Industry Giant II Review

Industry Giant II is an economic simulator that challenges you to build your own corporate empire from the ground up.  Your corporation must be vertically integrated to the hilt, as you will be responsible for raw material extraction, processing, manufacturing, storage, distribution, and retail sales.  Since you must take all these aspects of the supply chain into consideration, you'll need to carefully evaluate the potential demand for the game's nearly 150 available products, examine the resources available, and then build the infrastructure to bring everything together and put your products on your stores' shelves.

ScreenshotsYou have the option of specializing in one or more of the several industries included in the game.  They range from simple agricultural products that you can grow and take straight to market, to complex consumer goods that require raw resource extraction, materials processing, and manufacturing before a marketable product is created.  The advantage of the simple industry is that costs are low and the infrastructure is simple.  However, profit margins are thin and it is hard to amass a large amount of capital this way.  The more complex goods require a lot of infrastructure and start-up capital, but produce very profitable, high-margin goods.  More often than not, you'll need to start simple and then diversify into more complicated goods as you begin to generate steady revenue and build a delivery network.

When creating your corporation, you build structures that fall into one of four major categories: production, storage, transportation, and retail.  Production facilities include mines and farms to produce your raw materials, and manufacturing and processing plants.  When looking for a location for a facility, the game will let you know what the facility can produce and if it requires any materials.  In the case of mines and farms, you are given feedback as to the facility's production levels at each potential location.  Once you place a facility, you can specify the resources or goods that you want to produce, the percent utilization of the facility, and the relative wage level for the workers.  The utilization percentage controls how quickly the facility produces goods, which can keep it from generating goods faster than you can store and distribute them.  The wage level has an effect on costs and productivity, and if set too low can lead to strikes.

As the game progresses through time, new technologies will become available.  This will allow you to extract new resources and produce new goods, and make new factories available.  You'll be able to take advantage of your network to create ever more sophisticated goods, leading to bigger and bigger profits.

Storage facilities are divided into three categories based on the number of goods they can store.  Once built, you can specify the types of goods accepted by a storage facility, and put limits on the number of these goods accepted.  Each storage facility also has an effective range in which it can automatically store and distribute goods.  Production facilities in range will automatically place their products in the storage facility, and stores will take inventory from them as needed.  However, you will often need to reach far-flung retail and production facilities, and you'll more often than not be required to create a transportation network.  This is where the transportation facilities come in.

Transportation facilities come in several varieties.  Truck depots are good for moving small quantities of items a short distance.  Train depots allow you to move larger quantities of goods more quickly over large distances.  If natural barriers present themselves, then you can build ports and airports.  These last two types of facilities are slow and expensive, but extend your reach to areas not otherwise accessible.  When you have selected the appropriate transportation facility, you need to build a depot at each end of the desired route (multiple stops are supported, but you'll need a minimum of two depots).  If you are building train depots, then you'll need to connect them by track.  This is an easy task in the game as all you need to do is specify the starting and ending points and the intervening track will be created for you automatically.  Next you'll need to purchase the appropriate vehicles to transport your goods.  For each one you purchase, you can specify the type of good to be picked up at each stop on its route.  As long as you have a storage facility within range of each depot, your planes, trains, and automobiles will then begin transporting the goods automatically.