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Capitalism for the Macintosh, developed by Enlight Software Limited out of Hong Kong and published by Interactive Magic, will make staunch communists such as Mao, Marx, and Lenin roll over in their graves. In Capitalism, it's every man for himself. Your role, if you so desire, is to dominate an industry that you choose to compete in. There are about a half dozen industries that you can choose from: retailing, manufacturing, research and development, farming, lumbering, mining and oil.
In Capitalism, there are no winners and losers. Whether you 'win' or 'lose' is determined by how successful you are. The game offers you two main choices. You can choose to play an open-ended game where you are free to compete in any and all of the industries. You can go from being a farmer to the CEO of a multi-billion dollar Fortune 500 company. On the other hand, if you want a more definable goal, you can choose to play the scenario game. Scenarios are like missions, and depending on the scenario you choose, you have different goals. For example, in one scenario, your goal is to dominate the electronics industry. You have a period of 60 years (don't worry, you can control the speed of the game so that months will go by in minutes) to build an electronics empire that manufactures and sells everything from cameras to computers.
One warning for all would-be tycoons. The game Capitalism, in its essence, is a very simple game. You produce goods at a low price and sell it for a whopping profit. You buy low and sell high. But in fact, it is not a simple game, so don't be fooled by my oversimplification. The game takes some practice and patience to master. The problem is that the game overloads you with information. To be successful you have to keep track of many numbers and graphs. You could be making a healthy profit in one minute and losing millions the next. I could fault myself for not being a MBA, but I just wish that the game would give a clearer indication of why I was losing money.
Capitalism uses its own GUI (graphical user interface). I would say it's a cross between the Macintosh interface and X-Windows. Everything works okay except that the program reacts differently than what you would expect. The scroll bars do not function as you'd expect. Instead of scrolling through a list of related items, the scroll bar will select the next or previous item depending on whether you scroll down or up. The buttons seem to function as normal buttons but some require that you option-click to activate another function. And what looks like progress bars are actually slider controls. The interface is not impossible to master but it will confuse some beginners.
The game has a few music tracks that repeat indefinitely throughout the game. The music gives the game a sense of activity during the times when all you can do is sit back and watch a graph of your sales and a couple of numbers indicating your bank account and profitability fluctuate. The game provides the option of toggling the music and sound effects on and off. The sound effects in Capitalism are minimal. But it is appropriate for this game considering the professional subject of the game. You would not expect frills and silly sound effects.
Written by Thai Truong
Web site: Enlight Software
P.O. Box 13491,
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
Web site: Interactive Magic
36a High Street,
Brecknell, Berkshire RG12 1HE
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