Tycoon City: New York Review
With the success of the SimCity games and historical city-builders such as the Caesar games, itís surprising that we donít see more city sim games. If youíre a fan of designing and building your own little virtual metropolis, youíll be happy to hear that the latest city sim drought has ended with the release of Tycoon City: New York. This game is a bit different in that instead of challenging you to create a fictional city it gives you the opportunity to see if you could build New York into the city it is today. Sounds like quite the challenge, right? Well, not necessarily soÖ
Tycoon City can be played in one of two modes, campaign and sandbox. The sandbox mode is what youíd expect; youíre free to build in any part of the city as you please without those pesky goals telling you what to do. The campaign mode restricts you to one district initially and challenges you to unlock the others by completing various goals. Other than this thereís not that much difference between the two modes. In fact, the campaign mode is basically a structured sandbox mode as I donít think that it is really possible to fail at anything in this game.
City simulations have always been challenging games. Budgets, taxes, supply chains, infrastructure, citizen satisfaction, and more had to be managed properly or your city would soon become a bankrupt ghost town. Well if you always hated this kind of challenge and just wanted to build to your heartís content, then Tycoon City is the game for you. Everything that you build makes a profit, the only question is how much. There are no fees, licenses, or building codes to worry about, you just need to find an open space in which to plop your next building. There does not seem to be any consequence to where a building is placed, so plopping a tenement next to upscale shopping wonít eat into the storesí profits. The game does populate your city with virtual citizens, and these people all have their own wants and needs, but they donít seem to care whether or not you satisfy them and will live, work, and shop in whatever buildings you decide to build. You wonít even have to worry about those pesky issues of crime, fire, and disasters in this version of New York.
Take the sim out of a city building game and youíre basically left with a construction set. Unless you really enjoy building a virtual New York over and over again, the total lack of challenge will lead to a total lack of interest before too long. This is a real shame as a lot of work has obviously gone into creating the gameís impressive graphics. The level of detail is amazing, and you can zoom in on your city down to the street level. You can even walk the streets to get a close look at the beautiful people who inhabit your city.
The game includes a large number of buildings for you to build, including some name brand stores to give your city a more realistic feel. An interesting aspect of the game is that structures can be upgraded to include new amenities, decorations, or services. Each building has a limited number of upgrade slots so you canít have it all, but it doesnít really matter that much which ones you choose since as mentioned above it seems to be impossible to lose the game.
So what youíve got in the end is a great looking game filled with a myriad of structures to build but pretty much devoid of anything that makes it a challenge, or even a game. If youíre looking for a city construction set you may enjoy Tycoon City for a little while, but if youíre looking for a challenge (or any kind of real gameplay) youíll probably want to pass this one up.
In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 68%. If building a real estate empire were this easy, weíd all be bored millionaires by now.