A IV Network$
If There's one thing guaranteed to put a game firmly into my little Black Book of Gaming Gaffes™ it's a strategy game that doesn't have a tutorial. A IV Networks (crazy name, crazy game) didn't have a tutorial. My Black Book™ was opened and its name was entered quicker than a Sampras serve. That'll teach it.
No it won't
No, you're right, it won't. But a lack of teaching is the main problem you'll face when trying to fathom Infogrames' latest addition to the A-Train family of products (Dodgy Segways 'R' Us). Now although it's obviously being pitched at the Sim City player - the kind of chap who enjoys all the action-packed thrills associated with big business management - it isn't nearly as user-friendly or easy to get into as the Maxis range has always proved to be.
The premise is that you are a young management trainee who has been thrown into the deep end when the AIV CEO is presumably shot down over Bosnia (on his way back from a business meeting - although why anyone would want to conduct business in Bosnia these days is beyond me). Following the digitised CNN report (starring Kathryn Sparkes as herself!) confirming this tragedy, up pops another digitised video clip from James Coburn (for it is he) as the supposed missing chairman, revealing that it's all a cunning tax dodge or something like that, and for the time being he wants you to try running the company to see if you can take over for him when he retires.
In like Flynn
And so it begins. Literally. You are then thrown straight into the simulation, armed with precious little information on how the company works, how the game works and how "big business" works. The manual takes you through each of the control icons, but never do you get a guide as to what action will have what effects and how the game's structure works - something that is essential in order to successfully play the game. You're given several scenarios (each a major city in the world) to get lost in... But hang on, I'm not really being fair...
A fair review - Take one
...Slating a game because of my own lack of intelligence (or business savvy, as I believe men with suits put it) isn't the right way to do this. A W Networks is likely to be very, very good indeed if corporate management is your groovy love thang. It's comprehensive enough, that's for sure, and allows you to do pretty much whatever you want in a business sense, from building a marketplace from scratch (in the Cayman Islands) to taking over the running of a major transport conglomerate and taking it to new heights (in, say, London).
Headaches are aplenty as problems crop up all over the place, stock prices plummet and your platinum membership into the Big Businessman's Club is revoked. But that's it. It's not Sim City, it's "Sim Business". If business is what floats your boat, then it's hooray for Hollywood. But if you'd rather deal with things on a more simplistic level, stick with what's already out there.
Download A IV Network$
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP