Zombie-Fighting Putin and an 8-Bit Richard Nixon: The Best Political Cameos in Video Games

Vladimir Putin will fight zombies in a new game called "Don't Mess With Putin"

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Alexey Druzhinin /AFP/Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin has shown he’s a tough guy in real life by hunting whales, riding a Harley Davidson with a biker gang, and horseback riding shirtless. Now, he’s going to fight zombies in a new game called “You Don’t Mess With Putin,” designed by programmer Michele Rocco Smeets and available on Android and iOS around Oct. 31.

The premise, according to RIA Novosti: zombies attack Putin’s press conference on the “Westernization of Russia’s video game industry,” killing everyone in attendance. In order to get revenge, the world leader goes after the zombies with a pen of all things, spoofing the time he forced a billionaire to sign an agreement to reboot a struggling factory and then asked for the pen back. Putin’s sidekick, in two-player mode, is a video game expert named Mike, an “alcoholic and aggressive American tough-guy” (sorry, gamers).

But Putin is far from the first politician to make an appearance in a virtual game. Here are some of our other favs:

• To the Moon, Angie! To the Moon! That’s right, in the jumper game LeaderFlip, players propel “Angie Makel,” a cartoon version of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, to the Moon by making her hop onto floating platforms. Eating beans gives her a boost from farts, and light salads make it easier for her to soar, while heavy things like sausages and beer will make her “drunk” and sluggish, per the description in Apple’s App Store.


• David Cameron stars in the 2011 Windows computer game PMQs, a parody of Prime Minister’s Questions, the Wednesday broadcast where members of Parliament pose questions to the UK Prime Minister. Cameron spars with Labour leader Ed Miliband and his stock responses include “the last government maxed out this country’s credit card.” The game’s developer Mark Richards compared the show to “a real-life, turn-based battle, like those bits from the old Pokemon games.”

• “Watergate: The Video Game,” a 2013 8-bit, point-and-click game, starts off really slow — like most investigative journalism in its initial stages — but players who stuck with it ended up getting involved in a punch-out with President Richard Nixon in the Oval Office, digging up his dog’s remains, and giving Bob Woodward STDs.

• Sick of partisan bickering? “Whack a Candidate,” sort of like “Whack a Mole” for 2012 presidential candidates, was added to Google Play last year so Americans could wield a “Hammer of Justice” and “repress the votes you don’t like” for candidates like Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.

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• In the coin-operated, two-player 1988 arcade game Bad Dudes vs. Dragon Ninja, you had to conquer an evil ninja to save “President Ronnie,” based on President Ronald Reagan.

• Probably the most famous example of video game politicians is EA Sports’s NBA Jam, which has always featured hidden players that can be unlocked, the most famous ones being Bill and Hillary Clinton. The Wii edition was supposed to include that power couple, plus Al Gore, John McCain, Sarah Palin, George W. Bush, and Dick Cheney.