Sunday, September 12, 2021

Matter of Import 57: Wall Street [Century Electronics 1982]


Wall Street is a weird little action arcade game from Century Electronics with two distinct and very different stages. The first is a variation on the sort of gameplay seen in Exidy's Circus. You control a pair of firemen with a rescue trampoline, trying to catch Wall Street investors as they throw themselves out of windows on the left side of the screen. If you manage, they'll bounce back up into the air again, so the goal is to aim them towards the ambulance on the right side of the screen. Miss, and you'll lose a life.
Succeed and you'll start filling the central bank building with colored lines. If you manage to fill it completely, you'll move on to the next stage. Working against you is the shrinking bar at the bottom of the screen representing the Dow Jones Index - if it empties before you fill the bank, you'll also lose a life - and have to start over.
The second stage is a top down maze where the player must run around, grabbing bags of money, and trying to deposit them - while being chased by tanks. If you can destroy or avoid them long enough to bring all the money where it needs to go, the game returns to the next version of the first stage again, where things are moving faster and you have less time to complete it.
Once again what we have with Wall Street are two very different sorts of gameplay that don't mesh well together. While neither is truly terrible, they're just lacking in that sense of unity that makes a game feel like a cohesive whole, either practically or thematically.
As far as presentation goes, the graphics aren't terrible, but the music is a little harsh and repetitive for 1981. The game does, however, feature digitized voice effects at the beginning of the round - they're not great effects, even for the era, but they are there.

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