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The idea, basically, is to make as much money as quickly as possible. To get you started you'll need some financial backing. For this, you'll borrow from a merchant named Mr. Zinn who wants to expand his business. If you pay him interest on a loan, he'll loan you money.
With this money in hand, you're off to buy a ship. You have several choices, so be careful. You'll have to balance speed against passenger capacity and cargo hold size. Be sure to make the right choice as this is your ship for the duration of the game. Don't worry, you'll be able to purchase upgrades and faster engines as you go.
You can play with up to six other people at the same time. This doesn't include the six other computer operated companies that are also competing for the lion's share of the marketplace. You also get to choose the planets that will occupy your little section of the galaxy. This has some advantages as the Planetary Special for each planet is different and could really help you out.
While on a planet, you will have the option to pay taxes, pay your crew, advertise your services for the next planet, pick up any passengers that are waiting, buy insurance, buy fuel, play the stock market, do some banking, borrow money, pay off your Loan to Mr. Zinn, buy goods on the market and store some of those goods in warehouses. Whew! That doesn't include the Explore Planet option, the file options or setting up the shortcuts that speed up game play by cutting down the number of menus you have to open and close.
As well, while traveling from planet to planet you'll meet up with some unusual characters and be asked to make some choices that will affect what happens next. Just watch that you don't end up in prison for some underhanded schemes.
There are six levels of game play which include a tutorial for learning the details of the game before jumping full into managing a fully detailed company. This level is recommended for at least one session as there are many subtleties that might be lost otherwise.
An interesting feature is the Email game. These are played by emailing a game file back and forth between players. This game file is created when a player saves the game using the functions for Email games. When you receive a game file from another player, you can pick-up the game where the other player left-off. After you are finished with your turn, you save the game and email the saved file to the next player in line. The saved game is a binary file and should be sent as an attachment to whatever Email you send to the next player. May not be as much fun as having everyone tied into the game at the same time, but the nature of the game is strategy.
Written by Glenn Soucy
486 33MHz or faster,
Min 8Mb memory,
Windows 3.1, 3.11 or Windows 95,
Hard drive required with 5Mb free,
Double speed CD-ROM drive or faster,
640x480 256-color SVGA graphic card,
Microsoft compatible mouse.
MPC compliant sound card (optional).
3627 Moraga St,
San Francisco, CA 94122.
Web site: Lavamind
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