After seeing Nilesy play this (and not do particularly well, if I’m honest), I thought I could do better. When it was cheap in a sale, I grabbed it.
Business As Usual
As a business sim, it’s rather lacking. The economy is very predictable and very easily exploited to make money a waiting game rather than a commodity. If you make sure you have a few thousand to pay your employees at the start of each day, you never need worry again. Set up a situation where you’re earning more than you’re spending and leave it running for a few ingame days to let the income pool.
Or at least you could do that, if the game didn’t pause every few minutes to tell you that one of your hundreds of employees isn’t feeling well. Thanks, but that’s what the HR Report’s for. Between pauses for sickness, deal changes and end of day reports, the flow of the game jitters too much to easily farm money. Granted most if not all of these pauses auto-continue on their own, but for those 30 seconds or however long, your entire business is paused. When 5 people go sick in one day, that’s a lot of wasted time.
Worst Of All
Then there’s the worst aspect of the game; theft.
There’s a chance that one or more of your employees – especially in the late game – can start stealing from you. One or more times an ingame day, you’ll get a pop up saying that x amount of money has been stolen and that you should find the thief. This x can be as low as $100, but I’ve seen it as high as $5000. Of course by that point I earned five times that a day, but the pop ups were annoying.
The way you find the thief is to read the thoughts of your employees (that’s a mechanic, Rollercoaster Tycoon-style) to find the one who thinks “they won’t notice it missing”. This can be any one of your hundreds and there’s no way to sort by thought (unlike RT). You have to go one by one or wait until their theft obviously impacts their lifetime earnings.
I eventually worked out quicker ways, but it’s a drag. You catch one and there are two new ones the next day.
Click, Click, Click
Menu-heavy games usually allow the keyboard to move and select. In this one, however, you have to click everything. Sick employee, click the OK. New day, click the OK. Another bloody thief, click the OK. It’s bloated, unwieldy and quickly becomes a drag. I only have so many hours in it because I had it on in the background when I was doing other things. And even that’s just so I could satisfy my 100% achievement compulsion.
Now that I have, I immediately uninstalled it and will probably never go back to it.
Kinda funny in places (company names and some descriptions can be a good laugh the first time), but the mechanics need fine-tuning, the economy balancing and the menus un-terribling. Nilesy made it look kinda fun, though.