1984 Review | Personal Computer News - Everygamegoing

Personal Computer News

By Incentive
Spectrum 48K

Published in Personal Computer News #062

Go Into Politics

Go Into Politics

This year being the pudding for proof of George Orwell's predictions, you really shouldn't be surprised to find a game called 1984. But forget about Big Brother watching you - in this one, you effectively get to be Big Brother.


The game puts you in the hottest of hot seats - in charge of Great Britain's economy. As Prime Minister, you must control the web of factors that govern the economy. You've always said that you could do better than the lot in office and now's your chance to prove it. Just ride out three terms in office - simple, eh?

In Play


The game is basically a series of lists of information on the state of the economy. Most of your decisions are made by answering yes/no questions and selecting items from menus.

You always start with the 1982/83 figures. Each round represents one year in office, the completion of which is sounded by the chimes of Westminster.

Each year the balance sheet is presented, together with the status of eight major indicators, such as inflation, unemployment and the trade balance. The year-by-year progress of these may be called up as histograms - better not to look, they appear so much worse as rocketing or shrinking bars.


Oh, the Power! You can mangle the minimum lending rate, bash the banks, interfere with industry, decimate departmental budgets, fork out the foreign aid and generally go bananas with the Budget.

Wage rounds are a little tricky - the three main sectors (civil service, public and private areas) all come pleading for hefty rises. Make a derisory offer and they end up getting all they wanted in the first place.

Five large coloured rectangles are displayed, each representing a major economic sector viz Government, Industry, Population, Banks, and the Rest of the World. It is your job to keep all these equally balanced, since instability leads to disaster.

A random factor is added in the shape of sudden and urgent Cabinet meetings. Finding that you need to pump funds into British Rail or that the pound has to be devalued can knock your clever calculations cockeyed.


An absorbing economic game that offers all the fun and megalomaniac pleasure of running the country with none of the inevtiable consequences. Would you make a better PM?

Bob Chappell

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