Developer: Deep Red
Release Date: November 1, 2005
If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.
The latest Tycoon game drops you into a largely undeveloped version of Manhattan Island, with a few dollars in hand. From here, you’re set loose in New York City to develop it as you see fit, and in so doing, earn your fortune.
What first struck me about Tycoon City: New York is its scope. This isn’t just a railroad or a theme park; it’s New York City, split up into twelve districts, inhabited by up to a hundred thousand unique citizens, and changing before your eyes in real time. You can pull the perspective up so you reign above the city, watching your funds accumulate and the inhabitants of your buildings going through their daily lives, or go down to the street to check out what the people are saying.
You’ve got free reign to do what you want within the game’s context from the moment you start the game, with more than fifty potential ways for you to become the financial king of the city. You could speculate on real estate, run a financial firm on Wall Street, open a theater, or construct skyscrapers to build your own custom skyline for the city.
As you get more powerful and wealthy, you’ll amass landmark bonds. If you gather enough of them, you’ll get the chance to create some of the traditions and landmarks that make New York what it is, like putting up the Empire State Building or organizing the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.
Tycoon City: New York is a micromanager’s dream game. When you decide to open a business, you can tweak its appearance, track the reactions of the people in the neighborhood around it, adjust your plans based upon the desires of each and every one of the people you see on the street, and watch as your AI opponents put up both competing and complimentary businesses of their own.
If you open a nightclub, it generates what the developers call a sphere of influence. You can check out the reactions of the people in the neighborhood, seeing how interested they are in your new club and how aware of it they are, and tweak the building accordingly. At the same time, you can expect your rivals to not only open nightclubs of their own, but to start businesses – bars, boutiques, etc. – that take advantage of your nightclub’s position.
You can also get the opinions of random citizens and go from there. Tycoon City will have a large population of people, all of whom have their own statistics, desires, and daily routines. You can actually make quite a lot of money if you talk to enough citizens, figure out what they think their neighborhood needs, and give it to them. Paying attention to what people want is a big part of the game.
There’s a lot packed into Tycoon City: New York, and there’s more to the game that’s yet to be announced. For those who like Rollercoaster Tycoon but are looking to move to the next level, or SimCity buffs looking for their next big challenge, Tycoon City: New York ships in November.
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