Trevor Chan's Capitalism II
Windows - 2001
Also released on: Mac
Description of Trevor Chan's Capitalism II
Ah, capitalism - the overriding principle that if you have enough money, you can buy anything. At least that's the view some people apparently hold, who would happily abolish capitalism in an instant. But in actual fact, capitalism is a double-edged sword. We have unfortunately reached the point where money is valued over people and that's a bad thing. But if it wasn't for capitalism, we wouldn't even have half of the technological and medical developments we have today. Plus there are the luxuries - sure, Brand X chocolate may be made from the blood of the workers, but it tastes so good. And what would I do without my Collector's Edition DVD of John Carpenter's The Thing? It just doesn't bear thinking about.
Money money money
Capitalism is also the subject of a new sim game from Ubi Soft, one that somewhat surprisingly does not bear the 'Sim' or 'Tycoon' moniker. Capitalism II, as the game is simply called, puts you in charge of managing and building up your own business, crushing the opposition as you go.
So you don't get thrown in at the deep end, Capitalism II gives you four ways to play: If you're new to the game, you can play the Entrepeneur's Campaign, which, as well as giving you a few lower-end scenarios to play through, also walks you through a tutorial on how to play the game. If you've played the original Capitalism, you can head into the Capitalist's Campaign consisting of scenarios that set you up with a medium-sized business. Then if you've exhausted the campaigns, you can use the game's custom mode to start completely from scratch with as many competitors of your choosing and see how far you can get without going bust or power-mad. Finally, the game offers a multiplayer mode for up to seven people.
The tutorial is a godsend, as Capitalism II is a pretty complicated game, simulating the mechanics of running a business - if you're one of those people who expect to be able to play any game without once reading the manual, you're in for a big shock.
So, what can you do in Capitalism II? Pretty much everything you'd expect to be able to do - as long as it's ethical, that is. Yes, you read that right. Although in real life, engaging in downright dodgy tactics isn't unheard of, Capitalism IIdisappointingly excludes such tactics, meaning industrial espionage and sabotage are right out. Similarly, while you can send your employees on stupid training courses that likely involve building an oil rig out of paper, you can't threaten them with disciplinary action if they fail to sell so many extended warrantees per week.
What you can do is mess about with pretty much all of the parts of your business empire. Starting small, first you need to pick a location for your shop from the city view - which looks more than a bit like SimCity 3000 and can also be used to view the locations of your opponents shops. The latter is handy since it's best to put a shop somewhere where there isn't already one offering comparable products. You can choose to build a variety of stores, providing you can afford them, including a general store, sports store, hardware store etc. Once the store is set up, you can buy in products from suppliers, sell them at a mark up and keep on selling them until you've got enough money to buy another store. Then you build another one, get more products in and keep going - see how that works?
Of course, that's not all there is to Capitalism IIotherwise it'd be pretty tedious. To boost your empire and stay competitive, you can build a wide variety of buildings and locations including factories, farms, logging camps and even mansions. The latter building is really just an ego booster while the former two allow you to produce your own materials and products rather than buying them in. And speaking of producing your own products, brand image is something that figures highly in Capitalism II - rather than just flogging other people's products you can make your own brands and, using the power of advertising, get the punters to flock to your stores like the sheep they are, despite the fact that they're just other people's products with your own labels slapped on them.
You can also hire in PR reps to aid in enforcing your corporate brand and an investor manager to keep your stockholders sweet (since you can sell shares in your company on the stock market). This is only a highlight of the huge amount you can get up to in the game.
Charts, charts and charts.
A word of warning - Capitalism II doesn't have the best user interface in the world. The game contains more charts, graphs options and information than you can shake a stick at, some of which are worth messing about with, while others are there for the sake of giving hardcore stats-fans something extra to look at. However, accessing these options is a bit hit and miss, since Capitalism II contains buttons within buttons within buttons. So to get to the some options, you may have to click through about three different screens. Drop-down menus, a la Sim City, could have helped immensely. The game's also a little 'dry' - a touch of humour wouldn't have gone amiss. Perhaps a tutorial by the Pointy Haired Boss from Dilbert? Or perhaps not.
But even with its nested interface and lack of unethical tactics, Capitalism is a pretty decent game. It's not one you can pick up and play for five minutes at a time or without reading the manual, but is extremely involving once you get into it. Starting up your own virtual company and crushing the opposition is surprisingly satisifying and there are enough scenarios to keep you busy for a good week or two - plus the custom mode lets you choose just how challenging you want the game to be. Granted, Capitalism II may not be to everyone's tastes but if the idea of running your own business without really risking bankruptcy appeals to you, then Capitalism II is well worth checking out.
Review By GamesDomain
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Trevor Chan's Capitalism II is available for a small price on the following websites, and is no longer abandonware. GOG.com provides the best release and does not include DRM, please buy from them! You can read our online store guide .
Trevor Chan's Capitalism II was also released on the following systems: