Gazillionaire Deluxe

a game by LavaMind
Platform: PC
Editor Rating: 7/10, based on 1 review
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Overview

Gazillionaire begins with a declaration from the current emperor of the Kukubian colonies, Dred Nicolson, that a small number of trading companies will be allowed to operate in his sphere of influence. An event like this hasn’t happened for 700 years, so naturally there is going to be quite a few competitors moving in on the ripe Kukubian colonies. Luckily for you, your company has been chosen as one of the select few that will be allowed trading rights in the colonies. Sadly, you are going to have to start your company from scratch in this new system, but with a little sweet-talking you can get a small loan to get your company off the ground.

As an entrepreneur in the Kukubian marketplace, your task is to amass a billion kubars -- kubars being the currency of choice. Starting with a large debt and a humble spacecraft, you need to get your company up to snuff. This task won’t be easy because there are up too seven other startup companies that are vying for the same goal as you are. There are plenty of ways to get your company going, there are always planets that need certain products and it could be your calling to bring those products into their hands with, of course, a hefty price.

Gameplay, Controls, Interface

One of Gazillionaire’s strengths is its simple control system. With only the mouse in your palm you have enough control to handle the entire game. The menu system itself presents an easy to use format with your mouse and the occasional keyboard hit for input. The simple controls allow you to quickly start playing Gazillionaire and move the gameplay along much faster.

Gazillionaire's method of play is turn-based, with turns lasting for whatever length of time you spend on a planet. During your turn you can buy up cargo to be taken to the next planet on your travel plans, pick up passengers, and deal with any outstanding fines that you may have accumulated. Your turn can be as long as you want it to be, but most of your turn is spent preparing your cargo for sale at your next stop. Because you spend most of the game buying up products at the end of one turn and selling them at the beginning of the next turn, Gazillionaire makes for a very addicting game.

Typically with space simulations involving resource management, the gameplay starts moving quite quickly at first, but gets bogged down as you expand your control and acquire more resources and/or planets. After a while the gameplay is so complex that the interface falters and the fun level decreases. Gazillionaire succeeds in breaking this trend by keeping the number of planets that you can travel to fairly small, and by automating most of your assets that are based on a planet. So as Gazillionaire progresses the gameplay changes, but never by slowing down the speed at which you can play the game. However, the gameplay maintains its appeal as you play more and more of Gazillionaire, which is mainly due to random events and system wide events.

Multiplayer

Gazillionaire comes with the hot seat feature for "in house" gaming, as well as the e-mail game feature. A hot seat game is pretty straight forward, with each player managing a company and stepping aside when their turn is over. While the version of Gazillionaire I reviewed didn’t have the e-mail game feature enabled, the concept is simple: you and a bunch of friends just mail around your turns, allowing network play without requiring a constant connection to the internet.

Graphics

To say the least, the graphics in Gazillionaire are not the kind of flashy, eye-catching exchange of pixels that marks the PC gaming scene. They do however still provide adequate visuals that just serve to highlight your location in the game universe. Nor will the graphics detract in any way from your enjoyment as you progress through the course of Gazillionaire. In fact, the graphics are sometimes quite interesting to look at, due to their cartoonish style.

Audio

As with the graphics component of Gazillionaire, the audio plays a very low-key role in the game. There are really only a handful of different sounds and they all become quickly familiar as they play a routine role in the gameplay. But as with the graphics, the audio doesn’t play down the gameplay or lessen the enjoyment of Gazillionaire.

System Requirements

Windows 3.1, 95, 98, 2000, ME or NT and 8 MB RAM.

Bottom Line

For an independently developed game, Gazillionaire is excellent for a wide selection of users. The gameplay is as solid as any great simulation should be, but where other sims falter, Gazillionaire keeps the gameplay moving at a fair speed. Considering that there is a freeware download that lets you test out nearly every feature in the full version, it is well worth the time it takes to download and play. Gazillionaire Deluxe is a very hard game to walk away from.

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