Mad Games Tycoon is a game development and studio tycoon, much in the vain of Game Dev Tycoon, but it adds the extra element of actually designing the office, deciding how to manage your employees and where they work, and how to use the resources at hand. Deciding which rooms, (the development room where you make the games, research room in which you research new topics and game types, the marketing room with marketing your games, and so many more) has as much impact as actually making the games. It strives to set itself apart from games like it and does very well.
Building out your studio in Mad Games Tycoon can be a lot of fun, yet hard and sometimes frustrating. The way you build a room inside your studio is much like the square-room option in The Sims 4, in which you simply click and drag a square room in the size you want. This makes for a simple, yet non creative, approach to designing your studio. While it can really work well if you plan out the layout, not being able to build rooms in different shapes can restrict growth without deleting rooms, and losing money on everything in it, and re-laying out the room. If you can think about the layout beforehand however it can be a very simple and intuitive system.
Building games is fairly easy, but it can be incredibly hard to make a great game. To make a game you use simple sliders to place more or less importance on gameplay, graphics, sound, etc. The sliders will ultimately decide what score and how well your game will do, effecting how much money your creation can bring in or lose. The genre you choose will affect which sliders work the best, for example RPG games do better with more emphasis on story. This makes specializing your studio a key to success in the first playthrough or so. I came to love the system because it allowed some experimentation but was simple enough that I always felt like I had an idea of what would work.
There are a lot of different items to flush out the rooms and make them both how you want, and what is most effective. You decide where and what desks to use to make, research, and market your games. This allows you to feel like this is your studio and not just a standard template, like other game studio tycoons. Actually having the power to create, build, and decide on what to buy and where to save money, really makes the whole thing feel different and more personal than other games. This also leads to micro-management of many different aspects which is good for an in-depth game, but is sometimes overwhelming if you would like to just relax and play. Constantly having to add cabinets or trashcans to make your office run smooth can really take away from actually making games and succeeding in the video game industry, but also sets it apart from every game in the genre.
The graphics, at this point, seem to be the biggest downfall to Mad Games Tycoon. The models are very fuzzy and seem almost out of focus, and going for a more cartoon-like style would’ve benefited a lot more. The title screen and menus all have fun, and comic-like visuals that do not mash well with the overly simple, yet wanting to be realistic graphics it has. Although it does not directly take away from gameplay, it does seem like an odd choice to go realistic, in a game that seems like a different and easier approach graphic-wise could have really added a more cohesive feeling.
Mad Games Tycoon has some flaws, but in the end it is creative and is a lot of fun. Although it is on early access, it is in a very playable stage and is worth looking at.