GAZILLIONAIRE DELUXEReviewed By: Tim Emmerich, Shepherd's Staff
Genre: SIM/Board Game
Gazillionaire Deluxe" is a fresh and unique approach to supply and demand. Set in a galaxy where most races are extra-terrestrial and travel between planets is commonplace, the goal is to be the best trader in the galaxy to become the first gazillionaire! Choose a ship, purchase and sell goods, and travel to nearby planets as you try to 'buy low & sell high.' You have opportunities to make improvements to your ship and even establish tax-gathering offices (don't forget to pick up your tax money once in a while). Indeed, you are even offered great opportunities that make some company's initial public offerings look attractive. All in all, it is fun race to the top as you are entertained by the original artwork, sound effects, and unique commodities. But don't forget to buy insurance!
Playing “Gazillionaire” is straight forward as you have clear menu choices controlled by the mouse pointer under Windows that lead you through the various stages of this turn-based game. So, it may feel like a board game, but you aren't timed in anyway. So, take as much time as you want or need for your turn. After you start out choosing a ship and starting capital, you soon realize your choices are numerous. You have complete freedom to buy lava lamps, kryptoons, or whatever commodities you want. You even have the choice not to pay your benefactor, Mr. Zinn, interest or principle on the start-up kubars (local currency) that he loaned you.
You can also make some extra kubars by carrying passengers along. Don't forget to set competitive pricing and advertise for your next planet. Add to this mix some zingy sounds and artwork and you realize you are having fun trying to make a kubar.
Some random events are added that may delay your travels which may leave you screaming as a competitor beats you to a planet and buys up all the commodities you were after. Ship improvements are available, and while expensive, can help you be the one to get the planet first or carry more items to sell.
Other enjoyable aspects of the game include the planets you visit. Take time to visit the locals; sometimes beneficial results can be achieved (negative results are possible too!).
S O L I D S U C C E S S :
The tutorial should win awards; it is so well done. It gradually introduces you to the game. As you progress, more features are brought into the game! It is extremely well-done!
A R E A S F O R I M P R O V E M E N T :
This game is crying out for true multiplayer action. Over the Internet, a network, or even a serial cable! Having the players enter their turns in parallel would greatly improve the gamespeed. However, the PBEM (Play by Email) implementation works quite well. “Gazillionaire” is probably best played “hotseat” (multiple players around one computer). That way you can hear your opponent sob "You beat me to that planet and bought all the Kryptoons!"
Finally, LavaMind should expand the galaxy, and offer more and unique commodities to try and improve replay ability. Another nice feature that would've added icing to this delicious cake would have been a few select, well-done, cutscenes.
S U M M A R Y :
Year of Release—1997
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