If the state budget was a video game

pixelated capitol

The music is like the dungeon music from Super Mario Bros.

They are a video games for pretty much everything these days: playing in a rock band, sports, urban planning, intergalactic plumbing and princess-rescuing.

So, why not legislating?

The objective

Push the budget through the legislature as fast as possible. The time it takes you to "finalize" the budget will be deducted from your total score, so be quick about it.

Points are scored by taking out henchpeople and other various foes. But watch out for children on school trips and members of the press -- points are subtracted for taking them out.

The hero

Joe or Jane Taxpayer (you get to pick)

Basic weapons

Your first level weapon is a picket sign, with which you can smack legislators and the various henchpeople. Not powerful, but it's reusable and has reasonably good range.

Also available:
+ the veto pen, which can be used to poke foes (2x the damage of the picket sign, limited range)
+ campaign contributions (lob them at a foe and they'll temporarily back down, limited supply, pick them up by whacking lobbyists)
+ newspaper bombshells -- take out a whole group of henchpeople with an exploding story of scandal (3x the damage of the picket sign, limited supply, pick them up from press members)

The henchpeople

The capitol is full of assorted staffers, aides, lobbyists and activists looking to slow you down. What they may lack in strength or speed, they make up for in sheer, relentless numbers.

You can score extra points by taking out henchpeople carrying pork that they're hoping to stuff in the budget.

Level 1: The Assembly

Boss: The Speaker

Objective: fight through the mob of assembly members to make it head of the chamber and confront the boss.

Special weapon: Sunshine ray gun -- it's particularly effective on legislators who aren't keen about disclosure.

Level 2: The Senate

Boss: The Multi-Headed Leadership Monster

Objective: This level is bit a trickier. You have to take down the many-headed boss, but you won't be able to do it alone. You have turn 32 (or more) members of the chamber to your side and then organize an assault on the leadership.

Special weapon: Majorinator nanobots -- when a senator is hit by them, the nano machines will connect them to a hive mind that you control.

pixelated david paterson

Level 3: The Governor

Boss: David Paterson

Objective: Take down the Guv in no-holds-barred, hand-to-hand, Mortal Kombat style fighting.

Special weapon: Upon the entering the governor's office, you will turn into David Paterson.

Yes, you have to fight the governor as himself -- because David Paterson's worst enemy is... David Paterson.

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