It's not too often that a game is released that cheerfully ignores all the tried and true formulas for success that have served as a blueprint for similar games of the genre. But, the designers of the entertaining, offbeat intergalactic trading game Gazillionaire have done exactly that and managed to create a real winner.
Many diverse elements in this game mesh together to make a satisfying whole while the individual pieces, if left to themselves, might not work. After all, we're talking about a business simulation that's based on the age old axiom of simple buy low, sell high economics. Dull, right? Not in this case! The makers of Gazillionaire took a calculated risk that humor and economics do mix regardless of all evidence to the contrary (ever watched a government financial committee hearing?).
Take a booming trade business, plunk it down in a bizarre galaxy filled with an incredible array of unusual aliens, spice it up with some genuinely spiffy and unique spacecraft and a dynamic economic market model and you've got Gazillionaire. The very simplicity of the design where your character takes on human players and/or six computer opponents in a frenetic race for space salesmanship supremacy is as refreshing as playable.
So many varied factors make this game fun to play, including a vividly imaginative cast of characters and ships, truly unique scenic backgrounds, random seeding of what's hot in the commodity market and what's not from game to game. Other features include options to warehouse surplus products and borrow money (kubars), expense management, random event generation and product sound effects with character theme songs and voices.
Throw in a user-friendly tutorial that allows you to learn the turn-based game feature by feature at your own pace and an easy to use point-and-click menu driven interface and you're talking success. The game has a definite win scenario that is simple and provides ample opportunity for total immersion as you guide your intrepid wheeler-dealer through the rigors of earning one million kubars from a beginning loan that leaves you one hundred thousand kubars in debt.
You can lump all the minor criticisms, mostly entries in a wish list, into one small suggestion box. Perhaps maybe having more then seven planets in the galaxy, a more developed warehousing management system to keep track of your surplus products, or even a user editor to input your own products (now I'm really getting greedy). Continuous play can lead to a wish for a bit more variety but who hasn't wished for that in other basically sound games like Monopoly or Risk?
Gazillionaire has tons of replay value and should afford hour upon hour of satisfying and engaging gameplay. Easy to learn, easy to control and easy to like -- Gazillionaire lets you deal your way to easy street.
Graphics: High marks for innovation. Nice graphical presentation with a variety of alien lifeforms, product displays bizarre landscapes and strange spacecraft done in a pleasing cartoony motif.
Sound: Creative tie in between products, characters, sound effects and signature tunes.
Enjoyment: Not often you get to play an economic simulation/strategy game with so many bells and whistles. Game play is addictive and fun and makes you forget all about wondering what Gazillionaire means!
Replay Value: So many options like game-to-game randomization of supply/demand commodities and events plus solid enjoyable game play.
People who downloaded Gazillionaire Deluxe have also downloaded:
Zapitalism Deluxe, Galactic Civilizations II: Dread Lords, Galactic Civilizations: Ultimate Edition, Gengkhis Khan 2, Gloriana (a.k.a. Elisabeth I), Gary Grigsby's World At War, Homeworld 2, Imperialism 2: The Age of Exploration
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