MONOPOLY TYCOON, Infogrames/Deep Red
Business simulation with board-game flavor.
Monopoly Tycoon privatizes the city-simulation genre -- instead of working as a municipal manager, as in the classic SimCity games, players compete for economic success by building a variety of businesses along the streets of the Parker Brothers board game. You can open a movie theater on Park Place, a cafe on Marvin Gardens or a cheap motel on Mediterranean Avenue.
By polling denizens of the city, you determine what services are needed and then choose the size, design and expense of the property to meet that demand. The construction begins, your store sprouts up, and the money rolls in -- or so you hope. The game starts in 1930, and as the years progress, residents' tastes change and new products enter the market. The competition can become quite cutthroat as you buy out opponents' enterprises and auction off leasing rights to entire city blocks.
The game's graphics are exceptional, allowing you to pan across the map and zoom in to observe different parts of the city in action. You can even watch people go about their daily life, working and shopping during the day and then heading out for a bite to eat or some entertainment in the evening. The game includes a variety of one-player missions to complete, but it's more fun to try a multiplayer game or simply go up against four computer opponents in a winner-take-all battle for city domination. Win 95 or newer, $40
A game that deserves free parking on your hard drive.
Win 95 or newer, $40.
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