Tycoon City
New York

Format: PC

3 546430 122594
Age Restrictions: 3+
24 February 2006

Here's your chance to make it big in the Big Apple. New York City, the city that never sleeps. Go for broke building your own Manhattan empire, creating and customising over 100 types of major businesses: run a hot nightclub, oversee a media conglomerate, open a lucrative Broadway theatre - the choices are endless. As your success grows, so will your reputation - your face on TV reports, your name in lights, and the city at your feet. With world-renowned landmarks, true-to-life neighbourhoods, and spectacular New York events, you're constantly in the thick of the action, becoming a major mogul in America's most exciting metropolis. High-profile industries, real-world brands, and a bustling 24-hour city give every player the chance to make it big...

In Tycoon City: New York, the aim of the game is to become a mogul by constructing and customising hundreds of businesses anywhere and any way you want in a bustling simulation of New York City.

You must create and improve your businesses to outclass the competition and become richer and more famous than anyone else in New York City. You start from humble beginnings as a budding entrepreneur and build a Manhattan empire by creating, upgrading, and customising more than 100 types of major businesses based on the needs of New Yorkers in the game. Challenges include running a nightclub, owning a hot new restaurant chain, and opening a Broadway theatre. High-profile industries, real-world brands, and a bustling round-the-clock lifestyle give every player the chance to make it. All of these challenges take place in authentic New York neighbourhoods like the East Village, Chelsea and Greenwich Village.

To be honest though, unless you've actually been to the Big Apple, there's very little excitement to be experienced in the game's realistic settings. This might as well be a fictional city for all the difference it would make to most gamers.

This is one of the best looking management games on the market. New York City is recreated in 3D and features famous landmarks including the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, and Times Square. There are over two dozen in-game partners, including TIME Magazine, Toys'R'Us, Virgin Megastore, Staples, Olympus, Marquee, Nokia, Tag Heuer, and D'Agostino's, to "lend the game added realism" as the press release states. Personally I just saw it as a way for the game's developers to ensure that they had some hefty sponsorship before this title even hit the shelves.

What would have made this game more interesting would have been more of a competitive gameplay. While you are competing to become the richest and most famous person in the city, you don't actually ever have to fear that your empire will come crashing down around your ears. This makes it a little too cutesy-poos for my liking. Why couldn't the competition be more ruthless, and attempt to destroy you so that they can take over your businesses?

To be honest, it's this that is the main sticking point of the game. You never really feel under pressure when you are building your empire. And, ultimately, this makes what could have been a fantastic game into just a quite good one.

Nick Smithson

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