What could be more meta than playing a game about making games? It’s obvious by just scrolling through your average Twitter feed that there are a lot of people out there who think they can do a better job than the professionals, so Eggcode are here to help you prove it. Unfortunately, it seems the only thing more meta than playing a game about making games is when said game itself is bad.
Mad Games Tycoon places you as the ethereal overlord of a brand new studio of your design. You get to chooser a name, a logo (each rather recognisable imitators of well known companies) and a set up. There are a plethora of options available, from focusing on old school titles to more modern online enabled ones and even your own hardware. Speciality’s can be chosen to give your team a focus, and game states can be enabled to help you on the way, such as extra options or a bigger starting studio.
There’s a lot to unpack before you even start then, but once you get into the game the amount of options laid out in front of you becomes almost overwhelming. From arranging development of titles, to creating a safe, comforting work environment for the team and more there’s a lot to keep track of. The titles mobile roots show clearly here though, with big buttons clearly designed for a finger press obscuring most of the screen. When you get a few rooms involved it can become a cluttered mess, with all the samey looking icons blending in to one. The entire interface is not suited a controller at all – you can’t even use the d-pad in the menu’s…
If sim games are your thing perhaps you’ll be a bit more forgiving, but after just a short while things began to feel like a chore. Trying to get anything done efficiently is a hassle, the bland visuals inspire nothing but boredom and that horrendous looping music is the stuff of nightmares. Laying out rooms is awkward, then filling them with equipment even more so – the isometric camera making it hard to line up anything within the rooms boundaries. Even when you successfully get a game across the finish line, it’s all too generic and bland to really care about, with the review screen splashing up after just deflating any enthusiasm with poorly worded, repeated critique and no real measure of what you can do to improve things. Larger studios can be purchased out of your budget which can alleviate some of the clutter, but it’s not long before the expanse gets filled with more and more icons over lapping each other.
Mad Games Tycoon is, quite simply, a poor attempt at the sim genre. Boring, cluttered UI makes it’s hard to see what’s going on, there’s no real sense of achievement or progression and my nightmares will be scored by that abysmal soundtrack for the rest of time.
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox One. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. Game provided by the publisher.Want to keep up to date with the latest Xt reviews, Xt opinions and Xt content? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.