Rare but fun oil drilling som
One of the rarest games published by Epyx, better known for California Games and Impossible Mission 2, Oil Barons is a curious little gem thanks to its innovative fusion of computer- and board-game mechanics. In essence, the game is a turn-based business strategy sim for up to eight players. The simple objective of Oil Barons, as you might guess, is to become the wealthiest player by locating and drilling for the incredibly valuable black gold. This covers pretty much all the actual tasks involved with real-life drilling, including surveying various environments, from deserts to the poles, to determine their suitabiity, getting caught up in legal wrangles with Congress, and actually engaging in the act of drilling itself. Despite its age, Oil Barons features a few modes to add to the challenge, including classic and reality, while there are also options for player customisation. The original game included a board and tokens which were used as a sort of map to keep track of things and while these are almost impossible to find these days, the game is fortunately still playable without them. While this game lacks the complexity of the identically titled but much more recent Oil Barons, it remains a fascinating excursion into the early days of gaming. It is certainly not as heavy as other strategy games like Baron or Cartel$ & Cutthroat$, and while lacking in their options or depth, Oil Baron is certainly fun if you're in the mood for an oil digging sim, and is even more so when played with friends.