#10: Industry Giant (PC)
Industry Giant is a business simulation game where players runs an enterprise where they can manufacture and sell goods in cities. Developed by JoWood Productions and released in 1998. Players start out with a set of money from a loan to use to purchase transport and use these to purchase raw materials. They get shipped to factories, which the player also build, along with retail outlets which can also be built in cities to help sell and to earn a profit. The game allows the players to manufacture strictly products from toys to furniture to sporting equipment from the start, then more risky items to sell to manufacture to electronics devices such as computers and televisions to cars and jewellery like gold and sliver rings later in the game, so the game has a career based structure as the player proceeds. The items may seem very fun like making consoles however it maybe worth the thought that the items are catered to almost everyday needs, like toys, while they can be collectors items but as toys are for someone who at an age who really wants to be occupied (maybe I over-thought about this part but why it's number 10) and fitness equipment as people like to work out but then had health benefits which can be a requirement in many places. Cars, as stylish as they have become, the game allows it in a generic sense. I'm sure people can think about how useful in life owning or relying on a car can be.
The game has it's flaws such as having to put up building the transportation network to help complete scenarios. It's too good but when there's a road or railway line you don't want by mistake which you'll find you had spend some money which can't be recovered and many more trips and slips that gets in the way of fluently building your network to help you complete the stage and save money when you really need it. Even the idea that the game didn't look like there was much going on, other then watching trucks and trains travel and your profits growing, it does look like a bore to watch. Thankfully the issues were addressed and thought about for the games sequel Industry Giant 2.
Something I really enjoyed about Industry Giant was how urban generation was reflected. You can build roads in Industry Giant's cities for the fun of it but also build attractions in cities to boost people living in those cities to help with your sells as the time in the game progressed. You'll see cities grow with houses being build and the roads you've build next to them, urbanized just like those found in towns and cities because of the presence of your retail outlets in those cities. I thought that feature in the game is interesting, which helps you complete stages quicker. There are other factors in the game where the player has to put up with, such as changing the landscape to raise and flatten lands and even the option to build stores on land in cities to current houses (with no regards) which costs to demolish if you really want to place a store somewhere to help win the game or for fun to see where that goes.
Prison Architect is a game about building and managing a prison and profiting from it. Unfortunately, because there are people out there who need a place to think about how they affect someone else's life, chances and even health and having to try to get them to realise for themselves, there's a building to place those people and someone has a challenge to manage that and that's Prison Architect, hence why I've placed this on the list. Despite it's serious idea, the game has an extreme toon style to present the game, unlike all the other entries on this list. A heavily contrast between the idea and the graphically style however it still awards the player to manage the situation in the game with money. It is serious business and challenge running and managing a prison to get the inmates to cope with their situation, which can be very challenging in itself. Not only supplying the space and needs of the prisoners but also to keep them safe such as keeping them away from fires for example, to enjoy earning to help build the needs to help the characters to maintain their stay. Before Prison Architect, there was the Prison Tycoon series which started in 2003 however the series itself fared average and the sequel couldn't improve, which is a shame as Prison Tycoon and the sequels had a more serious look to the game. Prison Architect is maybe the closest to a good prison simulation game. It nice to see that the characters in the game are portrayed in a fun loving way for the player to approach the challenge to help to show that the characters portrayed in the game need a lot of care.
#8: Big Pharma (PC)
Big Pharma is a game where players can build a drug factory. The game was released in 2015. The player can research different technologies and processes to create the kind of tablets to help cure patients as well as earn money. While the idea seems interesting, the game is set in a factory where you have to build and run production lines to produce these tablets. The challenge is to make those pills to be as effective as they can be and by removing the negative side effects as you progress. The player can use the profits and extra floor space to build more lines to be the biggest drug manufacturing company in the game. The graphics of the game look like CAD models with flat polygons for flat surfaces which works well as they can represent the machinery fictionally but maybe a way of going over not getting the actual machinery and may put players off as the machines and lines look too simplistic. Maybe shows how much the development team wanted to build the game and not care so much about graphics. It is an interesting name for the game, if anyone wants to take a look at the other meanings of the game, maybe to try to fit in the market of games which have controversial names.
Theme Hospital is a business simulation game where players own and manage a hospital. Developed by Bullfrog Productions and published by EA in 1997, the game received loads of attention for being unseen for a PC game at the time and giving an opportunity to the player to run a hospital, something that they may hardly never have an opportunity in being part of. As a video game was trying to appeal to anyone at the time, the game has you hiring doctors and nurses as well as receptionists and janitors to help run and maintain the hospital to help cure patients and earning money from it.
The game is fun to play but allows the player to maybe think about the situation they're in as the idea of curing fictional physical accidents like floating heads and poor mental health cases like people who like impersonation of the patients favourite characters for too long, to make you wonder what's really out there which needs to be cured. You'll never know. Along with managing the staffs salary and their health needs like providing a staff room for them to take breaks or have a pool table or an arcade cabinet for them to play on. The game is clearly for someone who wants a serious take on the hospital business management despite a few fictional elements in the game. Compared to all the games about building hospitals, Theme Hospital is maybe one of the most recommended games when there's a game like Hospital Tycoon from Codemasters. The spiritual successor of Theme Hospital is Two Point Hospital which takes the same elements and mechanics from Theme Hospital but presented them in 3D, which was praised during their release.
Managing students at high school, a challenge to a few folks to manage? I'm not the headteacher or not planning to be however not everyone can be a headteacher to help shelter and to give the needs for every student the knowledge to get around the world in their future. Here's another good example of an idea of having a video game to help show how managing a specialist area can work. School Tycoon allows you to manage a high school. You hire teachers who not only teach but are stricter or not as boring as other staff to help students pass and complete their high school years. You find earning money as you manage to get students onto courses (It must be one of those private schools and their business models for the game). You also have to build classrooms and even services like the canteen for the students to eat. One of the bizarre sights is how the game looks like it's being viewed as a city, with students walking around the campus as the they study. School Tycoon was noticeable for not having a complicated user interface and for trying to be as simplistic and accessible to the player as PC games are the time were known to have extremely deep mechanics such as spreadsheet data required to help make decision for the game, which this game does fairly well but has it's problems such as reloading the save game file which messes up the flow of a scenario which has been reported. School Tycoon is as good as it gets when running a high school full of students.
Transport Tycoon was first released in 1994 for the DOS PC. Transport Tycoon allowed the player to make as much as they can by transporting passengers and goods by any means of transport available by land, sea and air. The player can also build road and rails to help their vehicles reach their destinations which helps players make their profits. Transport Tycoon had released an expansion titled Transport Tycoon Deluxe which offered new content and bug fixes. The PC version of the game is now extremely rare however the game has a port for the iOS and Android. The game has also spawned OpenTTD, a free open source version of the game. Transport Tycoon is all just make that transport company and make the most money and that's it. As much as it doesn't seem to be, it is a huge game trying to manage your vehicle line and getting them to the correct destinations and earning money from the deliveries the in-game world wants.
The game was programmed by Chris Sawyer who made more of a name for himself with the game Transport Tycoon who then later went to make the more noticeable tycoon game, RollerCoaster Tycoon and then later went to make Locomotion in 2004, which was considered the spiritual successor. It is maybe worth remembering Transport Tycoon which was much more serious then building roller coasters and maybe Transport Tycoon was not as known considering that RollerCoaster Tycoon had two sequels and many spin-offs.
Donald Trump Real Estate Tycoon is a game which allows you to build buildings to cater for commercial and residential use. The game was released in North America by Activision in 2002 and Europe in 2004. You play an real estate employee willing to make money from building and selling real estate with the help of Donald Trump. You start off purchasing plots of land in a city, with or without houses or buildings on them and get start to building apartments or office blocks. Players can build levels of apartments, condos and office space and then sell the space to buyers to use. The need for apartments, if not office space shows that the world really needs that space to live their lives. The player progresses in the game by completing levels building and selling real estate. The player can also change the style of the building for more or less the price dependant on the style. The game allows you to quickly head between 5 cities, New York, Los Angeles, Atlantic City, London and Paris. Atlantic City placed in the game as a reference to where Trump had one of this major operations during the 90s. The game has a day and night cycle as the office you are working and operating from in each city, open and closes, so this encourages players to visit each city to make decisions to sell and build apartments while the office closes in the other cities to make sales more efficiently during the day.
Farming Simulator is a game where you play as a farmer who owns and runs a farm to grows and sells crops. The game edition of the game was first released in 2008 and was published by Excalibur Publishing. The game was said to be extremely limited in terms of farming by only having you grow one crop, wheat, Each game added more features like adding more crops and livestock as adding missions. The game was later published by Focus Home Interactive from 2013 until now. The aim of the game is to make as much money from planting crops as well as buying equipment and (licensed) machinery needed to farm and sell what is grown on the players farm to complete the game, which is why I think is more of a business game then a simulator and not just learning to use a machine to complete the task. The player is also tasked with completing missions to break the pace of the game and not just ploughing away, trying to earn as much as they could in a days work. The game being a simulator, is mostly setting up and driving machines to get the work done before selling the items.
Players may be better playing the current versions as it has a range of features and variety of crops and livestock to grow and sell. The PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 had Farming Simulator released in 2013 which was the same as Farming Simulator 2013, maybe not to make the console audience feel like they're missed out on anything. Despite not being seen as a tycoon game, Farming Simulator has all the elements from earning money and growing something that is essential to everyone needs. The Farming Simulator games on the consoles, awards you for being a millionaire by giving you a trophy or achievement, so it's maybe worth taking a look. The simulation genre has grown a lot lately and considering there are so many games now a days, where you drive heavily motorized machinery to get an idea of what they are like, Farming Simulator does make you feel like a tycoon. Many sequels of the game were released every two years and there's even a Nintendo Switch version has been released.
#2: Tropico (PC)
Tropico is a game set in the Caribbean called the Banana republic. The entry is interesting because being a city builder over business simulation, the game puts you in a shoes of an ruler of the islands and is set in a location extremely dependent on wealth while solving issues in the city or a town of the island as the game encourages you to earn as money as possible to keep in a retirement fund to keep in a bank account located in Switzerland. You get to build the cities on these islands in the Caribbean, building houses, hospitals, schools and etc to make the resident happy while you earn that money for retirement. The game is followed by a sequel Tripico 2 however that had more of a pirate theme to the game however Tropico 3 reverted back to the game roots of the first Tripico was but was made in 3D with another developer who had taken control of the direction of the game. The game can be found on Steam titled Tropico Reloaded which included this game, the expansion pack Paradise Island, which introduces natural disasters and tourist attractions to the game and with Tropico 2 in the pack, if anyone really want to see the game before looking into the other games later in the series. The series spans six games. Because the game is set in the Caribbean and fixes itself with a tropical setting and places it's inhabitant on an island to live their life, makes it different from SimCity as SimCity is set in urban areas found in cities, closely to the Atlantic however with Tropico encouraging profits for retirement, makes the game more into a business simulation then a city building game like SimCity and the Anno series.
Capitalism 2 was created by Trevor Chan and Enlight Software and was released in 2001. Capitalism 2 is THE business game on the market. Capitalism 2 allows you to take control to almost every business means you could think off, from selling, retailing, research and development to improve products, stock control, real estate, importing, etc. When I mean everything, I mean EVERYTHING. The game has a city based isometric look like seen in SimCity 2000 however the interface has you selecting and building the required buildings to help you process and sell the goods and services to help you complete the scenario. The game also has competitors which rival against you and they are very aggressive. They build in your desired area to get all the customers you need for example like that supermarket in that residential area to sell the cleaning products and food and they sometimes hassle you to sell assets to them to what looks like is a worth while a good deal from them but the reality is that whatever you may be your downfall when you've sold those assets to your competitors as it was the latest technology that everyone wants.
Something I don't like regarding the game being an entry, (not that I'm trying to make a pun) but how the game seems to capitalize the idea about being an entrepreneur with the ideas in the game, everything from selling products to the masses to research and development of better products and selling real estate but it is a good example of a video game being made at a time in 2001 when video games for the PC were coming together to show off what a PC game could really offer. The game came with an expansion called Capitalism Lab to cater to e-commerce services we have now like internet shopping. It also has a Digital Age DLC which allows you to make and sell... consoles. Yep, it's in there but they're more of a luxury line of items anyways, so maybe it is very fitting that it is DLC for the game. The main game Capitalism 2 allows you to sell the basic needs like food and housing. The game even congratulates you on setting onto your retirement and the game over screen is to tell you that you are bankrupted. Capitalism 2 makes business in video games, feel too real.
Other games out there that are worth a mention:
Freight Tycoon: A game about buying and managing trucks to carry company freight to other companies to deliver what people and company needs. Freights being required everyday to help transport goods in the masses, challenging to manage. Great idea and the game is good but the game could have been better.
The SCS Software's current Truck Simulator games. Another game with the term Simulator in its title. I would consider Euro Truck Simulator 2 and American Truck Simulator considered as they have elements of running a company and hiring drivers with the business you've worked hard earning to make from making deliveries but SCS Software Truck Simulator games are more like the first half of the game being a delivery simulator, other half being a business simulation because of hiring drivers and getting them to do the other deliveries for you but it is optional. it is a nice feature in the game.
... and then there's Toilet Tycoon where you sell toilets, viral to maintain the needs of the city to flush the waste to a place to avoid depositing matter nearby which can be much of a health hazard if left around and not removed. Toilet Tycoon allows the player to sell toilets to a town and earn as much money as they can while selling toilets. You can also smash other competitors toilets they had installed to help you win, which was a shock with many who've played the game.
With games like these, they allows you to play a role of someone managing and building an empire to sell one or more necessities to sell. Maybe a good idea to have a video game to experience to an essentials to everyday. Why there isn't much room for business simulators like these title, As mentioned, I sometimes think the idea is being overshadowed by the other games where you can run a theme park or make a video for a website because of the glamour and thrill, so I think these games have been shifted aside. It is worth a good thought that these games are out there from the early days of PC gaming.
List by 91210user (10/15/2019)
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