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San Fernando Valley, California—Josh and Matt Axelman will be the first to admit that they are both hardcore political news junkies. From reading Donald Trump’s never-ending Twitter rants about the “fake media” or the continual saga involving Hillary Clinton’s controversial emails, the two brothers can’t help but stay glued to the real-life soap opera that has become American politics.
“We both read a lot and have a constant stream of cable news in the background,” stated Josh. “We have always been interested in the political process.”
So much so that the brothers, who both grew up in the San Fernando Valley, released their very first political DVD in 2008 titled "Presidential Debates Gone Wild." It featured a compilation of the best moments from presidential debates as far back as the 1960s. For the two brothers, that project, however, was only the beginning.
“After the debates of 2016, we knew it was time to finally build a game,” stated Josh. “People are now far more engaged in politics and civics than ever before.”
Two years after releasing their first politically-inspired DVD, Matt found himself re-living his 90s childhood by playing Mortal Kombat on his iPhone. That’s when the idea of substituting presidents and vice presidents as game characters was born. Seven years later, the brothers are back once again with their newest political project, Blood of Patriots.
“We are finally seeing our dream come to fruition, and it’s impossible to put this into words how excited we are for everyone to see the creation,” expressed Josh.
With 17 political characters to choose from and four levels, users can unleash their political frustration or humor themselves as Hillary Clinton takes on Bernie Sanders in the ultimate beat down. For gamers unimpressed with that awesome matchup, no worries. Have "The Donald" take on former president Barack Obama or "Mr. Pootie Poot" himself, Russian President Vladimir Putin. The matchups between political characters are endless.
“Our game is geared toward the casual gamer who has fond memories of the 90s fighting games and enjoys political satire,” explained Josh. “Even non-gamers should find our game amusing as we have worked hard to make it as funny as it is fun to play.”
The premise of the game is pretty simple. An evil force, lurking deep in the shadows, threatens democracy as we know it. Gamers must select their fighter, a brave patriot, and defeat the tyrant to refresh the Tree of Liberty. The fate of the country, after all, depends on it.
Each political character possesses their own unique fighting moves, sounds, animations and, most importantly, fireballs. For example, to take down his opponent, Trump unleashes a fireball of tweets. For Hillary, as one might guess, her fireball is emails. As players fight their way up the tree, the fights become more challenging.
“No matter what side of the political spectrum you may be on, we just want players to have fun and laugh at the jokes within the game,” stressed Josh. “Within the game, each character has an intro and outro which is based on their real-life mannerism or something they are known for.”
Besides the fact that it’s a cool name, the game’s title was actually inspired by a famous Thomas Jefferson quote, according to Josh. The quote reads, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”
“We know that there are real patriots out there. There are men and women that have actually fought and bled for this country. They do it so that we can sit comfortably and make video games that loosely borrow these terms. We can’t forget that,” stressed Josh.
That’s why a portion of the proceeds generated from Blood of Patriots will be donated to charities dedicated to veterans injured while serving our country, like the SSG Travis Mills Foundation and the Wounded Warrior Project.
Blood of Patriots can be downloaded for FREE on Google Play, the Apple app store and Steam. Later this year, the game will also be available on Xbox and Nintendo Switch. New characters and levels are also in the works for the near future. To learn more about the game, visit here.