Cons: Doesn't really work on Windows XP and has no challenge.
The Bottom Line: Excellent product for killing time here and there, but quickly becomes borrowing as it is far too easy.
I'm a huge fan of things that are cheap and well... this game was damn cheap! I found it at Fred Meyer while doing my rounds, and just sort of stumbled upon it and Full Spectrum Warrior 2 on the 30% off clearance table. So, I figured the $7 that I was going to have to pay to acquire the software wasn't much, considering that I happened to be a little bored, and that I really love strategy/simulation games.
Upon purchasing the game, I had Windows XP, I currently have Windows Vista, I will describe the game on both.
System Compatability Overall the game plays great on Vista, which is what I'm currently operating it on. I haven't had a single issue, starts up really fast, it takes a little while to close out, but for the most part I have zero issues. I have never had any sort of error message, the game hasn't turned off in the middle, and I have no issues with lag.
However... when I first installed the game, I Had Windows XP. Not long after installing the game, it would suddenly close without warning, generally before I got a chance to save the game. So, I decided to install it on my laptop and I got essentially the same result. The game says that it is compatible with XP, but it most definitely is not.
About the game In the game, you are essentially a businessman and you are to build New York City. You are competing against other computer players in the game, but for the most part, they have no effect on the success of your businesses. You are mostly trying to become the wealthiest person in NYC while at the same time completing all of the objectives, unlocking all of the new buildings, and trying to make the largest profit and headquarters possible.
Throughout the game you will be tasked with doing particular jobs, which you can either choose to accept or not. These jobs can range from something as simple as building statues in a park to building a chain of Italian restaurants, but after each task you gain something, generally upgrade credits, which allow you to upgrade your businesses, which will then gain favorability with the customers and thus you'll make more income off of them.
The game starts you out one section of the city at a time, but as you beat the different objectives, you slowly unlock other portions of the city to build in.
Game Difficulty Overall the game is extremely simple. In fact, you could literally build 10 shoe stores next to each other and they will all make the same level of profit as they would if there was only one. The game is supposed to have competition built into it, however, it doesn't really seem to matter all that much. So I find myself building 10-20 Art Galleries in SOHO (an artsy area), and I rake in so much money that I don't know what else to do with it, accept purchase everyone else's buildings so that I don't have to go through the work of upgrading them myself.
Beating each of the objectives is generally just a matter of waiting to get more upgrade credits or money. I sometimes just let the game play for a few hours while I'm working out, so that I come back with a few million dollars, then I complete all of the objectives and move on.
I would say that the game really doesn't have a challenge to it, because there's no way to lose. You can't lose money on your businesses, they will always make money regardless of the location, however sometimes they aren't going to make quite as much. But even if you build a bunch of retail where there aren't any houses, eventually houses will just start appearing all around them and suddenly they are cash cows.
The game is probably made at an elementary level and could easily be mastered by a relatively young child without any reading or teaching.
Graphics/Video One great thing about the game, is that it does have some excellent graphics and video. The characters in the game are very realistic. There are probably a hundred different characters in total. These characters are constantly walking around the city, shopping, eating, or doing whatever the hell they want. The videos are great and so are the characters. I haven't seen any issues with any of the animations as of yet.
Another cool thing about the game is that they have parades during certain times of the year that will benefit the businesses along the parade route. These parades are ones that you can actually watch, which feature a variety of costumed individuals.
The buildings also look great, with a lot of different options that you can use to upgrade them and give them style. You can even throw advertising billboards on the roof tops if you wanted to.
Storyline The storyline is mildly amusing. You don't really follow anyone in particular, but they offer different stories which will introduce you to a particular objective to accomplish. The biggest thing I hate about these is that they are too long, especially if you've already heard them before and you can't exit out of them or make them go any faster. The information they provide is also less useful than the information that you already go.
Entertainment Value As for the fun that you can have while playing the game, it is minimal. Because the game is so easy, it is doubtful that you will ever really be challenged by it. For myself, I was bored while waiting for things to happen, so I decided to start purchasing everything. My goal quickly went from just beating the game to owning everything on the map. This of course would become an obsession which ultimately ended with me not wanting to play the game anymore.
System Requirements - Operating System : Windows 2000/XP (will work on Vista) - Processor : Pentium 4 1.8 GHZ or AMD Athlon 1.8 GHZ or higher. - Memory : 512 MB RAM - HARD DISK SPACE : 1.5 GB FREE - CD-ROM DRIVE : 4X o faster - VIDEO : 64 MB hardware - Sound : DirectX version 9.0 compatible sound card
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Final Thoughts Personally, I like the game, while hating it as the same time. I like the concept, but the game itself just doesn't have a whole lot to offer me. I found I had to create difficult side missions of my own in order to give myself any ounce of challenge. I wouldn't recommend the game to my friends, but if they were to purchase it, then I would definitely teach them how to use it and make their own decisions in.
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Clacky McSnackins (alaskacobalt)
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Go for broke building your own Manhattan empire, creating and customizing over 100 types of major businesses in Tycoon City: New York. Run a hot nightclub, oversee a media conglomerate, open a lucrative Broadway theater, the choices are endless. As your success grows, so will your reputation. Your face on TV reports, your name in lights and the city at your feet are all affected by your choices.