Free Enterprise

aka: Big Business: Das virtuelle Wirtschaftsimperium
Moby ID: 2408

Description official description

Free Enterprise is a business simulator. You get to choose your factory and then hire a unique workforce to operate machinery and carry out the orders that you assign them all done by exchanging memos. You can produce up to 100 products in your factory and your goal is to be successful.

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Credits (Windows version)

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Designed and Developed by
  • Tsunami Media Inc.
Executive Producer
I? Technology
Routing Technology
Programming
Art Design
Art and Animations
Help & Documentation
Audio & Visual Producer
Quality Assurance
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 56% (based on 6 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.0 out of 5 (based on 9 ratings with 2 reviews)

Needs work

The Good
Good Ideas, lotsa Detail. Very Challenging

The Bad
It has a few Bugs, and the Limits on items are awful (ie- there is a limit on how many offices), the staff only use 1 set of smoking zones, etc. its Too Slow, and not RT

The Bottom Line
This is a business sim that SHOULD have been realtime, but wasnt.

Essentaly, you pick a US City, pick a Location, and become a millionare.

But, the game has a few flaws, and speed-up issues. the minimum turn is 1 day, and while the turn is playing, you cant effect anything inside the factory. You can Hire, but not assign tasks. you cant buy more Equipment (but you can buy a rush order of materials). The Maximum animation speed is 10min/sec, but that doesnt work properly, acting more like 10min/5sec, which means getting through just one day takes a long time.

Essentaly, before the end of the first month, the game has bored you, because you can do very little, except during the interval between turns (you can set a turn from anything from 1 day to 1 year), and getting through 1 day is a very long time.

Try-before-You-Buy

Windows · by Chad Henshaw (27) · 2002

Interesting Business Sim

The Good
1. The "micro business feel" of the game gives it an "I wonder if I could do this for real" quality. You start out with very limited funds and are required to keep tabs on your workers, machines, etc. You are much more concerned about making the mortgage payments than about crushing the competition. 2. The employee personalities. At first I disregarded the applicants' personalities and just hired the people willing to take the lowest pay. After a while, I started hiring the "better fit" even if it meant paying them more, and noticed the improvement in the output (and profits) of the business.

The Bad
1. There are no taxes. This is true of Capitalism as well, but any business anywhere in the world has to pay taxes, but not in Free Enterprise. This hurts some of the "reality" of the simulation. 2. Once you choose your city and building, you are stuck with them as long as you play that particular game, which can constrict growth considerably. 3. The bank loans you get are unrealistic. You can borrow, say, $250,000 for a period of 1 through 5 years, but the interest rate is higher for the shorter term; that is, if you borrow the money for 1 year, you're paying 12% interest, but extend the loan to 5 years, it's only 8% interest. I believe that is backwards from what the bank really does.

The Bottom Line
Free Enterprise is a business simulation that came out in 1996; since that's roughly when Capitalism was published, comparisons between the two games are inevitable. There are differences: while Trevor Chan's Capitalism has the player trying to grow your company into a corporate behemoth, Free Enterprise has a more "micro-business" orientation--while the minimum amount of funds you start in Capitalism is $5 million, Free Enterprise gives you a range of starting funds options: inheritance, loans, or venture capital, with those three categories broken down even further; the most you can start out with is $1 million, but it involves the trade-off of turning majority ownership over to the venture capitalists. While Capitalism allows you to be either a manufacturer or retailer (or real estate investor, or stock speculator, or even media owner if you have Capitalism 2), Free Enterprise is strictly manufacturing business. Also, Capitalism allows you to play the market, buying and selling your own and competitors' stocks. There is no stock market in Free Enterprise.

Play starts with you choosing in which U.S. City to establish your business. A generic "city scene" is called up, and you then choose which vacant building to rent, with a range of buildings of differing floorspace available. You then choose which product to make (the tutorial shows how best to decide), and buy the appropriate machine. You can decide to produce "parts goods", such as steel cases (used in making computers and other products). Parts goods are bought by other businesses in the city who are making finished goods. You can decide to make finished goods as well, which are sold "nationally". Profits and Losses depend on your ability to manage your finances and the ability of your workers.

One of the intriguing aspects of the game is the employees you hire. You put ads the the paper for particular jobs you need filled, and then check your in box to see if anyone has applied. The applications list the prospects' qualities and deficiencies, and gives a rating of how well the applicant "fits" the job you are hiring for. It makes a difference who you hire, as better qualified employees will have higher quality work.

While there's no "end" to the game, there are conditions of gameplay that depend on you reaching certain goals by a set amount of time. Also there are a few scenarios to play.

Windows · by Philip Mathis (7) · 2005

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  • MobyGames ID: 2408
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Andrew Hartnett.

Additional contributors: Patrick Bregger.

Game added September 16, 2000. Last modified March 11, 2024.