E3 Hands-on – Rise of Industry
I had the opportunity to test two games at Kasedo Games’ booth at E3 2018. The first game was Rise of Industry, another tycoon management game, a genre I’m actually quite fond of as you can see on my Railway Empire empire review.
Rise of Industry puts you in charge of an early 20th century industrialist. Your objective is straightforward: create your own Rockfeller-ish industrial empire by providing nearby towns and provinces with products they need, then building factories and/or farms nearby. The amount of products and facilities you can build is downright staggering, ranging from a simple orange farm to complex machinery industries. Despite the “Industry” in its name, the game focuses less on the inside of your factory and more on the economic and commercial aspects of this business.
You need to choose which products you’re going to focus on. Are you going to focus on the primary sector? You can just be a farmer if you want to. Do you want to become the king of juice? You’ll need to research the technology on making juice, create a farm, build a juice factory, then create a route between those two buildings, with a fleet of vehicles which will perform the necessary supply chain between factories, as well between your businesses and nearby shops.
There is also a big emphasis on reputation. If you start destroying the nearby environment for no reason, pollute the water or atmosphere, or build loud factories next to residential areas, those factors will all negatively influence on your overall reputation. If you have a low reputation, provinces will start boycotting your businesses. This might be the beginning of the 20th century when the word “sustainability” sounded as nonsensical as “cellular telephone”, but you need to think before you pollute!
Nearby cities and businesses will grow at their own pace, and it’s up to you to constantly take a look at their needs and provide them with the necessary products. That’s how you’ll profit. It might sound a bit complicated, especially with all my supply chain mumbojumbo in the previous paragraph, but Rise of Industry will only be a difficult and complex game if you want it to be. The difficulty settings are extremely customizable: if you just want to build industries and call it a day, so be it. If you want a full simulation, go for it. The game can be tweaked as much as you want, something any tycoon fan loves.
As previously stated, being successful in Rise of Industry heavily relies on analyzing the wants and needs from nearby towns. It’s all about supply and demand, as well as some basic notions of supply chains, logistics, as well as economics. That left a huge impression that Rise of Industry can not only be seen as a fun tycoon, but also as something schools can use as educational tools. Since the game’s rules can be tweaked to your liking (you can make it more or less complex, you can decide which parameters will be managed by the player and which parameters will be handled automatically) you can easily choose which aspects of the game you can focus on, be it supply and demand, resource management, finances, logistics, and much more. There’s more to this game than meets the eye.
Rise of Industry has the potential to not only become a hit among tycoon game fans, but it can even be used as some sort of fun yet thoughtful educational tool about basic principles of economics and business administration. The game is easy to learn and can be gradually tweaked to any difficulty and complexity level you want. Rise of Industry is currently on Early Access, but it has so much content and so many constant updates, that it already feels like a complete product. I’m looking forward to the final release later on this year.