DescriptionSaving a failing restaurant may sound like a peculiar premise for a game, but any skepticism is forgotten at this diversion's base recipe for its salvation: to raise enough capital ($5 million) to purchase Flaming Sheinen's grill outright, you must take to the streets and delegate the revenue-generation to a small army of ladies of the night, who you will manage toward optimal profitability. While it's a strange formula it's also a straightforward one (as the game reminds upon startup, Note: Daily Profit = Cash + (Rate * Hours of all Whores) -- and it can't be denied that this game's lurid approach to supply-side economics is more titillating than your run-of-the-mill industry simulator.
Starting at the nowheresville intersection of 1st & Main, you slowly build your empire, day by day, as you earn enough money to move uptown street by street, where your whores -- if suitably attired -- can increase their hourly rates by leaps and bounds (for after all, as the old chestnut has it, while lower-class whores get crabs, upper-class whores get nothing but lobster.) While your player doesn't make money the same way as his stable does, you still have the options of attempting to fatten your chequebook by trips to the casino or, for the bold, outright theft from other players.
Indeed, left to your own devices, winning this game would only be a matter of time -- but the presence of competitors in this game's dial-up BBS door game context means that you not only have to perform well but outperform your peers, or risk having the restaurant sold out from under you. This leads to a number of underhanded and despicable tactics -- you can burn down competing brothels, or hire an agent to impregnate or infect an opponent's working girls with venereal diseases... if you can't just persuade them to work for you instead, with a fancier wardrobe on a more prestigious corner. (Just make sure you dole them out enough condoms to remain part of your active workforce!)
The interface is a series of single-keystroke options selected from various textmode menus, with every action undertaken adding minutes to the clock. Once you hit late night, all you can do is sit back and wait for your employees to earn their commission. The following day, you get to find out what all your careful arrangements (and more to the point, what the other players' careful arrangements against you) amounted to.
- "PW" -- Official abbreviation
- "Pimp Wars" -- In-game title
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Author commentaryThe mature subject matter of this simulation with the lurid subject matter caused many responsible System Operators to restrict access to it to older members of their userbase, resulting in some curious conflicts, as the game's original author, Paul J . "Ahpah" Martino, recounts:
"[W]hat's funny about that was that I wrote it when I was 14 and I couldn't play it on a lot of BBSes because they said you needed to be 18!"
Related Web Sites
- Pimpwars @ the BBS Documentary Library (Information regarding the game's history and development as well as relevant links and free, legal download of several versions of the game.)