Platforms: Win, Mac, Linux
I’ve been trying to spend more time with indie games lately, ever since Stardew Valley came seemingly out of nowhere and rocked my world. However, some of my previous experience with indie economic sims has made me very cautious. It’s not really a genre that can be carried by cutesy graphics – the simulation has to feel satisfying.
Let me just say this: Blueprint Tycoon really seems to nail it. In fact, there’s so much attention to detail in the supply chain that it all seems pretty overwhelming at first. I played through the tutorial, and made a few false starts at the first mission. Sell jewelry, the game says, making it sound so simple. However, you need to use care in how your place and connect your buildings, or you’ll spend more time moving goods than making them, and that is pretty much a perfect recipe for NOT making a profit.
The graphics are simple, and other than some initial confusion about entrances and exits on buildings – excuse me, blueprints – I don’t see any issue with that. You need to make your building choices carefully because your most precious resource is space. Although you can move some goods via ships, blimps, and hot air balloons, most of the time, you’re going to need roads to keep everything connected. Any time your workers are spending getting products from point A to point B is time they can’t spend producing things.
That said, I feel like most of the supply chains are fairly transparent & mostly logical. It’s easy to find out what you need to make a given product, however, it does in many ways limit your strategy. The unique idea here is the ability to change how production happens inside your buildings by editing the blueprints, but I feel like this is the one area it falls short. Default blueprints are available, and they work just fine. It just adds unnecessary complexity to a pretty solid casual sim.
The entire game consists of 3 tutorial levels, 3 scenarios, and a scenario editor. Considering the low base cost of the game, and the integrated Steam Workshop support (less than two full weeks after release, there are already several user-created scenarios available for download), I don’t think the limited amount of release content is an issue. Whether or not the developers intend to release more scenarios (either for free or as paid DLC), providing the players with the ability to keep adding content on such a low priced game blows my mind. I’m glad I took a chance on this one.