Amstrad ActionYES, CHANCELLOR!|8000Plus)
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Flight simulators let you find out if you've got what it takes to fly an aircraft: Yes Chancellor! gives TRENTON WEBB the chance to pilot the economy.

This should be a laugh...

To bust or to boom, that is the question. Is it nobler in the bank to suffer the slings and arrows of high inflation? Or to take action against unemployment and by taxation end it?

The choice of policy is yours, m pay deals with public sector unions, international crises and the dreaded public opinion polls. The aim of the simulation is to stay in power for three terms of office, which is often not so much a question of fiscal policy as just hanging on.

Your term begins after an election, the economy looking reasonable. Your task is to keep tilings on track for five years. You have a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 1,000 million pounds and no pence. It's up to you.

First comes public expenditure, for simplicity's sake condensed into four major areas defence, law and order, education and social fund. How much you have to spend is determined by the tax rate you set. whether you sell gold reserves and whether you borrow.

'Er indoors

To help you make these choices the computer drops hints, not about specific amounts, but about the areas that should be targeted. Moves popular with the public are highlighted. Whether you act upon them, however, may be influenced by such things as an election looming (not that budgets could be influenced by such tawdry things as opinion polls, could they?) and how much money you have left in the reserves.

Once your financial strategy is outlined you have to deal with the repercussions. First the new inflation rate is revealed, and then the public sector pay claims come in. The unions always want more than the rate of inflation, even more if the tax rate is high, and much, much, more if the economy is doing well, to share in the prosperity. So it's time to get down to the negotiations. You get the option of giving in immediately or slogging it out. If you choose the latter then you have three chances to make a reasonable offer before they troop out on strike.

Sometimes the unions cave in accepting half their original claim, other times it's all or nothing and a strike ensues. The effect on the country is illustrated by a set of graphs as you tiy and outlast your opponents. The cost, who's striking and votes won or lost as a result of your admirable hard line are all illustrated. Inevitably the nature of the negotiation forces you into a confrontational mode where union-bashing is as good business acumen or good negotiation.' Concession to their demands is met with the statement 'Don't play Santa Claus'!

Wapping pay rise

Once the union hurdle has been cleared it's time to proceed through the rest of the year. Interest rates have to be set, reserves adjusted and industry invested in or not. Then the reports on your performance comc in. The state of the economy this year and its predicted shape the next are outlined by thel treasury. Public opinion about you if performance is measured against th opposition's policies, your inflation record is shown, as well as other graphs which indicate your relative success or failure.

Every five years there is an election (and regardless of what the manual says, you can fool all the people all the time. Give 'em bread ana circuses at the beginning of your fifth year and watch your popularity rating rise). After the business of the year is done, you sit and watch as the votes are counted and seats are won and lost., success is greeted with an offer to continue in the job.

Yes Chancellor! is a good introduction to the workings of the economy. It is restricted enough to make it understandable to the layperson, but realistic enough to make success all but impossible for any great length of time. There arc elements of the economy that are not represented or apparently misrepresented, but on the whole it manages to avoid political doctrine.

Cliquez sur l'image pour l'agrandirCliquez sur l'image pour l'agrandir

 The NHS is sale with Trenton

Unfortunately the educational benefits of the simulation are limited. People interested in the economic mechanics of the modern world will do well, and learn more. Those left cold by the words fiscal policy,' however, will sim ply treat it as a simulation, and play games with the economy, raising taxes, disbanding the army, giving the nurses a decent wage (ooh, political, political) and so on.

Students learning economic systems and theories will also find Yes Chancellor! frustrating, for while it is a very precise working model of the British economy, it is a simplified one. No line is drawn for example between the various forms of taxation, direct or indirect. progressive or non-progressive. So in making the simulation accessible to the per son in the street Tom Tuitc has destroyed its ultimate educational goal, by removing the chance for true experimentation.



AUTEUR: Tom Tuite (coded with Mallard-80 Basic v1.29)

★ PRICE: £14.95

★ YEAR: 1987


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L'alinéa 8 de l'article L122-5 du Code de la propriété intellectuelle explique que « Lorsque l'œuvre a été divulguée, l'auteur ne peut interdire la reproduction d'une œuvre et sa représentation effectuées à des fins de conservation ou destinées à préserver les conditions de sa consultation à des fins de recherche ou détudes privées par des particuliers, dans les locaux de l'établissement et sur des terminaux dédiés par des bibliothèques accessibles au public, par des musées ou par des services d'archives, sous réserve que ceux-ci ne recherchent aucun avantage économique ou commercial ». Pas de problème donc pour nous!

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L'Amstrad CPC est une machine 8 bits à base d'un Z80 à 4MHz. Le premier de la gamme fut le CPC 464 en 1984, équipé d'un lecteur de cassettes intégré il se plaçait en concurrent  du Commodore C64 beaucoup plus compliqué à utiliser et plus cher. Ce fut un réel succès et sorti cette même années le CPC 664 équipé d'un lecteur de disquettes trois pouces intégré. Sa vie fut de courte durée puisqu'en 1985 il fut remplacé par le CPC 6128 qui était plus compact, plus soigné et surtout qui avait 128Ko de RAM au lieu de 64Ko.