Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 135 / NOVEMBER 1991 / PAGE 130

Big Business. (computer game) (evaluation)
by Alfred Giovetti

What would yo do if you were the chief financial officer of a large company? Would you manufacture cigarettes or microchips? Would you pump money into marketing or product development? How mucgh would you sell your product for? All of these issues and more are considered in the humorous--but accurate--simulation of the business world seen in Big Business.

Big Business comes on eight 5 1/4-inch 360K disks for a total of almost 3MB of code. The game's size is partly a result of the extensive graphics and sound support and partly owing to the multitudinous factors in the running of a large business.

Although Big Business is targeted at players over 16, it nevertheless captivated my children, aged 9 to 13. The business concepts of marketing, production, and pricing a well illustrated by the simulation and might be well received in an academic setting. The game is based upon a complex algorithm that mediates the interplay of the factors that must be balanced to produce success in a manufacturing business. You control the actions of five caricatured corporate officers in finance, purchasing, production, product development, and marketing. If you complete the game with a higher net worth than your opponents, you win.

The interface supports mouse, keyboard, and joystick. Though the mouse is by far the easiest to use, the keyboard runs a close second. The game uses 256-color VGA mode with 50 colors and realtime animation that is compatible with all major color adapters and IBM-compatible machines. All major sound boards are supported, but if all you have is an internal speaker, Big Business offers digitized sound.

Also packaged with Big Business is Wall Street, a realitic simulation of the stock market. This share-trading game allows you to trade a portfolio of stocks from a modest holding up to a large investment--or go broke, depending on how well you analyze the market trends. Wall Street also contains a stock market trivia quiz game as a bonus.

If you fancy yourself a junior executive, see how you rate in Big Business. Don't expect the keys to the corporate washroom to come easy, but do expect a lot of fun playing chief executive.