Industry Giant II
Over the years build ’em up gamers have been treated to everything from virtual cities to railroads, theme parks, zoos and even hotels. And even if they’ve all been a bit niche, they've also been quite fun. The original Industry Giant was a trade simulation that was released in 1998 to hoots of derision from the team, so we were interested to see if this sequel could claw back some capital and turn in some kind of profit.
Your business plan (circa 1900) is to build up an economic empire from scratch and take it right through to the age of information technology (circa 2000). First step is to open some kind of store, then fill it with goods and sell them in the existing towns and cities which amble along in SimCity fashion. For example, you open a grocery store. Now you have to harvest something - eggs, meat, milk and other goods - by building a farm and a storage site for the goods.
Supply And Demand
Nice and simple - but to sell washing machines, for instance, you have to mine iron ore and turn it into steel and copper ore, then turn it into wire and finally electric engines. When you’ve got supplies of both steel and engines, you can build and sell washing machines. But beware, there isn’t a huge demand for them before about 1940...
While Industry Giant II bears some similarities to the original, it also adds several major improvements. Multiplayer mode introduces team and head-to-head play over a LAN or the Internet, as well as a skirmish mode using the 20 supplied maps. There are now a total of 150 raw materials and end products to choose from, ranging from precious metals and oil, to toys and musical instruments. You can even build your empire on disposable nappies it you’re so inclined - at least you can after they've been invented in 1962. Business is also much more complex and is affected by seasonal demand. And there are more than 50 different transport options, ranging from rail and road, to ship and air.
Technically the game has grown up a lot - smooth zooming action at high resolutions make your thriving industry sites, cities and transport network a joy to watch. In fact, you can get so wrapped up in it that it’s easy to forget to pay full attention to all the details (and there are plenty of them) of your empire, especially as there aren't enough warnings when some minor cog in your wheel goes bad.
IGII is highly addictive, even though the campaigns can at times lack a bit of direction and purpose. However, it's easy to master, and all things considered it's one of the most entertaining tycoon games we’ve seen in a while. While it's not a giant in its genre, it’s also not the giant bore it threatened to be either.
Download Industry Giant II
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
Industry Giant II is the perfect example of a smaller gaming company raising the bar on quality products. Austrian based JoWood Productions have produced what may be one of the better simulation games this year. In fact, only some flaws and design issues keep this title out of the recommended buy category.
Industry Giant II is very reminiscent of the SimCity series and other simulations of that genre; the game incorporates the A? isometric view familiar to many simulation fans, as well as the easy item placement and zoom options. However, Industry Giant II concentrates less on the residential aspects and more on the commercial and industrial development of the available cities. You can slowly influence residential and population development, but not directly, and your sales are dependent upon how you use the existing population.
Industry Giant II is quite possibly one of the most complex and richly textured simulations out there. One play through the tutorial will show you what you are in for. Certain products are simple to produce, for example, producing milk for stores requires only a cattle farm and a storage facility in close proximity to your retail outlet. However, other products require a more complex infrastructure.
If you want to own a brewery, you'll need to mine silica to produce bottles (also at a separate facility), as well as grain and hops fields, all within proximity to your brewery. Add into the equation shipping, road and rail building, and other intangibles such as production levels and employee reimbursement, and you can quickly become mired down in the complexity of this game. Thus, I feel this game is more aimed toward the complex simulation fans rather than the novice.
There are a few issues. Though video resolution supports 1024 x 768 and above, the two 3d cards I tested it on tend to have jumpy, distracting title screens and in game menus. This can quickly become distracting, although other aspects of multimedia are excellent. LAN games are easy, and enemy AI is customizable. Hopefully, the GameSpy network will add popularity to this title. Industry Giant II may be a bit daunting to the novice, but is well worth the effort and learning curve.