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Developer: Frogames
Price: $1.99
Version: 1.2
App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★½

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Welland is in need of a new president. The current leader, a cruel and heartless mime, has made existence miserable for all of the land’s residents. It’s not just him, either. There’s a network of corrupt government officials spread throughout the various cities that need to be removed from power. Fortunately for Welland there’s a meek, agoraphobic watchmaker named Titus who’s ready to set things right.

I was pretty much expecting TITUS – politics is not a game to be a collection of mini-games and I wasn’t wrong. However, I wasn’t expecting those mini-games to be wrapped in a political campaign simulator. Yes, in TITUS, players get to compete with evil politicians to gain the popular vote. Each campaign is divided into turns, and it’s up to the player to decide what to do for each of them. Try to raise funds? Hold a meeting to gain support? Spread rumors about a rival? It’s all possible. Most activities require money, though, so it’s important to try and balance opinion-building with getting cash. Of course, while all this is happening the opposing politicians aren’t just sitting on their hands. They’ll raise their own funds, spread their own rumors and attempt to keep their cozy government job no matter the cost.

I was honestly surprised by just how solid the simulation aspects of TITUS are. They’re somewhat simple, to be sure, but all of the tasks and mini-games fit the theme quite well and are never unwelcome. Of course, a good amount of the game’s appeal comes from the Burton-esque visuals and the rather twisted story they portray. Most of the detail is in the hand-drawn portraits and static story panels, but the mini-games (all comprised of at least some polygonal elements) also do well to maintain the style. How much a person enjoys the look of TITUS depends largely on their love for Gothic imagery, but it’s a good looking game in its own right.

It can be a little confusing at first to just dive in to a political campaign, however. Most of the descriptions for a given action are a bit vague and don’t always give a clear indication as to whether or not it will affect one’s Honesty. As for the mini-games, the only one I’m not all that excited about is the one that involves jumping from mailbox to mailbox distributing propaganda. The tilt controls are too floaty. Thankfully, this one’s entirely optional.

TITUS certainly wasn’t what I was expecting, but I’ve had plenty of fun with it. The mini-games kept the simulation aspects from dragging, while those same simulation aspects kept me invested for the long term. I would definitely suggest that iOS users with a taste for light sims should check this out.

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