Finally we have a Kickstarter campaign that asks the real questions. Namely, have you ever wanted to date presidential candidates? The answer is of course, no, but that hasn’t stopped Robert Amster from making this cringe-inducing concept a reality. Grand Old Academy is a satirical dating sim where players can romance seven presidential hopefuls. The campaign is currently hoping to raise $13,500 on Kickstarter.

“Think Hatoful Boyfriend, but instead of pigeons, it’s Republicans.”

Grand Old Academy is a Japanese-style visual novel/dating sim inspired by the Republican Presidential primaries. Even after watching the Kickstarter trailer I have no idea why this is a thing, but here we are so we’ll just go with it.


You play as Mori America, a Japanese transfer student freshly arrived at the prestigious Grand Old Academy high school. Mori shows up just in time to watch the first round of the debate club championship. Naturally, all high school girls love a good debate. From there you befriend the seven candidates and somehow decide which one of them to turn your affection towards.

Make Dating Sims Great Again

For those worried about political messages complicating their dating sims, Amster promises that the topical script will focus more on the personalities and relationships of the characters, rather than actual political stances. Because clearly there are some topics even satire doesn’t want to touch.


If you manage to overlook the premise, (I cannot) the artwork is decent and the game promises a fully fleshed out visual novel experience. There are 25 possible endings and an original soundtrack. Thankfully there is still hope for the world as Grand Old Academy will not feature any explicit scenes or content.

After securing funding, Amster is planning to release the full version for free in May of 2017. This will still be long after any of these “characters” have stopped being relevant.


I’ll level with you guys, I have no idea who would ever look at this line-up of presidential candidates and think, “yeah, I’d hit that.” Regardless, the campaign for Grand Old Academy is a real thing that has happened and they need funding to complete the game. There is a demo available, which may shed more light on the actual tone and feel of the project, but I’m not mentally prepared to delve into that just now. We’re probably all better off just sticking to pigeon dating sims.

Joanna Mueller

Joanna Mueller

Editor-in-Chief at Cliqist: Indie Gaming
Joanna Mueller is a lifelong gamer who used to insist on having the Super Mario Bros manual read to her as a bedtime story. Now she's reading Fortnite books to her own kiddo while finally making use of her degree to write about games as Cliqist's EIC.
Joanna Mueller


Freelancer, I make dumb stuff for cool people. (She/Her). Slightly Animated on YouTube… |
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Joanna Mueller