"You can love the police, you can hate the police, but you can’t argue that the police wield enormous power," writes the team behind This Is the Police, a game currently in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign. Part strategy game and part corruption simulator, it places you in the shoes of Jack Boyd, a 60-year-old police chief with only six months till retirement. Boyd has only one piece of unfinished business: He wants to make a half a million bucks before he steps down, any way he can.
The next 180 days won’t be just a mad dash for money. Jack will need to keep up his police work too. He’ll send his cops out to handle situations, he’ll coordinate action on scene, monitor the progress of key investigations, oversee the budget, hire and fire – every day, it’s dozens of key decisions that affect countless lives. Even just regular cop business poses lots of problems: a drunken patrolman might gun down a bystander while he’s aiming for an unarmed bully. And it’s not just the staff, it’s the increasingly crazy orders from the mayor's office – not to mention the press and their uncomfortable questions.
Based on the current screenshots, Boyd will also contend with labor disputes, organized crime, sexual harassment issues and protests involving issues of race. This is a Kickstarter project, with all the caveats that implies, but it's exciting to see more games that aspire to address the issues of power and corruption in law enforcement, especially ones that look this stylish. For better or worse, the game also plans to feature the voice of John St. John, aka the voice of Duke Nukem.