Contrary to its predecessor Balance of Power, Balance of the Planet does not require Microsoft Windows; it is a genuine DOS program.
The manual describes most of the major ecological issues and problems in a compact and comprehensible way, and is perfectly suited as an eye-opener as well as a reference-book. Additionally, it includes a section called "Quickie Math Refresher", which describes the mathematical basics (from strange numbers to logarithms) needed to fiddle with the formulas in the game. An example:
Sqrt: This stands for "square root." [...]
Sqik: This is what ducks do if you hold them in your lap.