.
It follows the typical format of side-scrollers with you continuously move right as the screen moves left, jumping from platform to platform, collecting tokens and avoiding enemies who walk into your path. To put it into perceptive: think Super Mario Bros but instead of a cheerful red plumber jumping on Goombas, you have a mini Clive Palmer stepping on cockroaches with Bill Shorten’s head.
Humble Meme Merchant‘s levels are based in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Rural Australia and other cities across Australia. The player starts off in Townsville and is expected to unlock and complete each level with the game finishing up in Australia’s political capital, Canberra.
The game’s touch screen controls are difficult to deal with and if they don’t make you delete the game, the sound design likely will. Jarring and obnoxious, the sound of squished cockroaches and politicians isn’t something easy to listen to. The background music is an irritating parody of Culture Club’s Karma Chameleon and reports have stated that Palmer may face legal action from the band’s record label over claims of copyright infringement.
The game is definitely not worth any time investment but what can be understood is that it was not designed to be groundbreaking – it was made as a political tool.
For those that feel up to trying out Humble Meme Merchant, it is currently available for free on both Android and iOS devices.