How can I begin to express the pain of playing Wall Street Kid? Cauterizing my anus shut and then drinking a nice tall glass of Mexican water comes to mind first. Yeah, that seems about right.
Long before Maxis gave us The Sims, the good folks at Sofel Corp blessed the planet with this bountiful gem of real life simulation. What could possibly be more appealing to a gaming market, which at the time was dominated by twelve-year-old boys, then a great game about leading a young man through the turbulent world of real-estate, love, and the stock market? My answer to this question, just about anything. I’m sure the guy who pitched the concept for this title had dreams of eating at the finest restaurants and driving the best cars from the fortunes he would make by introducing the fun world of the stock market into the world of Nintendo. I bet what he got was many great weekends of driving himself to the White Castle located in the bad part of town in his ’84 Grand Am.
Let the bitching begin…
The Death of Me
Normally I’d jump right in analyzing the plot of the game, but not this time. Instead, I’m going to dive in and start to complain about the music since I feel that it is this game’s greatest crime again humanity. I originally played this game and gathered screen shots for the review in August of 2001, but the trauma done by the music in this game would come back anytime I tried to do a write-up, and I’d have to stop thinking about the game before I took out my anger on the elderly. It’s not so much that the music is bad, which it is. It’s a matter that the one song that plays during the actual game is twenty-four seconds long and loops infinitely with no variation. Playing this game with the sound on is like willingly strapping yourself to a table and being subjected to Chinese water torture, except that it isn’t Chinese, and the water is replaced with an 8-bit chirptune.
Now that that is done, we can advance into the plot, which you can read in its entirety in the scrolling image to the right. The quick and dirty on it is that you are the sole relative to a guy who has just died who has assets that amount to 600 billion dollars and you are given $500,000 to turn into $1,000,000 in a month through the stock market to prove that you deserve the full $600,000,000,000. I’m going to nitpick at some of the subtleties of this premise.
- This so-called “Wall Street Kid” is the sole living relative to a guy with 600 BILLION dollars in assets. I think it is safe to say that he was unaware of this little nugget of information since Larry here had to break the news to him. If I was the only relative to a man who was worth more than the GNP of Mexico, I sure as hell would be there everyday wiping the old bastard’s ass with a piece of material made from the softest skins of unborn simians or something like that.
- If you were Larry, and were given the plot of this game by a dying old man, could you resist the temptation to pocket the six hundred billion and just assume that what the Kid doesn’t know, won’t hurt him?
- If this castle was so damn important to the old man and his family name, and he knew it was going on sale, why the hell didn’t he just have the several million set aside to buy it up instead of making Joe Millionaire over there try to earn it? Come on, this guy had 600 billion dollars. A few million out of that stash isn’t much. I’d even bet that the old man spent more the seven million in a single night to make high-class hookers perform the dirtiest of deeds.
- The Kid really should give some of the inheritance to Julie the Jolly Jeweler for the treatment of her female pattern baldness. She looks ready to pound some nails in with that big ass noggin of hers.
Satisfying the Kid’s Needs
Aside from appeasing the dead uncle’s wishes, the Kid is also required to keep his body in good health and make sure that the leash that his fiancée has around his neck doesn’t loosen.
On the love side of things, there is the Pricey Prima Donna who is always begging the Kid for a new pet, Ferrari, and probably money to feed her seventeen thousand dollar a day addiction to buying coins off of late night home shopping. I have some advice for you Prisila. If you want a new pet, do like the rest of us do and go find one on the street to kidnap, or else find a farmer giving them a way. People just laugh at you if they know you laid down a grand to buy a dog that will probably just die when you get tired of it and put it into a box in the closet to play with at a later date.
When the Kid isn’t bowing down to the whim of Prisila, he must keep his body in tip-top shape in case Prisila every makes all the money he is blowing on her worthwhile. For some reason, it is also part of the deal that if he can’t stay healthy, he gets denied the inheritance. In my efforts to run the Kid’s life into the crapper by ignoring his girlfriend and only going swimming when the pool chemicals were bad I ended up hitting rock bottom with his health. At this point, Larry showed up, told me I was too greedy, called me stupid, and then promptly ended my game. As far as I can tell, Larry did a good thing by ending this fiasco before the in-game month wound up.
In conclusion, I believe that Wall Street Kid is an unholy essence that was never intended to cross into the mortal world. Somewhere in the cosmos, the fabrics of time and space tore open and this lovely gem was spewed into our dimension where some goon working for a company called Sofel found it smoldering in the ground. For some reason, he took a finger full of its white gooey goodness and tasted it only to realize that it was great and could probably be marketed. Somewhere things went wry and the stuff he was selling turned people into mindless zombies who were hell bent on blood and violence. Oh wait, that was just the plot for the 1985 movie ‘The Stuff.’ There can’t be any explanation as to why this game came to be. Even more disturbing is how I came to actually owning the cartridge for my NES back in the day.
The Final Verdict
People commit suicide over the stock market. I can see the same happening by playing this game.
Some other places to read about Wall Street Kid