Review by CGorman

"Good Value; Graphics; and Idea... but fails to deliver on Gameplay"

Start-Up 2000 is an interesting, but limited business start-up simulation game from Monte Cristo. The game offers players the opportunity to build up a small start-up technology company that specialises in either Video Game Consoles, Cyber-Tv's or Mobile Phones into a giant. Players get to start with several million dollars of Venture Capitalist funding. As the company grows players can bring the company to the stock market, where they can reap multi-million dollar success or lose control of the company to angry shareholders. Players get to hire and fire staff, decide on product specifications, run offices and decide on marketing spend. This is all met with the brutal onslaught of competition from other start-ups also vying for market-share. To sum it up, the game offers ultimate control of finances, staff, sales and products - or so goes the theory and as you play the game, the cracks slowly appear...

The most important item to any game is the game itself - and unfortunately this is where Start-Up 2000 stumbles. It is quite complicated with a prior knowledge of technology, marketing, stock markets, finance and human resources essential for anyone to enjoy the game - in short you need a Harvard MBA! However despite being overly complicated, the game somehow manages to be very restrictive, in the respect that you can only have one product on the market at anyone time, you can only choose from 2 types of manufacturing machines and you cannot view information on critical profit margins, balance sheet figures or profit forecasts. This all results in a game that is confusing to both beginners and long time players. On the up side the game boosts some very interesting features, such as a PDA news terminal where (fictitious) news stories occur as time goes by (from the year 2000 onwards), this feature even has actual footage of court decisions, stock crashes, technological breakthroughs or whatever is relevant to the game. The game also includes a very in-depth ability to market and research your products which indeed gives the game some fun. 5/10

A games durability is heavily dependent on its gameplay but not entirely. The sheer complexity of the game ensures that all users will at least enjoy 5 hours getting use to the games functions. After that, only the people actually interested in business simulation will play it - and for those sort of people many hours of enjoyable gaming awaits. The online feature extends the games length as does the 3 levels after the initial tutorial. But once the game is cleared it is unlikely even the most die-hard fans of this genre will continue to play it. 4/10

The game is very sleek and modern with colourful shades of blue and gray. The game is easy enough to navigate due to the very sleek use of colourful graphics. The game is built around a central news terminal on a desk, from there you are only a single click from any feature, from the manufacturing floor to the stock price chart. All orders are relatively easy to conduct whether it be hiring staff or launching an IPO. This is one area the game excels in. 9/10

This game is reasonably priced at approximately $10 however this does not mean it is good value, quite the contrary, the game only entertains for a few hours so $10 is quite expensive. Your money is better in your pocket. 5/10

Final Comments
If your a die-hard fan of business simulation games - get Capitalism II or Railroad Tycoon II but don't get this. If your not a die-hard fan of business simulation games then similarly don't bother with this game. In short the game is too complex, too short, and too uninteresting. Overall I feel that this game is about 5/10

Reviewer's Rating:   2.5 - Playable

Originally Posted: 03/27/04

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