Bulls & Bears is a shareware stock-market game for 'anyone wanting to learn a little about news headlines and their effect on areas of the economy'.
Up to four people can play, if less than four players are in the game then the computer offers to join in but it only joins as one player.
The game is entirely keyboard operated. Game-play consists of the following phases which are repeated until the players decide that the game is over.
- Phase 1: Each round starts with a summary of the players' current cash total, all players start with a stake of $5000.
- Phase 2: The Portfolio Update. This is where each player in turn decides what to invest their money in. They can buy or sell shares in any or all of the following: Metals, Oil, Utilities, Transportation, Bonds, Housing Market and Industrials. When the player has made all the transactions they wish they 'Hold' their market position and play passes to the next player.
- Phase 3: The market Session. Here the computer decides which investments pay dividends and which gain or lose value.
- Phase 4: The Market News phase. The game displays a newspaper with a randomly selected heading, 'Price of Oil Soars - Congress Mad' is one. The player then interprets this and its implications and uses the information, together with their skill, expertise and guesswork, to plan their sales and purchases in the next round.
Then it's back to the revised score sheet of Phase 1 to see who has the most cash and to start the next round. The game ends when one player's net worth exceeds £100,000