"Buy low, sell high": it's not only a way of life in America, it describes a whole category of game known as the "economic sim". Pioneered by Railroad Tycoon and popularized by Impressions (Air Buck, Detroit, High Seas Trader), this game type appeals only to a certain type of person: one who prefers to conquer with bucks, not bullets. And the most elaborate and impressive example of this genre seen yet is Capitalism, created by Hong Kong native Trevor Chan. It is obsessively detailed, painfully complex, and very realistic.
The goal of Capitalism is sweeping: turn your corporation into the most profitable one in the world. There are so many ways to do this that we can only touch on a few of them here. You start up a company with a set amount of capital and cut-throat competition, and go forth into the marketplace by choosing an area on the map to start your operation. With a massive variety of screens and options, you can choose to farm, mine, mass-produce, import/export, retail, manufacture, or research.
This is the guts of the game, where you decide which way your company is going to go by sizing up the different regions and their resources. For example, if cotton comes in at the only port and you have the ability to manufacture shirts, you can start as a clothes manufacturer. You set up buildings and links to buy the cotton (or even farm it), research the process, and make the shirts. Then you find a city and set up a retail store, actually hiring inventory, sales, and advertising staff, deciding how to improve product recognition through advertising, and completing dozens of complex tasks to make your shirts take over the marketplace.
And that's just one aspect of this game. You can then go into other retail trades, create department stores, build farms and sell off the produce, and generally go hog-wild trying to increase profits. I cannot even begin to hint at the density and complexity of this game. Put it this way: if you want to sell milk, you have to build farms, raise cattle, process the cattle, ship milk to the factory, get raw material for glass, make the glass, bottle the milk, research ways to improve the milk, and then ship it off to the stores. Fortunately, you can hire a C.E.O. once your company is established, freeing you up to go off and start another company, which greatly cuts down on micromanagement.
Complex stock options, takeovers, and other features make Capitalism an often dizzying experience. Choose from a few dozen scenarios with set requirements for victory, or try a free-form play in which pure conquest in a certain region is the goal. Getting into the swing of things is made easier by an eight-part tutorial that walks you through each aspect of the game, but this game is still for only the most dedicated economic sim fans.
Capitalism is a real-time strategy game where you are CEO of a corporation. Your goal is to defeat your competitors, gain market dominance, and make a profitable business.
The game contains countless aspects of real business, including the stock market, research & development, marketing, and hostile takeovers. In Capitalism, you must decide upon what to buy, what to sell, what prices to charge, what to manufacture, what to research, where to buy your supplies from, what to do with your money, and how to defeat your competitors.
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