One of my favorite things growing up was the Roller Coaster Tycoon franchise; the thrill of managing your own park and trying to keep it open with enough money left to make that next killer roller coaster is something many people enjoy. So when I got the chance to review a a business tycoon game, I was really excited to dive right in and take control of a fresh, new, economy. This is what Industry Giant 2 promises.
When I first jumped into the game, I was slightly jarred to see how dated the game looked. Upon further research I found out that it was originally released in 2002 but was just recently released on Steam August 15th of 2015 with revamped graphics. I quickly forgave the dated aesthetic and focused on the task at hand, creating a booming and thriving economy.
Campaign Mode offers several difficulty levels ranging from easy to hard, as well as special themed missions. Each difficulty only features 1 mission, and you are not locked to a progression based system either, so don't worry about beating one difficulty to unlock another; you can simply choose whichever one you feel like playing. Easy mode was my first choice just to get a hang of the game. Each mission has a victory condition that must be completed to pass the mission. In my case, I was tasked with turning 1 million dollars into 4 million within five years, which was a very difficult task to be considered "easy" difficulty.
Industry Giant 2 is fairly in-depth. If numbers and graphs are your style, then this is the game for you. A big part of the game is managing your money in a really efficient way. Production can be raised or lowered at the cost of the workers salaries, which also affects the supply of whatever product is being produced. Clicking on any given store brings up plenty of helpful numbers, such as units sold, how much money they have made, as well as the supply and demand of the product, which can be adjusted if needed.
As far as the city building aspect of the game goes, it's not quite as open as something like SimCity where you create the towns from scratch. Each map has a number of towns and road systems already in place. You can however make these cities larger by building more homes if you so desire. You can connect these towns together by various methods, such as trains or delivery trucks. This lets you take products from town to town without having to waste too much money on duplicate farms or factories. This helps a lot if one town is located in a bad part of the map and can't produce some products as efficiently as another town, which leads into my next point.
Farms, factories, and orchards will yield different results depending on the area you construct them in—for example, chickens or cows prefer open, grassy areas, which in turn will produce your specific product faster. All of this must be connected to a storage plant, which must connect to a store, and that store only covers a certain area of the town. That was my biggest fault when playing a mission. While you want to cover a large area, other homes get left out and in turn I ended up wasting more money on more stores and plants that there would be no way to earn all of that money back, which leads into my next issue; Industry Giant 2 has a lot of down time.
Early on when you are focusing on food, farms won't do anything until that specific crop is in season. The month is displayed in the corner, but visually their is no way of telling what season you are in. This carries on as you progress and products start requiring other materials to be made. Sure it adds to the simulation aspect of the game, but it's just a minor gripe of mine as there is no way to fast forward the time in-game to speed things up. Production can be sped up but at the cost of a higher worker salary, so if you don't want to pay even more, then your only option is to let time pass.
For those not looking to be chained to a single objective, you can give endless mode a try. Endless mode is exactly what it sounds like; you are free to choose from a very large selection of areas and regions that vary in design. It should be noted that Endless mode is in my opinion the best part of the game.
You and up to 3 CPU players can play in a multiplayer match in what appears to be whose economy will be the best. You can choose various game modifiers, such as the time period, which can be set to anywhere between 1900 and 2019. The time you play in also affects what technology you will have available to start and what technology will be learned later on.
Industry Giant 2 provides a fair amount of content for a good price. Campaign mode is good for a little while but most of your time will be spent in the many options of endless mode. JoWood Productions provided a fun and in-depth addition to any tycoon lovers library. You can pick up Industry Giant 2 on Amazon for $10 USD.
Industry Giant 2 (steam download) was obtained from the developer and was reviewed on PC.