1960: The Making of the President

You are Senator John Kennedy! You are Vice-President Richard Nixon! 1960: The Making of the President is a superb 2-man board game from Z-Man Games.  Z-Man Games did a great job creating an intense and fun head-to-head game.  You travel the country campaigning, buy media advertising, engage in debates, manipulate public perception of “the issues,” cause various intrigue and above all engage your adversary in shameless politics in an attempt to win the 1960 presidential election.

Max von Fischgeist and I had at each other via this board game recently.  He played the part of Kennedy (quite convincingly) and assumed the heavy Nixon mantle.  The tide of the game tipped back and forth all night until finally on election day Kennedy delivered a dash cunning, last-minute political maneuver that caused me to loose the election…well caused Nixon to lose the election.

One of the greatest thing about this game is how all of your political wiles and guiles are based in historical incidents.  So Kennedy doesn’t just reduce Nixon’s popularity in Michigan willy nilly, Kennedy plays the “Nixon Egged in Michigan” card to add embarrassment onto injury.  And if Kennedy wanted to give himself a edge over Nixon he could play the “High Hopes” card indicating that Kennedy palled around with Sinatra and Rat Pack to gain a little extra favor with the electorate.  Invoke all the topics and personalities from the 1960 election to help your candidate and hinder your opponent:  Sputnik, Cold War, Kruschev, Nelson Rockefeller, Martin Luther King, Jr., Volunteers, Peace Corps, Nixon’s Knee (Broken!), brand new voters in Hawaii and Alaska (their first election for president)… The game is really well thought out and loads of fun.


  1. Max von Fischgeist on 14 November 2008 at 7:55 pm

    I long to have another go at the election of 1960, this time as Mr. Nixon. While the game is totally rad, I can’t help but believe that any game with the option to be either Kennedy or Nixon is already worth playing. How much better would Trouble be if you could be Nixon? How much better would Operation be if it was understood that it is JFK’s surgical hand for which yours serves as surrogate? Or maybe JFK is the harried patient?

    The best part about 1960 is that, while there is glory for the winner, there really is no dishonor for a defeated Nixon or Kennedy. The player enacting the former could always hold a mock press conference: “You won’t have Nixon to kick around anymore!” He knows he’s got another shot at the presidency. And if the latter loses, he’s really just dodging a bullet. It’s a win-win!

  2. Lordleiter on 17 November 2008 at 3:04 pm

    I too look forward to another round (stick) of 1960: Politically Out-shivving Your Adversary.

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