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New 'Super Obama World' game (Think Super Mario with a new president)

November 25, 2008 |  4:43 pm

The president-elect has gone retro.

No, he's not strutting around Chicago sporting Adidas Classics jackets and bell-bottoms.  Barack Obama stars in an online computer game called Super Obama World -- a remake of the 1991 Nintendo classic "Super Mario World."

Playing as Obama, you collect American flag pins while battling against cash-toting lobbyists, lipstick-wearing pigs and department store clothing racks.

Instead of nabbing mushrooms to expand your character's abilities, players must grab slices of pie to outfit the pixelated president-elect in a snazzy suit and sunglasses.

new Super Obama World game Just because the election is over doesn't mean the political jabs have to end.  You'll find plenty of Gov. Sarah Palin parody to tickle your funny bone as you guide Obama around six levels set in Alaska.

Burning books at the Wasilla library, a seemingly endless Bridge to Nowhere, a jab at Sen. Ted Stevens' "series of tubes" comment and a boss battle with a snowmobile-riding Palin are among the game's humorous highlights.

The wisecracks are only targeted at the Alaska governor in the current version.  But ZenSoft, a three-person team of developers that created the free Web game, plans to release additional levels every two to three weeks.

The next version will send Obama to Sen. John McCain's state of Arizona, with plans to expand to Obama's home state of Illinois and eventually to Washington, D.C., in future releases.

Though the Super Obama World website has netted millions of hits, Robert Sundling, chief software architect for ZenSoft, plans to keep it free for now, he said in an e-mail.  Xbox 360 and iPhone versions may also arrive in January for Obama's inauguration, Sundling wrote.

With all this attention the game is getting, the real question is how long can it fly under the radar of the many companies on which it depicts -- Neiman-Marcus, Macy's and, perhaps most blatantly, Nintendo -- especially while selling merchandise of its own. (That logo looks strikingly familiar.)

Is it only a matter of time before the Super Mario Brothers throw a legal fireball ZenSoft's way?

-- Mark Milian

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Photo credit: ZenSoft