It has been a while since I last put up a video game review for several reasons and I honestly wasn’t expecting to put one up today, but World of Cinema – Movie Tycoon has ushered me on to my blog after my initial experience. Now, as a jaded amateur critic, it’s not often that something stirs me to immediately start blogging any more. I typically like to mull things over and consider my stance. But having come home from my job as a video games tester where I often experience broken games. It was my extremem displeasure to find that having come home and discovered a game that reminded me of an old favourite (That being Lionhead Studios’ The Movies), that instead of relaxing and escaping from it all, I was pulled straight back in.
This immediately caused me to spring into action to spread the word, for forewarned is forearmed. I have to say it so that nobody else wastes their money. Do not buy this game. Although it should have been obvious by the poor quality of this game’s promotional screenshots and promo videos on Steam, I still let my curiosity get the better of me. When I downloaded the game, I was pretty annoyed when I had to download an additional application in order to allow me to launch the title. However, things only got worse when I booted the title. The droning music emanating from the game was punctuated by brief periods of awkward silence as I slowly realised the awfulness of the game that I had installed.
Poorly translated and immensely unwieldy, WoCMT is a game that is supposed to simulate the user’s rise from presumably Germany to Hollywood. However, it turns out that being a movie tycoon is an extremely unresponsive experience where choices are almost entirely arbitrary. Aside from picking my character’s name as wellas the title of their movie studio, choices in World of Cinema are never really given clear outcomes. The game offers the user choices which are often extremely limited and never really gives the user much reason to worry about which choices to make.
For instance, the game allows the user to choose up to eight actors to appear in the film. The game does give the user ratings for each potential candidate in areas such as comedy or character. However, no explanation is given as to why the user would choose to include more actors. It will definitely cost more to include more actors, but what is the benefit of including more? If I only choose one does that mean that there is noone else in the film? You’ll never find out, because you never see either way.
When creating the film, you are also able to choose roles for the actors to play. However, there is a surprisingly limited choice. Whilst the game allows the user to choose from a reasonably wide selection of genres and time periods, (Including an erotic film for charting those early years before breaking out of porn) however, some of those time periods do not have the character options to make sense. For instance, you may choose to film in the past, future or presence (Their words), including the Stone Age. However, no Stone Age themed characters are available. Now, I suppose you could argue that it doesn’t matter as you can pick any roles and the film will sell just as well, but it is a stumbling block preventing me from immersing myself which is something I don’t really need when the rest of the game fails so spectactularly at drawing me in.
The next issue that I cam across has to be seen to be believed. At one stage, I was given the opportunity to bet on Jurassic Run. Now, being the curious type I obliged, not really knowing what to expect. I was then amazed to find that I was taken to a bizarre mini-game in which I was encouraged to choose a dinosaur (Or primate) and bet money on the outcome of a race. I was totally shell-shocked. This did send me into a period of hysterics that made up for some of the price of the game. I’ve never seen anything like it. It would be like playing the Sims for 12 hours, at which point a message comes down asking if you want to bet on the outcome of an unrelated grand national derby.
So, as you can imagine dear reader, by this point I was really out of sorts and I must explain that I have only played up to day 31 of this game. Now, you may ask yourself, what sort of a review is this? Day 32 onwards may turn out to be Earth Defence Force 2017 in a cheap disguise or erase memories of The Magic Bubble directly from your mind. Well, I am afraid that in the game’s current state we will never know. For you see, World of Cinema – Movie Tycoon (Or WOC_Basic as it is listed in my Steam library) became totally unplayable at this point. The game displays a prompt talking aout a new Sabotage feature of the game whic, when dismissed will return like a homing pigeon that has been hit by a boomerang.
In the end, I wasn’t too disappointed that I didn’t get to see the rest of the game, as that would have meant playing more of it, and I really think that statement speaks volumes about this game.