Let's see, where do I begin? There are just so many strategies to choose from in Capitalism II, and each is developed beyond belief. For instance, if I want to base an empire off of farms, I can begin by building a farm, a factory, a supermarket, and a mine. I build a farm where I raise chickens and cows. My chickens produce eggs and meat that I send straight to the supermarket. However, the cows not only produce meat, but also leather that can be sent to my factory where when combined with textiles that I purchased from a local seaport, becomes a nice leather jacket that I sell to department stores. The cows also produce milk, which is sent to my factory. After mining some silica, I manufacture that into glass, which is used to bottle my milk before sending that to the supermarket.
Obviously the ingredients that go into a product's recipe are a tad simplified in Capitalism II, but they are generally true to what corporation would require. For instance, we know that a desktop computer is more than a CPU, steel, and circuitboards. More than 50 products are created in the same manner throughout the game.
The farms of Capitalism II can also grow crops, which opens up an entire other scope of possible products. Training in your corporation will improve the efficiency of your workers and equipment. It is a big investment, but if you handle it properly, it will pay off in the long run. Having a talented Chief Technical Officer will improve your R&D. Similarly, someone with a wealth of knowledge in marketing will assist in your advertising projects.
Vertical integration will be your ultimate goal as a player. When you control every step of the process, that much more profit comes into your company. You're set when you oversee everything from the drilling of the iron ore from the ground to a car's sale at a dealership. Chemical minerals, timber, core, gold, and oil are other raw materials that you have the ability to get, provided there is a nearby deposit.
Keep in mind that Capitalism II is rich with statistical data. Not every can of soup is equal. For example, advertising will increase brand awareness in the surrounding city, brining in more repeat customers and new customers. R&D, training, and better raw materials increases the quality of your products, again bumping up the appeal with consumers. If you can't afford to build another factory in a faraway city in which you plan to sell your goods, you may have to ship them there and adjust the price to consumers accordingly.
Capitalism II takes the basic principles of loans and ads to the next level. Not only can the player take out ads on radio, television, and in newspapers, he/she can also buy out the television station for their own purposes. If the bank hasn't been the answer to the money problems of the corporation, perhaps an IPO is. Just make those shares public and watch the cash roll in. Just make sure that you keep good relations with the investors via an Investor Relations Department, or else they'll be backing out on you real soon. Occasionally the stock market will take huge dips and rises, causing a mad rush of buyers and sellers. Keeping a close eye on these events will result in prosperity.
The opening campaign, known as the "Entrepreneur's Campaign," is an eight-step tutorial that takes you through every nook and cranny of the game. Then you are unleashed into the "Capitalist's Campaign," in which you are forced to use your skills to overcome difficult scenarios. Many of these take several attempts before a worthwhile strategy is discovered. Within each, you are greeted by a ton of information regarding your competition in the form of graphs, charts, a list of the top 100 billionaires (someone you might be familiar with by the name of William Gates is at the top), and more.
I found myself slowing down the game speed to a crawl far more than should ever be necessary. An annoying flaw in Capitalism II is that the game has almost no keyboard control, meaning that its monstrous lists of materials and products must be sorted through via mouse. The scrolling isn't even that user friendly. So to avoid losing who knows how many millions of dollars, I adjust the little speedometer icon to give myself time.
This game shines in that you can manage your company on a very small scale, or on an equally large scale. Your headquarters houses your central departments, including Public Relations, along with the offices of your central staff. They will threaten to resign now and then. You can either let them or offer them a raise. While tinkering around in the stock market, should you happen to reach a certain level of ownership in another corporation, you will then be able to use its money to make further investments. Once an even higher level of ownership is attained, all of the opponent's firms become yours in a merger.
I could go on about how the necessity index dictates how popular a product will be or how the miniature map displays links between your firms when they are collaborating on a product, but I assume that you've grasped the idea of the grandeur of Capitalism II.
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