STORY / GAMEPLAY
Solve the Earth's environmental problems.
Recognizing the gravity of the environmental crisis, United Nations appointed you as their High Commissioner of the Environment. As the Earth's No1 policy-maker, you now have the powers to levy taxes on industry and grant subsidies to a variety of worthwhile activities!
You must use this power wisely as you are responsible for all aspects of the environmental crisis. You are granted the ability to balance the world's economic well-being with the vitality of the earth's ecology. If your policies cripple industrial productivity, you will lose just as surely as if the world is destroyed by toxic pollution!
There are 150 different factors that go into the game. These include 150 screens depicting real-life environmental issues, 150 user-changeable equations for direct control of the simulation and 150 actual problems to solve. All factors are interrelated and, in general, Balance of the Planet incorporates a vast amount of information about the many issues that make up for the global environmental crisis: from acid rains to water pollution, nuclear accidents to global warming, consumable goods to starvation!
Despite the fact that Balance of the Planet is mainly designed as a teaching tool than a pure game, but with a procedural system and limited user interaction, it is quite fun as you chart your way through the array of problems and use your newly acquired knowledge to save the planet from destruction. You are called to keep the many knowledge base artifacts offered and avoid the rather sophisticated schematic of factors and problems that come up in the end.
GRAPHICS / SOUND
The game's graphics consist of hundreds of nicely drawn static screens (either in b&w or with up to 16 colors, depending on the Macintosh model), as well as forms and reports to fill in, although the processing speed could be a little faster. As for the sound, Balance of the Planet is completely soundless.