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Point and click to take down Nixon in 'Watergate: The Video Game'

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watergate the video game
watergate the video game

Bob Woodward, the Washington Post reporter whose work with Carl Bernstein on the Watergate scandal played a pivotal role in President Nixon's eventual resignation, isn't the most obvious choice to star as a video game protagonist. But thanks to a burst of inspiration from writer Samuel Kim — "Hey, there ought to be a sequel to Shadowgate called Watergate!" — that's exactly what's happened.

Watergate: The Video Game plays like a classic point-and-click adventure at first, with Woodward assigned to cover the infamous break-in at the DNC headquarters — but, as Kim tells Motherboard, this makes for a "soul-crushingly boring video game." What could not be described as soul-crushingly boring, however, is the surreal turn that Watergate quickly takes, involving an acid trip represented by a Mega Man shooting game, an graphic fight to the death with White House Chief of Staff H. R. Haldeman, and a Punch-Out!!-style punch-out with Nixon himself.

Watergate should appeal to alternate historians and video game archivists alike: it features many other references to other Nintendo games, including audio cues lifted straight from the likes of Zelda and a cameo appearance from a certain pair of plumbing brothers. You can play it for yourself at this link.