The Great Wall Street Fortune
The Great Wall Street Fortune Hunt, also known as Wall Street was released in 1982 and is another game in the Master Strategy Series, a series of part console, part board games on the Odyssey².
The game is a stock exchange simulator. One or two players (or groups, if more than 2 people are playing) take the role of investors (or investment syndicates) trying to anticipate investment fluctuations to take advantage of buying and selling opportunities which occurs during the game.
The main screen is divided in three sections. The upper section displays the investment choices and prices per share scrolling from right to left. The middle section displays news flashes related to the market and the lower section displays each player's investment portfolio and capital. A grey bar chart to the right displays the overall market performance during each quarter of a year.
Each investor starts with $100,000 and can enter a maximum of seven investments into the computer. The investments are bought using the keyboard by entering the letters representing it (IBM, for instance) and the number of shares wanted. The shares can be sold in lots of 100. All investments entered must be sold at the end of each year (four quarters, each quarter taking about 5 minutes of real time). The computer will signal the end of each quarter. The winner is the investor accumulating the greatest net worth after 5 years.
The game can be played in four levels of progressively increased complexity -
Straight Investment Transactions, Straight Investment Transactions & Treasury Bills, Straight Investment Transactions & Treasury Bills & Buying on Margin and finally Straight Investment Transactions & Treasury Bills & Buying on Margin & Stock Options
The gameboard is used to keep track of information dealt with off-screen. It is divided in 4 sections: investment positions, T-Bill market, time frame indicator and prime rate indicator.
Each investor receives a set of numbered share/margin tokens to be placed in the share section of the gameboard for every straight transaction done. There are 30 different investments available and each investment has a different sensitivity to changing national and international conditions in three areas as shown in the gameboard: Gross National Product, Prime Interest Rate and Political Instability. The news flashes presented in the screen will affect the investments according to there three indicators. The time frame indicator is used to keep track of which quarter the game is currently on.
The T-Bill market and Prime Interest Rate parts of the gameboard are only used in level 2 games or higher. The Prime Interest Rate is the interest banks quote as charging their best corporate customers. It is directly related to the interest rate on Treasury Bills. The prime rate will be reported by the news bulletins on the screen and must be marked with the appropriate tokens on the gameboard.
Level 3 adds the option of buying stocks on margin, i.e., with money borrowed from the broker. The computer only keeps track of investments bought in cash, so this kind of transaction must be tracked with the help of a proper token in the gameboard. Level 4 adds option trades to the game. Options give the investor the right, but not the obligation, to buy or sell securities at current prices at the beginning of the following quarter. It is basically a bet about the rise or fall of a specific security price.
Besides the gameboard, each player has his / her own investment record pad to better keep track of his/her transactions.