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CCS
Nicholas Holgate
1983
Strategy: Management
£5.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

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105
Rosetta McLeod
Chris Bourne

According to my dictionary, 'oligopoly' means "a market situation in which control over the supply of a commodity is held by a small number of producers, each of whom is able to influence prices and thus directly affect the position of competitors."

This game is a management simulation for one to six players, and the objective is for each participant to create wealth at a faster rate than his competitors. The computer gives each player a balance sheet for the year, generates a forecast for demand and costs, and tells each manager about the capital goods industry.

Using the computer's information on price, production, marketing, research and development, new equipment and dividends, the managers have to make decisions. When each has done so, the computer compares these and displays two reports for all firms. Results may be kept secret by agreement, as the program includes the option of using a punter for annual reports, forecasts and newsflashes.

A bar chart compares the share values for each firm, and a pie chart shows each firm's share of the market. Occasionally, news of imports, overtime and changes in taxes may be flashed up on screen, and this new information may make it necessary to alter decisions.

A duration of between 2 and 50 years is selected before play begins, and a useful feature is that even if a game were to be played twice with exactly the same decisions, the results would be likely to differ as the computer generates random factors. I also like the way in which shareholders demands have to be taken into consideration as the managers decide how much of their profits to share with them! If you think you have entrepreneurial skills, try them out with Oligopoly!

CRITICISM

COMMENTS
Control keys: clearly explained and kept as simple as possible
Keyboard play: very good
Graphics: sensible use of graphs and tables in most programs. The graphics in Airline are particularly good
Use of Colour: limited
General Rating: interesting and realistic simulations of different business situations. useful for encouraging the users to handle a wealth of different information.

Not Rated