Six months before Germany’s election, a mobile game has been called “tasteless” for allowing players to drive a train containing Angela Merkel’s chief rival for chancellor running over political foes including President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The game, named "Schulzzug," or Schulz train, is based on a popular hashtag used by supporters of Social Democrat (SPD) candidate for chancellor Martin Schulz. Although the party does not own the copyright on the game, it was developed at the beginning of March at a “hackathon” event hosted by the Social Democrats, Germany outlet Die Welt reported. It was also played by the party's General Secretary, Katarina Barley.

Promising “brake-less fun,” the game allows players to drive a train containing Schulz down tracks, dodging obstacles and collecting coins and stars of the European Union flag on the way to the chancellery, where he will aim to wind up for real following September’s federal election. Schulz is a former president of the European Parliament.

The game also has some notable German and international politicians crop up on the tracks. Gamers are encouraged to kill Trump and a shirtless Putin to collect extra points, according to TheLocal.de. Schulz has been a frequent critic of Trump, calling his policies "un-American," and vowing to stand up to the Republican if he is elected chancellor. 

 


 

Although Merkel is not featured in the game, players can run down one of Schulz’s domestic political rivals, Frauke Petry, leader of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party. In the game, Petry is pregnant.

“Is this fake news, or is this really an SPD game? Whoever kills Trump and Petry with the Schulzzug wins bonus points?” AfD politician Beatrix von Storch tweeted.

 


 

Members of Merkel’s center-right Christian Democratic Union (DCU) have also come out against the game.

“Running over people in a game is not actually funny but tasteless,” tweeted Julia Klöckner.

After the Social Democrats asked the developers to tone down the game Tuesday, the figures of Trump, Putin and Petry were no longer featured.

The center-left Social Democrats have risen sharply in opinion polls since nominating Schulz in January. However, the latest opinion poll ahead of the election, released by GMS Thursday, showed Merkel’s party with a three-point advantage, 34 percent to 31 percent. The Alternative for Germany dropped to just nine percent.