Game Designer: "Hey, boss. We're almost done with that game we were talking about at the bar."
Game Producer: "Hey, Dennis. You're wearing your underwear outside your pants again. Now, what's this game you're talking about?"
Dennis: "Wall Street. You know, that game about stocks and bonds you said would be totally fun?"
Dennis: "Oh... Well, it's pretty much ready to go. What should we do now?"
Game Producer: "I... I don't know. Put the word "kid" in the title and get out of my office. We'll worry about you getting fired later. Jesus, we're so fucked."
You've seen the eyes of a child light up when you hand them their first Wall Street Journal. The passion they feel when they check their stocks and find company abbreviations that almost spell naughty words. But some children are too busy with video games to phone their broker or read the paper. And some children just hate themselves. Either way, Wall Street Kid is exactly what they're looking for -- a game simulating the funtastic life of a stock broker.
Your distant uncle has died, and his will stipulates that you have to spoil your girlfriend and move into a giant house. Then you inherit $500,000 and go to work. You can't sit at the Nintendo buying and selling stocks all day, though. You need to get outside, go to the gym, and take your bitch girlfriend shopping. But don't get up. You can do all of that without leaving Wall Street Kid. You'll never have to leave the house again since every boring detail of your real life is simulated in the game. Warning: only works if you're a stock broker with three hobbies and a stupid cunt for a girlfriend.
Time passes just like it does in the real world, only a little bit faster. Every seven seconds of your pathetic life = 15 virtual minutes in the Nintendo stock market world. There will be about 8 virtual hours of every virtual day where you don't have anything to do in the game except wait for tomorrow's stock reports to come in, and when that happens, there isn't a "skip to tomorrow*" option. If you try to go to the gym, it'll be closed, and Prisila will give you shittier excuses to get out of spending time with you than Clark Kent gives Lois before he ducks out to become Superman. So 8 hours of every day, you get to watch your clock tick. And if mindlessly doing nothing isn't fun enough, you can always hit pause to extend the dead time to as long as it takes for you to start loving it. Or here's an idea: hold a digital watch up to the screen and pretend the numbers are racing.
*UPDATE: According to about three hundred obnoxious emails, you can click on the clock next to the box you use to communicate with your girlfriend to skip to the next day. That means that Wall Street Kid only wastes time at approximately the same rate as other bad Nintendo games. It also means that there were enough people that actually bought the game that they could create a sub group of a few hundred people whose job it was to care that I got better at playing it.
It's nice that when you escape the real world into a smaller, more boring world, some of the pictures look pretty.
If you don't like imaginary investing and hate the idea of telling an imaginary character to go to an imaginary gym and finding out it's imaginarily closed, Wall Street Kid is as boring as watching a blank TV. But with all the waiting you have to do, 60% of the game is literally watching a blank TV.
There have been a lot of accidents throughout history. Some have been tragic like when Jean Claude Van Damme accidentally made a movie with Dolph Lundgren. Some have been happy like when a shopping cart full of peanut butter accidentally smashed into a shopping cart full of chocolate. And then there were accidents like Wall Street Kid that were near-catastrophic. Wall Street Kid was such a mistake, it should have become a cliché. Instead of saying, "those two go together like oil and water," we should have been saying, "those two go together like Wall Street and Nintendo." To keep it in perspective, though; all this game really was was a simple bad idea. But you know who else had some simple bad ideas? Hitler.
It's not just a waste of time, it's a bad simulation of wasting time: Wall Street Kid ROM.