Slash the Deficit is a new game available on the App Store for iPhone. It is totally free (other than an ad here or there that you can close). It only takes about a minute to play, and I'd love to hear feedback.
And for those with Android devices, there will be a version coming soon.
I'm a game designer who keeps up with politics as a hobby. Two months ago I was joking with some friends about creating an app about the budget crisis. The idea stuck with me, so I decided to make a small little game that allows players to take control of the deficit (and hopefully turn it into a surplus).
The game is very abstract. There's no correlation in the dollar values of the items players can keep or slash to the real world. The items that show up also aren't fully representative of the budget or necessarily things anyone is talking about cutting, however we tried to do our best to cover all the bases. The point of the game is just to get people thinking about the problem more, and allowing everyone to realize there can be more than one solution (I don't prescribe to any particular one, or at least I'm not telling if I do).
I made the game along with an artist and a writer/tester over a period of two weeks. We've spent a little bit of time since then providing updates, mostly adding in new budget items. There will be a big update coming in about a week that adds in new categories and the most requested feature - taxes. I didn't originally include taxes because depending on where players sit on the political spectrum, they have a different opinion about what taxes (or no taxes) do to the economy. Fortunately I came up with a way for both sides to be happy (hopefully).
We'll also have an Android version of the app available at about the same time. Then we'll be taking a break to work on some of our other apps (ones that might make us money). As I mentioned above, this app is absolutely free. We make a fractional amount of money from ads, but I doubt I will make enough to pay for the development. We mostly made this app as a test case for our future apps, and because I think it's fun to make games about non-normal game topics.
Most importantly I'd love to hear feedback, good and bad. If a lot of people are into the app then we will definitely make more updates to it and try to incorporate the feedback. I have a few ideas for how I could give the game some extra complexity and depth, but I don't want to spend time on the game if people aren't receptive to it. So please, let me know what you think. I've been a game developer for over a decade, so I'm used to hearing all kinds of things.