Commodore 64 Cover art of Oil Barons
Oil Barons is both a strategy and simulation-type, turn-based game, published by Epyx in 1983. It was released in versions compatible with the Apple II series, Commodore 64 and DOS computers. It is considered to be one of the rarest of all Epyx games.
Oil Barons represents an unusual fusion between a computer game and a board game, in that it included a game board consisting of a 50 X 40 square grid, as well as numerous individual game tokens, used to denote the significance of various grid locations (which corresponded to various terrain-specific locations within the game). Oil Barons was thus much like a numerically complex board game, in which the computer kept track of the numerous variables. The game could be played in any one of several modes, and with from one to eight players. Unfortunately, the fact this game has been out-of-print since the mid-1980s, and thus very few people today have an Oil Barons game board and tokens (particularly in light of the fact that only a very small number of copies were sold when it was in publication), potentially limits the game's appeal in contemporary times.
Oil Barons received mixed reviews. Although it was awarded a Certificate of Merit in the category of "1984 Best Multi-Player Video Game/Computer Game" at the 5th annual Arkie Awards,:29 Ahoy! criticized the pace of the game, noting that each player had to "sit at the computer for several minutes. Other players can use this time to strategize, but things can get pretty slow. Oil Barons, for all its complexity, may not keep you entertained while you are waiting".
- Oil Barons from MobyGames (retrieved on November 12, 2008).
- Oil Barons from Home of the Underdogs (retrieved on November 12, 2008).
- Kunkel, Bill; Katz, Arnie (February 1984). "Arcade Alley: The 1984 Arcade Awards, Part II". Video. Reese Communications. 7 (11): 28–29. ISSN 0147-8907.
- Herring, Richard (September 1984). "Oil Barons". Ahoy!. pp. 35–37. Retrieved 27 June 2014.