Astragon, specializing in simulations, has launched a new economic simulation game proposing to create a company, develop its products, and establish itself in the very competitive market in the sector.
Fortunately, the game does not immediately drop into the jungle of the market and offers a tutorial that covers the main basics of the game.
So we're going to have to hire people for our biotechnology plant where we plan to do cold vaccines. This requires creating a new production chain by selecting what you want to produce and by defining various criteria such as quality, the number of vaccine units to be produced, the employees assigned ... which generates a total cost. per day.
All raw materials are stored in the warehouse, an essential and central place that it is important to place intelligently in the middle of everything. I define outlets in the local mall.
Of course, this requires raw materials that pass through the warehouse. To recover the raw materials, there are two choices:
- buy them on the world market (which is expensive but is quick and easy)
- produce them in production units such as farms or livestock (which is expensive at the start to install the building, it is also slower at start-up but which is profitable in the long term)
The tutorial shows us both aspects.
Putting the farm is an opportunity to demonstrate the batch system. Indeed, to expand your company, you need space and therefore buy additional locations on the map. Once a lot is acquired, all the usable space is in green. The sites have specificities in terms of resources but also their positioning (the closer it is to the city, the more employees there will be, for example).
I have to define distribution networks going from my different supply places to the warehouse, then from the warehouse to my factory, to finally go from my factory to my warehouse and from my warehouse to my store (phew)! Knowing that you need a network for each element! This makes them truckers ... and it costs a lot! Fortunately, there are many possibilities to make money beyond traditional sales of products: the resale of a certain% of its shares (without exceeding 50% because this means a loss of control of its company) or recourse to a loan.
The tutorial ends when the lovely tutorial coordinator informs us that we now have everything to produce our product, with farms for raw materials, factories to create, trucks to transport and shops to sell. Now is the time to get down to business!
There are three difficulty modes for games with pre-determined options:
Of course, it is possible to change the options as desired to create a custom game. There are five possible end goals:
- Owner: owning at least 80% of all sectors
- Scientist: complete all research up to level 1 or higher
- Architect: own a copy of each building
- Competitor: survive the competition or eliminate it
- Millionaire: reach a balance of 1 billion
- Free play: play without setting goals
I unsurprisingly opted for the beginner mode to get into the bath. As for the available industries, it is possible to start in the fields: automotive, biotechnology, software, home electronics, portable electronics, clothing, food and jewelry. I opt for biotechnology being the company presented in the tutorial then, after choosing the name of my company and the appearance (icon) of my CEO, go ahead! Knowing that this is only a starting point, everything is unlockable.
The least we can say is that at the beginning, it is rather laborious, even after having diligently followed the tutorial. Some tips following my setbacks:
- Lay down your factory and identify the components you need for your production. No need to hire employees unless you plan to buy from the Market, they won't be able to produce anything at first.
- create a research and development center then hire researchers and start research like the cost of the production line, it will always be useful (but don't fill the line, it's only while waiting).
- lay down the production units necessary for the creation of your product.
- launch the improvements that will be necessary for the creation of your ingredients (recheck in your factory).
- launch the production chains for all your ingredients then define transport networks. Do not forget to define them in your production units to the warehouse, then from the warehouse to the factory.
- it's time to hire workers in the factory to be able to create the finished product.
- launch useful research for production units. The more efficient they are, the more you can produce.
- buy a mall and define a store and distribution network between that store and your warehouse.
- once a few products are finished, create your distribution network from your factory to send your production to the warehouse.
If you follow this process, logically, you should be able to create your first products and launch your business. Of course, right from the start, if you want your factory to run, you can buy raw materials from the Market. But I am not sure of the interest because it is expensive and it seems to me more useful to invest directly in the production units. After that, it's up to you!
The products to be produced become increasingly complex, sometimes dozens of components are required, including finished products to be produced, which themselves are then reused in other more sophisticated finished products. A real headache, especially in areas that we do not know where the names do not mean much. After a few hours spent in biotechnology, I said to myself that I should probably have tried my luck in the software, the names would have been more meaningful to me ...
Finally, despite everything, I managed to create a prosperous trust and all the indicators are in the green!
This game is very promising and offers an economical puzzle that gamers hungry for numbers will appreciate. The others will still be able to find fun there thanks to the beginner mode which is not particularly demanding. The soundtrack is nice and the graphics nice. The city is bustling, there are drones in the sky, cars in the streets, and people running between houses. Even if they are not directly related to the gameplay, it is important for the immersion. The main complaint I could make about the game comes from the repetition of the same pattern. Even if there is always research to do, new products to develop, new stores to open, new numbers to watch, the game becomes a bit repetitive once the rhythm is picked up. Everything is content to be more and more complicated, with more and more raw materials, distribution channels, marketed products ...
But if you are looking for a new simulation to occupy your evenings, and you are passionate about this genre, do not hesitate, it would be a shame to deprive yourself of it!