Ski Resort Tycoon 2.iso
The original Ski Resort Tycoon was a slightly unusual take on the business management sim genre which at least scored a few points over Theme Park and other games by its slightly different setting. Ultimately though, it was just a little too bland to be more than decent, something which can just as easily be said about this sequel. There's nothing really wrong with it, it's just lacking in personality, but if you do enjoy such games, there's some fun to be had here. Once again, you're in charge of running a ski resort and must look after everything to ensure your guests have a pleasant time but which makes you the most profit possible. The game feels very similar to the original, but the visuals have been given a slight overhaul, with things like a 360 degree view so you can check out your creation, while there are more and bigger maps, more buildings, enhanced character personalities, night skiing and upgraded sound which adds more to the atmosphere. Again, this isn't a terrible game and for those interested in business sims and who have an interest in skiing and the lifestyle, this makes for a fine choice. There's enough depth and variety here to keep you going for some time, with a good overall challenge level too. The improved visuals and sound add much to the appeal, while the interface is notably slicker and easier to use than previously. There's a good sense of freedom too, and you're welcome to tackle things how you want, but when you get down to it, there's a definite lack of charm which hurts its long term appeal. For a while though, this is compelling stuff.
Ski Resort Tycoon 2.iso
Activision has recently released two new SIM City -style business management simulation games under its Activision Value label. Both of these new products fall ostensibly into the "tycoon" series of games, if for no other reason than by virtue of their titles. One is Fast Food Tycoon. The other, which is the primary focus of this review, is Ski Resort Tycoon. Does Ski Resort Tycoon measure up to the high standards established by previous "tycoon" games such as Railroad Tycoon, Transport Tycoon, and the eminently successful and popular Roller Coaster Tycoon? For the answer to this and other burning questions, read on.
As is the case with other foray ventures into the "tycoon" arena, the objective of Ski Resort Tycoon is to amass great wealth, in this instance by investing capital in a mountain ski resort and then building and managing numerous aspects revolving around your business endeavor such as infrastructure (including ski lifts, ski runs, and ski jump ramps), lodging, dining, entertainment, landscaping, maintenance and safety staff, guest amenities/customer satisfaction, etc. in order to turn a profit.
The audio leaves a little to be desired. There is some ambient music, but it's mind-numbingly repetitive and only plays consistently when you are zoomed out to view the entire mountaintop. When you zoom in (there are three zoom levels, by the way) to get a better look at certain areas of your resort, the audio is extremely sporadic. You will only hear sounds coming from buildings, etc. when the cursor (which is appropriately represented by a pointing ski glove) passes near certain structures. For example, you might hear crowds of people talking in the café, crackling fires coming from the cabins, cash registers ringing in the ski rental shop, or the wonderful sound of flushing commodes emanating from the restrooms. It would have been nice to include more ambient sounds such as the "shoosh" of skiers making their way down the slopes.
The "challenges" mode supplies a number of scenarios, each with specific mission objectives that must be met in order to successfully complete the scenario. The scenarios in Ski Resort Tycoon incorporate a variety of desired outcomes ranging from straightforward and clear-cut goals, such as increasing your establishment's quality rating into a five star resort, to constructing a resort with specific facilities (within a strict time limit) in order to win a bid to host an Olympic-style winter games events.
You can also play in "instant action" mode. This mode is somewhat of a "sandbox" that allows you greater freedom to build your resort without the constraints of specific scenario objectives. You are essentially given the broad goal of making money, increasing your resort's rating in the process, and have fun. One thing that I found confusing was the fact that you are given six mountains to choose from in this mode. Unfortunately, except for some negligible differences in the arrangement of trees, they are all the same. One would have sufficed.
Initially, there are a limited number of structures available to you, including a tow rope, ski run markers, coffee stands, first aid station, and a "port-o-potty." Only after you've built the tow rope and established some bunny slopes can you add a ski lift to access higher portions of the mountain. As you progress further into the game, however, things start to get more complicated. For example, you cannot construct a bed and breakfast hotel until you have staff lodging, a bistro restaurant, and luxury townhomes in place. But in order to build the staff lodging, you must first open a grocery store. Similarly, in order to construct the luxury townhomes, you must already have luxury cabins and a pancake house at your resort. The requirements for the rest of the buildings branch out in like fashion, often making it a complicated undertaking to plan and manage your resort.
Astute readers may have noticed an abundance of references to bathrooms in this review. That's not unintentional and thus brings me to my final complaint with Ski Resort Tycoon. It seemed that, no matter how many bathroom facilities I built, numerous guests departed my resort in search of restrooms. At times it seemed like almost the entire guest population of the resort was thinking, "I need to go pee!" (that's actually what the caption in their thought balloons read). Now I understand that it's cold on top of that mountain (not to mention that I'm selling my clientele espresso to warm up) but I've never played a business simulation where managing the restrooms seemed to play such a large role in the game.
In my opinion, Ski Resort Tycoon is a title that could have rivaled the gold award winning Roller Coaster Tycoon had it not been for a few glaring flaws and its extremely abbreviated length. Surprisingly, however, while this well-intentioned effort is not a truly superior offering in the genre, it still manages to provide some unadulterated (albeit brief) fun. If you are a novice to the "tycoon" genre, I would definitely have to recommend other games, such as Roller Coaster Tycoon, over this title. If, on the other hand, you find yourself enamored of any and all management simulations or have a specific affinity for skiing, you may find Ski Resort Tycoon to be a pleasant diversion.
Build the ideal ski resort to keep your skiers smiling all the way down the mountain. Get to know every cliff and crevice as you plan pistes, place lifts and build essential facilities. Take on the challenge to create a resort where life is always good!