In Industry Giantyou start off with a bit of capital (and likely a load of debt) with which you must build a retail outlet empire. You control everything from gathering raw materials to setting the retail prices in the markets you occupy. You have access to all features of retail production, including transportation, production facilities, retail price control and advertising. In Industry Giant, you can choose to lead an ongoing campaign with goals to reach and a board of directors to impress, or you can choose from a wide selection of scenarios. If that isn't enough to sate your capitalist dreams, you can also play in randomly created worlds (with a lot of input on how the world will turn out) or even create your own with a world editor.
Gameplay, Controls, Interface
Industry Giant's game controls are for the most part easy to use and intuitive. You can remove obstructions, rotate, zoom, and highlight your world view to easily identify needed resources and plan production and transportation networks. There are a few odd quirks that take some getting used to, though. For example, the world map is only accessible by zooming your view out to the maximum setting. There is ample room on the side for a scale map, and for some reason I kept looking for single-click ease of moving between my active cities.
I really hated trying to beat anybody in this game. Wresting a market from an opponent is costly in the extreme and should only be attempted if you have a large cash stockpile and some time to kill. On the other hand, there is absolutely no way to cooperate in Industry Giant. Each player must build their own railroads with their own terminals and their own production facilities. Ever see a city with three rail terminals with access to downtown?
I've already mentioned it, but it bears repeating. There is no cooperation possible in Industry Giant. That means that you are absolutely unable to make a profit by selling competitor's products in your outlets. Each player had to have all of their own stuff for each town. That means that in areas of competition, each town had two or more giant retail outlets (each taking four city squares in cities that seldom had more than thirty such squares to begin with), two transport terminals, two (or more) factories, etc. About the only thing you could share was exploitation of natural resources (a really bad idea as that would severely restrict production capacity). I found this disturbing and frustrating. If the other player already had the best location for, say, a railroad terminal, I'd have liked to be able to use his (for a reasonable fee, of course). No such luck.
Room For Improvement
Industry Giant felt like a cross between Capitalism and Transport Tycoon. Unfortunately, it didn't also allow the individual flexibility of those two games. I found it very interesting to add transportation into the industry building mix, and would have liked to be able to mix and match advantages of building from scratch vs. renting space on a competitor's network. Since there was so much flavor from Transport Tycoon, I found it frustrating that I couldn't access all of a transportation network's flexibility (like offering passenger service). The same applies to the elements from Capitalism. This is a shame because Industry Giant really does allow you quite a bit of flexibility and control. The similarities to other games overshadow the uniqueness of this game. Industry Giant could have used either a tighter focus (limiting choices), greater feature distinction, or still wider options.
Graphics in Industry Giant are great, though the world still consists of an awkward square grid. Buildings are beautiful and each decade has its own unique flavor. Trees and countryside are pretty and, best of all, removable.
Pentium 90, Windows 95, DirectX, 16 MB RAM, SVGA video card, sound card, 4X CD-ROM drive or faster
Documentation is straightforward and for the most part easy to understand. Skimming through the beginning of the manual gave me enough knowledge to make a decent start in the game, and there wasn't too much distracting fluff. The only place I felt a little in the dark was in bridge building, which is fairly obscure.
I enjoyed Industry Giant and would definitely recommend it for its unique blend of transportation network concerns and retail industry competition. Its shortcomings and little annoyances are enough, however, to prevent a whole-hearted absolute must-buy recommendation. That said, a solid 85 is certainly in order.
Download Industry Giant
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP