(This iPhone review and others like it have been moved to my new app review site, positivemachine.com. Why not have a look?)
What it is: Capitalist swine simulation
There are two kinds of rich, boring people in the world. With iTrade, you can experience how one half makes its money (surgery games will be covered in a separate review). Players are given $100,000 to lose or multiply, and everything resets at the end of each calendar month. That’s actually the typical lifespan of a stock market beginner, so right away it gets 10 bonus points for realism. Trading occurs in real time alongside the NYSE, with Buy/Sell transactions appropriately delayed.
But where iTrade really excels is in its all-black user interface. The game’s designers skillfully wield the color as a weapon of social commentary, lambasting the wasteful, destructive nature of Wall Street and the ruin it has wreaked on all modern life. It is the color of death and oppression. With a single design decision, they depict the entire Satanic industry as the joyless numerical endeavor that it is. And although buying virtual Apple or Nike stock in the game does not directly force sweatshop workers in China to suicide – or if their constitutions are stronger, just decades of involuntary retirement and poverty due to uninsured repetitive stress injuries – you will damn well feel their despair as you navigate its thoroughly depressing menus.
It’s worth noting that as a side effect, I’ve recently become addicted to martinis.
“My Card Has A Watermark” Rating: A+
Download iTrade on the iTunes App Store.