If you were hoping the world would get better in 2019, turn away now lest your fragile optimism be crushed once more. Clive Palmer, the man plastered across those "Make Australia Great" billboards, now has a mobile game. It is called Clive Palmer: Humble Meme Merchant, and it is not good.
Released yesterday, the ironically-named Clive Palmer: Humble Meme Merchant is a simple side-scroller in which you - Clive Palmer - run from left to right collecting biscuits (identified as Tim Tams in the press release but not in-game). As you do so, there are obstacles and enemies to jump over or on top of, including various politicians and cockroaches with Bill Shorten's head photoshopped onto them.
There are three buttons to allow you to run left, run right and jump, traversing a landscape of United Australia Party billboards and "PozzFeed" newspapers declaring "Fake News". All the while, you're hounded by the sound of an off-key man hollering a parody of Karma Chameleon by Culture Club ("Palmer Palmer Palmer Palmer's worth a billion / He's got 12 boats / And he needs your votes").
There doesn't appear to be any real reward for collecting the Tim Tams, aside from the knowledge that you're psychologically resilient enough to withstand this game for more than a minute. The rudimentary gameplay is difficult, aggravating and unrewarding enough, but coupling it with that music and Palmer's attempts at memes turns Clive Palmer: Humble Meme Merchant into something you'll wish you could physically scrape off your phone.
The game is described in the App Store as featuring "the dankiest of political satire" and "spicy AusPol content", but it's really just the usual "my opponents suck, I am so great" rhetoric politicians are known for, albeit more ostentatious. The whole thing reeks of "how do you do, fellow kids?"
Palmer appears blissfully unaware of the monster he has commissioned.
"I love my memes and this takes it to the next level," said Palmer in a press release. "It is the season of giving, so I am offering this game to all young people and the young at heart free of charge." Christmas was three weeks ago.
— Clive Palmer (@CliveFPalmer) January 7, 2019
The game was developed by Emu War Games, and according to the press release took several months to make. "We wanted to show that Clive’s policies represent are [sic] logical step forward for Australia," said Tom West, Creative and Strategic Director of Emu War Games.
"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."
Palmer also made headlines recently for his political communication strategy of sending unsolicited mass texts to 5.6 million Australians - a strategy he has no intention of stopping.
Clive Palmer: Humble Meme Merchant is available on iOS and Android now. I downloaded it in order to write this article, and now I am cursed.