Gazillionare (Spectrum Holobyte/Lavamind) has been done a hundred times before on inferior systems – whether you call it Nobunaga’s Ambition (on the Super Nintendo) or Lemonade Stand (on the Apple II), the idea is the same, and there’s a reason that it keeps coming back: it’s fun to try to build a financial empire when you don’t really have anything at stake. In Gazillionaire you don’t need to worry about serfs or the weather, but keep an eye out for meteor showers and space pirates. You run an intergalactic trading company in the far future. Choose which planets to visit, what cargo to buy and sell, whether or not to insure, etc. You’re competing against other trading companies, who will take all sorts of measures to undersell you. The graphics and sound are adequate, if skimpy. One nice feature is a tutorial that starts the game in a very stripped-down way and then phases in other elements as gameplay continues. Gazillionaire has a way of sneaking up on you – before you know it, the silliness has given way to a sophisticated simulator exploring the ins and outs of the trading business.
– January 1996
Previous | Index | Next