JONES IN THE FAST LANE

Jones in the Fast Lane was released on May 31, 1990 by Sierra who also developed the game. Jones in the Fast Lane is a board game simulator.

The game is a tongue in cheek parody of real life. Players have to buy food, pay their rent, go to work, and still find ways to become happy.

At the start of the game the player has to pick one of 4 choices. Otherwise the gameplay is the same. Then players set  goals, which are represented by four sliders: Wealth, Happiness, Education, and Career. A game of Jones in the Fast Lane is played in rounds, which represents a week of the player’s life. Nearly every action, from going to work to moving between locations to applying for new jobs, subtracts time from the timer, with the week (and the round) automatically ending when the timer empties.

In a multiplayer game, they take turns; first player one plays round one, then player two plays their round one, and so on until looping back around to player one taking their second round. Rounds always start at the low cost housing station. Rents start at $325 for 4 rounds but it can then change up or down. Wild Willey is the game’s thief so beware about your low cost housing. The game has security housing that comes later on.

The pawnshop is available when cash is needed. This is not heavily used for most cases. Z-mart is the game’s store. Here low cost items can be procured. Prices vary between rounds so its not a bad idea to stop by.

Jobs available at Z-Mart Discount are:

  • Clerk (available from the start of the game)
  • Assistant Manager
  • Manager

Monolith Burger is the source of food for the player. Players have to earn cash to eat as well as pay the rent.

Jobs available at Monolith Burger are:

  • Cook (available from the start of the game)
  • Clerk (available from the start of the game)
  • Assistant Manager

Socket City is the consumer electronics store. Items here tend to not break down so fast.

Jobs available at Socket City are:

  • Salesperson
  • Electronics Repair
  • Manager

Hi Tech University is the education center. More education advances the career.

There are a total of eleven courses available, and they are:

  • Trade School
  • Electronics (requires Trade School)
  • Pre-Engineering (requires Trade School)
  • Engineering (requires Pre-Engineering)
  • Junior College
  • Business Administration (requires Junior College)
  • Academic (requires Junior College)
  • Graduate School (requires Academic)
  • Post Doctoral (requires Graduate School)
  • Research (requires Post Doctoral)
  • Publishing (requires Research)

Jobs available at Hi-Tech University are:

  • Janitor (available from the start of the game)
  • Teacher
  • Professor

The Employment Office is where the player can apply for the various jobs found in the game. This should be the very first place to visit when you start a new game. No jobs are actually available.

The Factory is the low pay and dismal working conditions that many players end up at.

Jobs available are:

  • Janitor
  • Assembly Worker
  • Secretary
  • Machinist’s Helper
  • Executive Secretary
  • Machinist
  • Department Manager
  • Engineer
  • General Manager

The Bank is where players can keep their money. Its also safe from Wild Willey swiping it.

Markets available for investing are:

  • T-bills
  • Gold
  • Silver
  • Pork Bellies
  • Blue Chip Stock
  • Penny Stock

Jobs available at the Bank are:

  • Janitor
  • Teller
  • Assistant Manager
  • Manager
  • Investment Broker

The Black Market is one of the more amusing parts of the game: groceries, lottery tickets and newspapers. Wild Willey frequently robs the Black Market.

Jobs available at Black’s Market are:

  • Janitor
  • Checker
  • Butcher
  • Assistant Manager
  • Manager

Le Security Apartments are the safest place but they cost more. Wild Willey cannot break into these apartments.

The Rent Office needs to be visited every fourth turn. Wages are garnished if the rent is not played.

Jobs available at the Rent Office are:

  • Groundskeeper
  • Apartment Manager

This game was very popular in 1990-1 when it first came out on floppy disks. The game supports the sound blaster card.

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

Operating SystemMS-DOS 5 or better
CPUPenium II-300 or better
Memory640K or more
Hard Drive Space1 GB
Graphics HardwareEGA or VGA
NetworkBroadband Internet Connection Required

The game requires a hard disk and a mouse to play. The floppy disks only install the game.