Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 11 ratings with 3 reviews)
The entire premise is fun. Sure, not quite compatible with a well-developed sense of ethics, but fun nonetheless (a nice escape, perhaps). The game incorporates several successful elements that add to the motif: the loan shark that breaks your legs if you don't pay up, the informant who rats you out to the cops if you don't pay him off, illicit arms dealers with "one time only" specials, and the like.
You decide your own strategy as you work towards becoming a "Druglord Overlord" by gaining 300 status points. You can start with the small stuff and try to work your way up, or take out loans to buy the more expensive stuff and hope that the market is favorable.
And, in the registered version, you have the ability to save and load your game. This is a VERY important feature...
1. The mugger. This is the single most annoying part of the entire game. I found it amazing how I can take down an army of cops with my friends and a bunch of AK-47 machine guns, yet I can't protect myself from a common street urchin. He tends to show up after particularly successful deals. And come on... when was the last time someone got mugged for 7 or 8 million dollars at a pop?
Trenchcoat prices. Not sure how these are determined, but it surely must be random. You may find a coat that can carry 100 items for $300,000... or you may be offered one that can carry 110 items for $2,364,500. Wierd.
The cops. They're everywhere... especially as you gain status points and become more well-known. A realistic part of the game, I suppose, but that darn siren gets irritating after a while. And speaking of...
... the sounds. I hate them. There's no way to get rid of them. They will drive you bonkers, utterly.
The Bottom Line
I don't think that FantasyWare is still in business (I sent them a letter once and it was "Returned to Sender"), but if you can find it, I highly recommend picking this game up. It's a fun little diversion.
DOS · by Mirrorshades2k (274) · 2001
Druglord is- above all else- very tongue in cheek. While pious people may not find joking about drug dealing and other crimes funny or right, this is definitely a game with a sense of humor. The game's menu comes complete with a stereotypical thuggish accent, and the whole game plays like a comic version of a bad 70's exploitation B-grade film. This makes the otherwise leaden concept of a financial simulation game new and fun. (dunno about you, but selling lemonade kinda gets old.)
Gameplay, once it gets going, is amusing and somewhat addictive. It can be hard to start out, but once there's a little rhythm going, you can buy, sell, and bargain your way to millionaire status.
It's bizarre that overcoats cost so much- you have to buy coats to increase your holding potential, but why in God's name would one cost $20,000?
Police are very annoying in this game- early levels are okay, when there's one or two cops; you can usually, unarmed, take them out. Armed, a few cops are okay, too. But later on, when your status is really high, you can get surrounded by gangs of 20 or more! You aren't apprised of the size of the police force when asked if you want to call a posse together- and even then, your posse shows up unarmed (!) and undermanned. If you're lucky, you may have a cache of 4 or 5 guns to distribute, but you'll still be facing an armed force 4 times the size of your group. Running away isn't an option, since the more cops there are, the lower the chances of a successful getaway. Your health drains pretty quickly when there's 20 cops shooting at you, and attempting to run away means you aren't allowed to fight at all. So, in other words, once you've hit about $1 million, if you're caught by cops, you're dead.
No matter how well armed you are, you are simply not allowed to confront muggers! Especially early on in the game, muggers are the bane of your being, because if your rep is below a certain level, they take all of the money you are carrying. If your rep is above a certain level, you can "spend" your reputation points to avoid losing your money- important if a loan shark is after you, but it seems odd that if I were armed with 4 automatic rifles that I couldn't fight back.
Finally, if you're carrying pot, your girlfriend will occasionally bake it into pot brownies and eat it. All of your pot. If you're carrying 60 kilos she eats 60 kilos. This is fairly amusing now that I think about it, but it is annoying when it happens in-game, and it's the only drug susceptible to theft/loss.
Starting a game usually involves resetting the game multiple times to get a good beginning. It's really hard to start out fresh and make it work, especially if you're initially dropped in an expensive-transportation city with high drug prices. (Hint: LA/San Diego are the only two cities you need.)
There also appears to be no end- or goal- to the game short of dying (which in a moralistic sense may be what they are trying to say). I usually set myself a goal of $1 million- I've been trying for $2 million, but can't quite get it yet. Without an actual goal, though, it can seem fairly pointless.
The Bottom Line
It's odd, and definitely not for all tastes. There's no graphics and little gameplay, but what is there is fun and mildly addictive.
When playing, the most important thing is to watch the fluctuations of drug prices; you'll notice each drug fluctuates around a standard point (pot, for example, usually wavers between 200 to 500 dollars). Once the median prices get ingrained in your head, it's a cinch to buy low and sell high.
Until the day EA/Maxis comes out with that long-anticipated "SimPusher" (and where's "SimPimp"?), though, this will probably be the best- and only- illicit drug business simulator around.
DOS · by Robert Morgan (1050) · 2000
I first got this game off a local BBS in the early '90s. I got addicted then and just found it again and I'm hooked again. I've figured out how to overcome most of the common problems or idiosyncrasies of the game.
First off you keep resetting until you start with heroin around $9200-$9300 and borrow about $9000 from the loan shark. Jet to a city like D.C. and you should earn a few thousand and some status. Next you can jump to crack or cocaine. I've bought cocaine with the help of a loan shark on my second deal. Use windows calculator to only borrow enough. Use as much as your own as possible and leave some for the flight. After a couple deals and about $20000, leave $10000 all the time on hand and bank after every deal. When you make over a million, keep about $25,000-$50,000. Then about $150,000. The lower on hand money will keep the trench coat price down and the cops off your back. I've made it to 250 status points without an AK-47 just by running from the cops. Always use your status points with a mugger. This will make the game last longer. Buy cocaine in New York at $36,000-$37500. Then jet to L.A. It's usually over $50,000 there.
I just finished my best game ever with $65,617,062 and a score of 77028859 and 5 AK-47's. I just started fighting cops at around 260 status points when I was finally offered some. I made that much with a 140 hold trench coat and in only 48 deals.
This game can be full of frustrating things like the other day when I was having an awesome game and had over $35 000 000 and had not been offered an AK-47 yet and was killed trying to run from the cops.
The Bottom Line
This game shows you that you don't have to have good graphics and storylines to have fun gameplay. Another all-time favorite of mine is EGA-Trek.
DOS · by Jake friesen (2) · 2009