17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on December 17, 2012
I started playing this game when the original Capitalism for Mac came out back in the 1990s. It was one of my favorite strategy/simulation games of all times because there were so many different ways you could elect to play the game.
The great part of this game is you can design your business in any way you want to design it. You can execute a high volume/low margin retail strategy, or you can decide to be a fully vertically integrated mega-conglomerate. Or if, you like to "live within your means" you can start with a small agricultural business, or corner the worlds supply of Gold or Oil and charge obscene prices for raw materials. All these choices are available to you.
Or you can simply have a holding company, where you collect your $100k a year salary and you make your money buying commercial real-estate and trading stock on the market while waiting for the opportunity to merger or acquire a failing business (and its assets).
There is no single way to play this game, although you may start a hundred different games in order to perfect the strategy you are trying to validate. That's what keeps it fresh and new each time you start it up.
I wish there was an expansion that added new products and innovations as time progresses, which would help make this game relevant. They also removed "Beer" as a commodity you could build and sell, which is not game breaking but its one of those things you wonder why they changed in the sequel.
Considering this is the same game that came out in 2001, its held up pretty good. If only they would continue developing with even more complexity or adding expansions to the product to keep it relevant would be my only complaint.
But if you like economic games that make you feel like you actually might have learned something, I suggest getting this game. It takes a long time to finally get acclimated to the way the game works, but be patient, in time it all starts to make sense. The design is not very intuitive, but think of it as part of the challenge. Soon enough it will make sense and you will be able to try and build your own successful business in as numerous amount of ways as is humanly possible.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on November 23, 2012
I am a fan of Tropico, SimCity and Anno 1404, so I thought I'd try out this game, which seems to have some similar traits to city-building or trading. The gameplay is somewhat similar in nature to those games, but there are a lot more parameters to track, and the AI opponents are expert players right from the start. There are a series of 8 tutorials which introduce you gradually to all the various features of the game. The tutorials will walk you through a particular aspect of the game and then set you loose to earn a certain profit level or dominate an industry.
I don't typically expect tutorials to be overly challenging - it's more just getting you comfortable for the gameplay. I was only successful at one of them, and kept playing the others over and over again thinking I must have been missing something about the gameplay. The AI opponent is very powerful, and will build huge conglomerates and dominate markets in almost no time, when your stores take a year or two even to start making profits. By the time you can get products to market, the AI will already have better branding and quality, decreasing your ability to penetrate the market. But if you spend the money early on to advertise and research, you'll go bankrupt before you can reap the rewards, especially in some of the tutorials where you are not allowed to take out a loan or issue stock. Some of the tutorials also span as much as 30 years, so they're a pretty big investment of time and energy. I found that frustrating for learning purposes, as it takes a long time to learn from any gameplay mistakes you may make early on.
The AI opponent also has access to game features which you do not in the earlier tutorials. For example, in early tutorials I saw that the AI opponent was building R&D centers, while I could not do so - they aren't introduced until tutorial 7. So yes, it's an interesting idea, and I'd really like to make it work, but I can't. I still have a feeling like maybe I'm missing out on something, but whatever. I don't have the time or inclination to spend on getting this to work. At least it was cheap.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on October 24, 2012
Simply the best business simulation game around! Stanford Universitiy and Harvard University used it for teaching. It makes you think every decision you make and is extremely addictive!
The developer is working on a sequel called "Capitalism Lab", which promises a host of new features and is going to simulate inflation and financial crisis!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Whenever I see this being sold, I can't believe it. The game is twelve years old!
I noticed someone had mentioned Capitalism Lab and I'd looked it up. Apparently it's a newer version of Capitalism 2 with enhancements that bring it into the modern age: more (and higher) screen resolutions, new products (like smartphones), and a lot of other changes including the ability to buy land plots! Personally, I'd look for that but if you don't want to buy it direct from Enlight (their store looks third-party and I don't know if I'd trust it), this is still a great version.
Long version of this review starts now. Scroll down to the bottom for the short one.
Despite it's age, the game is great. I haven't played it on Win 7 since I upgraded last year but it's one of those games I'll try to get up and running every few years because nothing has been released that really matches it. It worked fine in XP, you just may have to deal with wonky animations since they originally tied timing to CPU clock...ah, the good ole days of game development.
First things first: this is an OLD game. Do not go into this game thinking it was released a couple years ago because Amazon's listing says so. It was released originally in 2001.
It was created by Trevor Chan and his Enlight company. They've produced a few simulations you may have heard of (Restaurant Empire, Hotel Giant) and they're all the same: the UI isn't the greatest and the graphics aren't AAA but the simulation is usually incredibly detailed.
This game is all about capitalism in the sense that you have the freedom to make your money any way you see fit. You can stick with retail and sell products to consumers directly or you can go to the other end of the supply chain and corner the market on resources all those companies need to make their products.
It's also a brutal game. The AI doesn't cheat very much that I've ever seen but you have to remember it's running on electrons so it can be really fast to react (plus it knows how to play the game better than you do). The trick is to not get caught up in high cost activities from the start and to corner the market where possible.
In most cases, the basics of business hold true in the game. You can differentiate your products however you want and more often than not it'll work. Have low quality products? Sell them as cheap as you can make them and you'll sell more and make a small profit. Have high quality items? Up their price (within reason) and profit off the desire for higher quality items. It's obviously not that simple. But the game gives you hints like the multi colored bar beside products that combine various factors (price, quality, and brand usually) do generate a score of sorts for your products.
But, usually the player who can keep an eye on the supply chain is the one that wins the game. You will eventually find yourself wanting to build out your supply chain. And, as much as it limits the game to a more narrow focus, it really is the best way to keep a business growing. You obviously have to work within the confines of your cash flow and available funds. The game gives you a lot of tools to manage and check this but don't expect it to be spoon fed like many sims today. There are ways to adjust your curves, so to speak, and get your supply chain going sooner with the help of stock issues and loans.
Just remember that R&D costs you a ton of money whereas retail outlets make you a ton of money. I noticed some people talked about losing quickly with R&D and advertising. It's often prudent to start by building retail outlets and selling other people's products (having a port or two in the city helps as you can usually get high quality products for a decent price right away...the local AI companies will usually start off as low quality). You will have to fight a bit as you'll be selling products your competitors can sell just as easily. Just watch your pricing versus theirs and try to build more retail outlets across the city so you move more product. Once you're able to, you can start building factories and buying resources. Early on, some AI players will set up farms and some factories to produce early resources. However, if you don't see what you want, you may have to invest more. It's a balancing act but it's doable. Don't worry too much about quality at first. It will be harder to sell your products as first but you'll burn through your cash if you spend it on R&D and advertising. Use cheaper advertising and use it once in a while, not every minute of every day. Once you are completely vertically integrated with a set of products, then you can look into R&D and improving quality and brand. Also note, when advertising in retail establishments, consider focusing on per-product advertising at first. Company branding is great but it's better to invest in that later since it's more costly for what you're getting.
Once you've played through a couple times, you'll probably start to get the hang of things (don't forget to check the stock market...if you've given yourself a salary (via the HQ) you can start building enough funds to buy stock in other companies (and sell it after a while for a profit). That'll make it easier for you to issue more stock (to increase company capital) that you can then buy via your personal funds (to keep your ownership stack above 50%...don't want to get taken over by a competitor).
Eventually, you'll learn there are various ways to control the game instead of letting it control you. The important thing to do is to look ahead. The AI looks at today. So early on, you won't see TVs and the like being produced right away (you may but it's rare). You'll see furniture, clothing, food since those are easier to produce. In fact, if you've ever studied or read about economics, one of the most important terms to bring to bear here is "vertical integration". The ideal situation here involves you vertically integrated with one or more products since you can control quality and costs along the way to deliver a product to market that'll make you gobs of money.
Here's a hint for the early game: one of the easiest products to integrate is the bed. The logging camp is really cheap to set up. The factory can be small since there are basically two steps (well, three since you've got to receive and sell). It's also a necessity (people need to sleep!). You can get that up and running fast and make money quick. Eventually you can set up your R&D (watch those costs!!) to keep the product competitive with increased quality (remember to try to nab the highest quality wood resource ASAP...pause the game as soon as it starts if you have to). If you can create a monopoly (basically you grab every logging resource on the map) you'll make a killing even if you're just selling the lower quality wood.
For example, my strategy every time is to corner the market on certain resources. I'll cap every chemical resource I can find on the map then sell the lower quality stuff to my competitors while keeping the higher quality stuff for my factories to use. The higher quality continues down the chain (since quality when manufacturing will come from employee training which is costly and should be done later in your game, not at the beginning unless you just put a trickle of cash towards it) such that your products when they hit the retail chains will be better than your competitors. Voila! Vertical integration! Once I've got cash flowing, I'll start to invest in R&D and advertising to improve brand. All R&D does is increases your manufacturing quality for a product but it's a cost center so you'll never make direct money from R&D (granted, you can sell it to competitors but why help your enemies? :) ). The key is to do it as best you can. I'll set up an R&D center and just "buy" two slots. Tie them together and have them research your main product for 2+ years then just leave it alone until you're told it's done. Over time, you'll get your quality up to 80 or better and you'll be able to reduce your prices so your products fly off the shelves (remember, inventory doesn't make you money, sales do).
I get a hankering to play just talking about it. There's so much depth to the game. You can buy and sell real estate. You can initiate a hostile takeover of competitors. You can monopolize a desirable item (remember those chemicals I monopolized? electronics -> TVs, computers, radios, microwaves, you name it). You can positively destroy your competition. It's all about what you want to do and just knowing how to make it happen. Setting up factories so you produce multiple goods or produce a product but also have slots available to sell (internally of course) intermediate products (i.e. glass, circuit boards, plastic) to other factories so you don't waste spaces there building it again. You might find yourself with factories that just make glass or plastic (which works out great when you've increased efficiencies over time and invested in training.
One thing: I highly recommend NOT getting a COO. CTO maybe but more often than not, you can do a better job managing things. Sometimes I'll have a COO there to manage retail pricing since they can keep up with the market better than I can but do NOT let them run your factories (shudder).
Short version: As mentioned by others, this is NOT a casual game. And by casual I mean your Tropicos and modern SimCity games. I know, they're not really "casual" but they also hold your hand a lot which is not how these sims worked back in the day. Badge of honor or not, this game is all about people who love capitalism but just don't have the capital to make it happen in real life. Don't look at it like it's a challenge on an insult. It's not. It's just that the game was made at a time when a "sim" was really a simulation. Today's sims have gone through the "tycoon" period (shudder) where people took that beautiful genre and ruined it. Out of the ashes, today's sims are...friendlier, I guess. They can still be a challenge and that's not in question here. It's just that this game can be brutal if you think you can just plop down some buildings and succeed. You're expected to learn and eventually just know how to win the game (if there's such a thing).
As mentioned before, it might be better to wait until Capitalism Lab starts showing up on Amazon. At the very least, it'll look and run better (since the company seems to be actively developing it and updating it right now (it looks to have been released last year). However, if you're a die-hard fan of old or if you really don't care about graphics and have the patience to learn the game's not-so-great UI plus you have the desire and mind-set to apply some measure of economics, pricing model, and supply chain know-how when playing this game, you might just want to grab this version to whet your appetite. :)
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 9, 2013
Capitalism 2 gives you incredible freedom to play the game in the style and pace you prefer. Unlike most other games which are heavily scripted, where you must follow certain paths with checkpoints to win the game, Capitalism 2 lets you build your business empire in many possible ways. You may concentrate on retail, or expand into manufacturing, or vertically integrate your business by setting up own supply chains from your farms and mines. You may choose to be a patient investor in promising stocks, or become a frequent stock trader buying high and selling low for quick profits. For those who are tired of heavily scripted games, you will find Capitalism 2's gameplay really refreshing!
Also, the developer has recently released an expansion pack to Capitalism 2 called "Capitalism Lab" which has an impressive list of improvements to make the game series even better.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 16, 2012
when you first start playing this game its very confusing and you feel lost, but after getting the hang of it its very addicting
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 20, 2013
This is one of the few computer games that lets you build and run a business empire. There's really nothing else out there quite like Capitalism. The game play is buggy, and the graphics are ancient, but the business concepts are there and it's great for your inner entrepreneur and tycoon.
There are 5 main facets of the game.
1) Farming - to create the raw material inputs that you need to manufacture finished products
2) Manufacturing - building factories which take raw material inputs to create finished products for consumers
3) Retailing - there are a variety of retail outlets that you can build, which are the main sources of income for your business. Only certain buildings can sell certain products
4) Competition - You must stay on top of your competition by monitoring how their products relate to yours in terms of price, quality, supply, and market share
5) Innovation - Do not neglect your R&D. Long term investments in innovation will give your products an edge over competitors.
There are also several industries that you can play including pharmaceuticals (my favorite), apparel, electronics, automotives, computing devices, food & beverages, toys, tobacco products, furniture, and cosmetics (another favorite).
Overall, this game is quite complex. It took me about a half a dozen plays to learn all the game's nuances, and another half a dozen plays to figure out how to run a successful multibillion dollar business. But once you get the hang of it, this game is addicting. I wish they would come out with Capitalism 3, or something close to this game.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 11, 2013
It was a fun game simple but fun - I remember playing this game years ago and I wanted it badly lost my copy before - still fun simple graphics
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 27, 2013
The tutorial can use a little more detail some things are not explained well but it is still challenging and I beleve good for someone who likes busineds.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on September 5, 2012
fabolous game that simulate the business in different dimension and you could feel the stress !!
business aspects are :
production (manufacturing and farming)
worth to try....