A downloadable game for Windows and macOS
This game was available from 2016 to 2018, and is now offline. Subscribe at www.gregbuchanan.co.uk/newsletter for more information about what's coming next.
[Temporarily online for Wordplay, at which I am speaking about political games!]
THIS GAME IS A SATIRE. THE CHARACTERS DEPICTED IN THIS GAME ARE WORKS OF FICTION, DEPICTING EVENTS THAT ARE NOT REAL AND NEVER HAPPENED. NAMES, CHARACTERS, PLACES, AND INCIDENTS ARE THE PRODUCTS OF THE AUTHOR'S IMAGINATION AND ARE USED FICTITIOUSLY. OBVIOUSLY NONE OF THIS COULD EVER POSSIBLY HAPPEN, THAT WOULD BE RIDICULOUS.
WARNING: Depending on your choices, this game can contain scenes depicting implied physical threat, online harassment, and characters with homophobic, misogynistic, and/or Islamophobic views.
"Why shouldn't a president serve himself?"
You are Abigail Thoreau, a manager working for Daffy Drumpf in the final week of his Presidential campaign.
You wonder how many people you've known throughout your life would be surprised that you support a man like Drumpf, that you could. But this job is the opportunity of a lifetime, both for you and for the country.
You can stop this. You can scale it all back. People should be free to lead their own lives without interference, and if you're part of it, if you're at his side, you can shape how it all turns out.
You can't support his opponent. You won't.
Told across eleven chapters, this is the story of how you made America win again.
Kotaku: "You play as one of
Donald Trump's Daffy Drumpf's campaign managers, leading the man in his charge to ascent to the American presidency. Over the course of 11 chapters you'll dart between moments on the campaign trail to earlier moments in your character's lifetime, making choices that will be remembered and played out in the final chapters of the game. Paper Drumpf did something I didn't expect, it genuinely made me feel some measure of sympathy for Donald Trump. [...] it's certainly done more to make him appear human than anything else I've seen of him on the news or shot across Twitter."
The Mirror: "Whilst it is a satirical game about Donald Trump, his candidacy for President of the United States and his motives for doing so, it somehow manages to take a very calculated, reasoned approach to it all. [...] Running roughly two hours long, it's a great choice-based game to sink your teeth into if you're interested in world politics and fancy a dark, serious look at the American presidential election with a dose of satire. Or, of course, if you're just interested in great writing."
Boston Globe: "Thoreau is not your typical Drumpf supporter, for reasons having to do with her past, and so the game also involves a moral reckoning — you've hitched your wagon to Drumpf, career-wise, but do you really want to be complicit in the reality of a President Drumpf? What would that mean about who you really are, deep down? [...] Paper Drumpf does advance the genre in various interesting ways. Since a modest indie game requires much less lead time than even the most bare-bones TV show or movie, we'll likely see more of these projects in the future: that is, games that are about big current events, but which are released as those events are still unfolding. That's a good trend."
Polygon: "Abi Thoreau is a true believer. She sees charismatic political hurricane Daffy Drumpf as the solution to America's ills. A legal whiz, she takes a job as part of Drumpf's braggadocious campaign for the presidency. Almost immediately, Drumpf recognizes her as a useful operative. He takes her into his confidence. Paper Drumpf is an 11-chapter text adventure about a Donald Trump-like figure and his efforts to secure the world's most powerful position. It's a wordy investigation into the psyche of a demagogue, driven by a lust for affirmation and adoration. As Abi, players make dialog and action choices as she comes to know Drumpf, his true beliefs and his modus operandi."
PC Gamer: "A smart piece of interactive fiction that puts you in the role of a gay, female advisor to Donald Trump (or, indeed, 'Daffy Drumpf'), in the final week of his presidential campaign, and beyond. This is more serious and more interesting than the silly name-swaps would lead you to believe, featuring a complex main character, and a chilling vision of a potential future (where 'Drumpf' secures the presidency and basically dooms the world)."
FreeGamePlanet: Paper Drumpf is a satirical narrative and does contain a few funny moments (Drumpf's wife plagiarising the lyrics to The Fresh Prince of Bel Air for instance), but on the whole it's a very sombre affair that refrains from painting
Trump Drumpf as the clown-like caricature he's portrayed as in the media, and instead paints him as an intelligent, calculating, and occasionally empathetic human being. Drumpf even carries out some acts of kindness throughout the game, but It's never quite clear what his motives are.
Playlist of all episodes
Download the ZIP file and unzip the folder inside. Then, double click the .exe or app to load PAPER DRUMPF! The game may come up with a warning saying 'unknown program' or something similar; just ignore this by clicking 'more info' and 'run anyway'.