Halfway between The Sims and The Game of Life, Jones in the Fast Lane is a multimedia-enhanced board game about work, school, money and materialism for one to four players. An early CD-ROM title, it makes charming use of the medium's video capabilities in the clips of game characters who say things like, "You're not properly dressed for work!" and "Your landlord garnished some of your wages." After setting your objectives at the beginning of the game, you gain work experience, education and posessions to work towards career success, scholastic achievement, wealth -- or the Sims type of happiness that only comes from owning a really nice refrigerator. Though the game takes the form of an onscreen boardgame, the designers take advantage of computer moderation to add such complex features as a stock market and a dynamic economy that shifts prices. Originally to be titled "Keeping Up With Jones," Jones In The Fast Lane was programmed by first-generation Sierra programmer Warren Schwader and based on a primitive BASIC demo that impressed the company.
Jones in the Fast Lane is very fresh in concept. It can be called a life simulation game with a lot of strategic influence, but I decided to put it under adventure since planning your everyday life out is a pretty adventureous task ;)
Basically, you start out as a complete and total bum. You have no job, no education, and a rented crappy appartment. :) You can choose from 4 different characters - 2 female and 2 males. You can also choose if you wish to play against a computer (he's an annoying geek, wouldn't recommend it :).
Each day you will be able to complete only a certain amount of tasks, as each one will take up some of your very valuable time. Time is actually one of the most important factors in this game. If you plan out your activities precisely and efficiently, you probably won't have a problem with going straight to the top of the social ladder :) However, if you neglect just one factor, you may find yourself stuck at the bottom for a lifetime :)
The game features only a couple of job opportunities, one university and 2 appartments. You are supposed to eat, wash and get new clothes every now and then. Failure to do any of those things will result in loosing time or your job, so be careful!
I will not disclose all the tricks to this game, I will just say that there are many, and you will probably end up playing this game differently every time you start over. Not many games are like that, so there's a point for originality :)
The graphics are simple, but fine. Same goes for the sound. All in all, a very interesting and dynamic simulation game that you can regularly play for years without growing tired of it! Try to find the best way to organise yourself using this game! :)
"Jones in the Fast Lane" was released in 1991, even though it is an old game, it's an excellent game. I used to play it years ago as a kid and I loved every moment of it. It's a simple game of life, where you find work, earn money, improve your living conditions (moving out of the low cost housing and into better apartments) and get yourself better clothes which you need in order to get certain jobs, of course (can't turn up to work in casual clothes if you're in a high up position!).
"Jones in the Fast Lane" is a game similar to "The Sims" in the way that you guide a character through their life. Your decisions impact whether they are successful or not. However, "Jones in the Fast Lane" is a much simpler game than "The Sims", which I think is a lot better. It's much easier to play and doesn't take a great deal of time to play (compared to "The Sims" where you must build your house and create your character and such). You can play "Jones in the Fast Lane" over many small periods of playing time, or just play it for hours and still get the same enjoyment.
The game works in turns, in which you must work out how to best use each day. You use up each time in your turn by working, studying...etc. You get more money by working and more job opportunities by studying.
One great thing about "Jones in the Fast Lane" is that even younger children can play it (as I did), the game isn't very complicated and plays just like a board game (though it is more interactive).
There are many different places to explore and from memory I think that you can work in almost all places on the board. This adds a great sense of realism I think, being able to work at the place which you go to shop and such. If I'm correct I think you can even become a teacher and work at the place where you studied!
One thing I didn't like about the game (which isn't such a big deal) is the lack of customisation. You can't really make your own character; just choose from a list of characters. This isn't a big deal mainly because in the end it doesn't matter, the game is still just as fun. It could be a good game to teach kids how to save money, work towards goals and such. Or just a great game to play to have a great time! Enjoy!
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Jones in the Fast Lane (Enhanced CD-ROM), Jagged Alliance 2, Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis, Iron Seed, Kingmaker, Joan of Arc: The Siege & The Sword, Jagged Alliance: Deadly Games, Jurassic War
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