Drug wars for TI83...
.. was what this reminded me of. Unfortunately, the idea has been around for a long time (at least 10 years on the TI-83) and lacks in the originality department.
I was initially intrigued by the idea of a stock market game, up until I saw the main screen. That's when I realized that really the prices just randomly fluctuated, with some additional random little money makers, money takers, or price change events. That type of play style suits a game like drug wars, but doesn't suit a stock market game.
I mean, realistically, the stock market is all about playing with information, not just looking at prices, attempting to classify them as low and high, and then "buying low and selling high". When the game started, since there was no information, the best idea was just to grab all the $10 stock you could and pray it randomly increased. And the update system was kind of broken too, it required me to spend a majority of my money NOT on stocks, which meant that it was near impossible for me to make enough money to buy some of the higher updates. The random event system was kind of broken too, I got stuck bailing my cousin out of jail and getting robbed several times, even when I had no money left.
Another huge component which I think was missing was the ability to sell short. In several playthroughs, there were several times where all the stocks jumped above their initial prices and just lingered. In that kind of situation, it made no sense to buy stock when I was expecting prices to either linger or fall, but I had no sell short option. That would add a necessary layer of depth and strategy to the game which would allow players to make the ridiculous amounts of money necessary to access the higher upgrades. T
here were also a couple games where one of the more expensive starter stocks would drop to 1 or 2 dollars, and I would immediately purchase it waiting for an increase. And the stock would then just stay below 3 or 4 dollars for the entire rest of the game. I mean, yeah, that happens in the stock market, but there was no information to base any of my decisions off of.
All in all, the whole game just felt to random, and it didn't feel like I had enough power to really enjoy the game enough. The game feels like it accomplished what you wanted it to, but it really just doesn't bring enough to the table. Incorporate the selling short option in, and bring in even the slightest bit of background info on the stocks (accompanied by price trends which reflect that background info) and I think this game would be worth another few playthroughs.