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Day Trader

Score: 70%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: Monte Cristo
Developer: Take 2
Media: CD/1
Players: 1 - 4 (LAN/Online Multiplayer)
Genre: Miscellaneous

Graphics & Sound:

In the newest action/adventure titles today, blistering graphics and mesmerizing sound design often garner all admiration before the vital core of gameplay makes its way to the attention of many gamers. The same can't be said for the management simulation genre, of course. The few enthusiasts of the field don't exactly buy these games for eye candy; any decent financial sim must deliver competent gameplay elements above all else.

Surprisingly though, Day Trader offers nicely rendered backgrounds, well assembled cutscenes for each scenario, and a supplemental (but not overly impressive) soundtrack composed of upbeat, jazzy tunes and dance-tinged tracks. You've seen and heard better, but you've also seen and heard much, much worse. Satisfactory stuff for a management sim, that's for sure.


Gameplay:

As an aspiring financial mastermind, you've got access to loads of business resources. Hiring lawyers, analysts, brokers, press agents, and even international spies is just a few clicks away, and methods of maneuvering through the markets of New York, London and Tokyo have never been simpler.

Each scenario requires the player to manage stocks advantageously in order to survive in real-life situations (plummeting Internet sites, imminent NASDAQ crashes, skyrocketing jewelry values, etc.) and come out on top for your employer, the daughter of the late financial guru Lord Fleming. Unfortunately, the game takes place in only four concise areas: your personal office, employee resources, stock markets, and the local bar. Get used to seeing these few screens a lot, because there isn't much more to Day Trader than subtle trading strategy and stat-checking in the offices. Tactical bliss for some, boring tedium for others.


Difficulty:

If you don't have a clue about how things slide in the real stock markets, chances are you won't have a clue about how to function in Day Trader. Fortunately for those folks, a detailed Tutorial mode can run through all of the major steps with you before hitting the big time. For those already in the know, each of the seven scenarios can be played at three different levels of difficulty, each packed with enough challenge to last days.

Game Mechanics:

Controls here don't get any more complicated than pointing and clicking. The ability to scroll through stocks using your mouse wheel is a convenient addition, but the sheer straightforwardness of the game may tend to get on one's nerves after a while.

The fact that there aren't a million things you can do in this game may deter the standard option freak, but the suggested price of 19.99 USD will certainly make any wallet smile. Despite repetitive game objectives and somewhat lackluster presentation, Day Trader should please market fanatics and fans of the previous Wall Street Trader series -- just don't go out and buy this one to boost your stock smarts.


-Ben Monkey, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ben Lewis

Minimum System Requirements:



166 Mhz processor, 32 Mb RAM, 4x CD-ROM, video card w/ at least 2 Mb RAM, SoundBlaster or 100% compatible sound card, Windows 95 or 98, 100 Mb free hard drive space
 

Test System:



PIII 800, 256 Mb RAM, 16X DVD-Rom, Viper 770 Ultra TNT2 video card, SoundBlaster Live! Platinum sound card, Windows 98 SE

Sony PlayStation 2 NBA ShootOut 2003 Sega Dreamcast 18 Wheeler American Pro Trucker

 
Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated