Video Game / Jones in the Fast Lane

Who Says You Can't Win the Rat Race?

An old, rather obscure strategy video game from Sierra, simulating a single average Joe's career, released in 1990.

You begin as a person with a modest amount of cash, living in a squalid apartment, with only basic education and no job - the goal is to reach high levels of riches, happiness, education and career. The game itself is styled after a board game, where each turn (representing a single week) the player moves between various buildings on the board to buy things, work, get jobs, leave money at the bank, etc. The game can be played competitively with up to four human players and one computer-controlled player—Jones.

You can play an emulated version of the game right now in your browser here.

Tropes in the Fast Lane:

  • Antagonist Title: Sort of.
  • Bankruptcy Barrel: What you end up wearing if you neglect buying new clothes for a while.
  • Commonplace Rare: Prices at the Monolith Burger are quite ridiculous—French fries, hamburgers etc. have prices going into tens, or even over a hundred dollars! Though they somehow fill you up for an entire week (so you shouldn't actually take this literally).
  • Life Simulation Game: One of the earliest examples. However, the game mostly focuses on work instead of life in general.
  • Nonstandard Character Design: Most characters in the game are digitized photographs. Jones, however, is a highly cartoonish, big-headed fellow, which is quite jarring.
  • Rags to Riches: Pretty much a description of the gameplay (assuming your money goal is set rather high.)
  • Shout-Out: Monolith Burger is featured on the board.
  • Spiritual Successor: It's Game of Life in digital format.