The Biz (video game)
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The Biz is a ZX Spectrum management simulation/strategy computer game from 1984 where the player got to manage his own rock band. The price of the game on release was £6.95, which is equivalent to £20.15 today. The tape cassette contained the program, an interview with Frank Sidebottom and Chris Sievey, and eight singles.
Players set up their rock band with gigs, make them rehearse new songs, and hire a recording studio for producing new albums. The player starts out with no talent or money and an agent must be hired in order to better co-ordinate the band. The stage presence of the band and the fanbase are improved with every gig performed. School dances and YMCAs are the first places that accept the player's newly formed band. Real television stations are included: a band from either Swansea or Cardiff would perform on S4C while a local band from Coventry would get promoted on Central Television. Players can sometimes record a session with John Peel; whose broadcasting influence opened up new bands to people between the ages of 20 and 60 years of age.
Mundane details such as insurance, standard musical instruments and transportation expenses are all tabulated against the player's savings in the game. The game also contains an anti-drug message for bands who consider experimenting with them.
The game only contains telephone beeps and no music. Despite the sense of humour, the game is very difficult to play. Younger players may not appreciate the relatively slow pace and the meager level of rewards that awaits them near the beginning. There are no graphics to speak of and the game is text-based.