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I’m always encourage when I hear that more games are coming to consoles.  Particularly if they’ve been exclusives elsewhere.  However, there are time where I need to concede that certain genres are far better suited to mouse and keyboard to a controller.  And management simulations tend to fall into the category.  There are some exceptions ..

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Mad Games Tycoon Review

I’m always encourage when I hear that more games are coming to consoles.  Particularly if they’ve been exclusives elsewhere.  However, there are time where I need to concede that certain genres are far better suited to mouse and keyboard to a controller.  And management simulations tend to fall into the category.  There are some exceptions to this rule, when a developer has somehow managed to fit all the controls onto a controller and make the navigation work.  Unfortunately, Mad Games Tycoon doesn’t fall into that category.

Mad Games Tycoon has you building your own games development company.  Starting from a small garage and building your gaming empire.  There seems to be a lot of ‘learning on the job’ with Mad Games Tycoon.  While there is some form of short tutorial at the beginning of the game, I very much felt like I was left to my own devices.  And in a game where there are seemingly so many options, the learning curve is quite difficult.  And it isn’t helped by the difficult control scheme.

There’s clearly a lot of depth and strategy to Mad Games Tycoon.  From building you initial office and realising you should have made more desk space, or placed room in a different order to consolidate the limited room you have in the garage, every decision seems to have a bit of an impact on the next one.  You’re responsible for everything here, from hiring the right staff, putting different studio types (visuals, audio, research etc.), buying game engines even building a toilet and a staff rest room.  The cartoony graphics can easily make it look like a simple game, but there’s a lot of depth here.

And with that depth can come some satisfaction, but there also a lot of ‘what am I meant to be doing next’ head scratching that comes with the territory too.  Watching your first employee sat at his desk as you fast forward time for them to create the first game of the new studio, only for the finished article to get panned by the in game ‘critics’ is a bit of s weird way to spend time.  And this kind of goes back to the translation of this type of game to console.  This isn’t a sofa game, for me a management sim fits best when sat at a desk with keyboard and mouse.  Easily being able to manage the other little intricacies that are running in the background.  Or slowly working on the next task.  It’s more difficult when navigating with a lesser responsive analogue stick across menus that you’re not quite sure what they do.

It’s obvious the developers had some fun with naming the companies within the game.  This is almost like the Pro Evo of game development simulations with names that sound awfully familiar but are just slightly different enough to not invoke any copyright or licencing issues.  Visually, the game is a fairly basic cartoon style affair that you’d probably expect from a game in this genre that is in fact a few years old (thank you PC port).

I’m sure there is a niche market for a game like this.  But for me, a game about controlling a company that makes games doesn’t appeal overly.  Yes, there is satisfaction watching your company grow, tactically creating teams of staff for each project, building your fan base, finally getting a positive review from the critics, but the journey to get to each milestone is dreary at best.  And I found myself looking for something else to do while I frequently fast forwarded the in-game time to get to my next game released.  This isn’t my idea of ‘fun’ console gaming, and I truly believe the controller probably takes away from how engaging this game could be.  If you have any interest in playing, find it on PC, avoid it on Xbox.

Thank you to Digerati for providing a review copy of the game

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