Free Enterpri$e (a.k.a. Free Enterprise) Download (1996 Simulation Game)

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Free Enterpri$e is a business simulator in which you build a company from the ground up and try to become a giant in your industry. To accomplish this, you must rent a building to house your industrial equipment and offices.

Unlike other buisiness simulators where every employee is a mindless and loyal robot chained to his desk, Free Enterpri$e incorporates a unique AI that makes every worker you hire unique in his or her character and professional traits. Work ethics, public relations abilities, and even drug and alcohol (ab)use are factors that determine how well every employee does his job. In order to find workers, you must post wanted ads and review applications. When you are seeking new employees, the results of a candidate's interview are displayed and show information about job-related skills and past job history.

Like other manufacturing simulators, Free Enterpri$e allows you to choose from many different products for your company, however you are not held to your choice throughout the game. It is generally a good idea to start with one basic product before expanding into more complex products of the same type or even branching out into completely different products. Products require raw materials to be manufactured, and consumers to buy them. Depending on the city you are based in, the number of suppliers of raw materials and the consumers of your product change; some cities are not good for producing one type of product because of lack of materials, while others do not have many consumers.

When you are developing your building, you can purchase machinery to produce your products, designate storage space for finished product and raw materials, and set up offices for yourself and your staff. You can purchase conveyor belts, forklifts, and hand trucks to make moving boxes easier for your workers, and upgrade office space to improve efficiency.

Your employees include purchasers who buy raw materials, marketers who sell products, accountants who oversee finance, and workers to staff the machines. You can also hire supervisors to improve the workers' productivity and cut back on goofing off. Employee morale is affected by their salary and stress, and is also influenced by firing or hiring employees. You can review an individual employee's daily work routines right down to bathroom and smoke breaks and see how much time they are spending doing actual work.

As the game progresses, you may be able to hire consultants to compare your company with your competitors and help plan strategies to corner the market in your field. Consultants even work in the shadows by providing information about your competitors--for a price, of course. Transactions involve the use of a checking account at a bank, and you can also wire funds into a savings account to draw interest. Loans, of course, allow you to borrow money from the bank; you'll have to repay it with interest later, but sometimes it is worth it.

Prices for raw materials and products are not fixed throughout the game; rather, they are based on supply and demand. Salaries are determined by an average salary for all employees of a kind currently in employment; applicants may ask for less than the average salary, but you can pay more if you want and influence the global average.

The game uses the standard 40 hour work week, and divides game time into turns. In the beginning, turns ending at the end of each day are sufficient, but once your company runs itself, you can increase turn size to a week, month, or year. You can also speed up or slow down turns. The time between turns is best used to add to your building or seek new employees.

Free Enterpri$e includes a detailed and informative tutorial, and is a lot of fun whether you are a business student, a fan of manufacturing or other simulators, or just a casual gamer.

Not just a business simulation, this is one of the better business simulations I know! You start a company, rent a building to put your company in and you buy some machines. With these machines you produce products of your choice. Hire employees to take some of the work off your hands. Build offices to work in and hire managers and marketing people, sales persons and more people to put in those offices and do their work. Hire good, but expensive people. Hire cheap, but very low-skilled people, you choose. Build expensive offices in which people can perform very well. Build cheap offices in which people will work very slow, it's up to you. Buy cheap raw materials or very expensive ones. Change the sale prices. Make as much profit as you can.

A very well done game, with good graphics, fine gameplay, basic sounds and an average addictivity level, this makes a fine business simulation. An extra plus point is the reality level. There are so many options that you would almost think you are a real enterprise owner.

Free Enterpri$e is a unique business simulation that is largely unknown despite good reviews (Strategy Plus magazine calls it "a SimBoss kinda game"). It is essentially a "tactical-level" business operations game where you control every aspect of your company, from layout of factories to marketing the product. The game's strength, however, lies in the management of your personnel: for instance, design adequate "smoking zones" to prevent workers going "postal" from high stress. As a Windows game it also benefits from on-line help to explain the confusing interface.


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