Friday, October 3, 2003
Build Straight Up: Tower Mogul 1.0 Reviewed
Posted by Kevin Remhof in "SOFTWARE" @ 10:02 AM
Tower Mogul 1.0 is a game full of high-stakes building management.
Tower Mogul 1.0 by eSoft Interactive is all about building towers. If you've ever played Sim Tower, you'll feel right at home. It's a cross between Sim City, The Sims, and an elevator simulator. You start off with an empty lot to build your tower on. To begin, you build a lobby, stairs, elevators, and a few rooms. Different rooms bring in different revenues throughout the month. It's your job to find the right balance and keep your people (known as Virts) happy.
Figure 1: Your empty lot with a small lobby. Time to start building up.
Tower Mogul lets you build a ton of different units. These can be classified into five different categories:
- Residential (Apartments, Condos)
- Office (Offices, Vending Machines)
- Hotel (Single, Double)
- Services (Housekeeping, Security, Maintenance, Trash)
- Retail Outlets (Restaurants, Stores, Cinemas)
Figure 2: The goal of the game is to achieve a five-star rating. Each rating requires completing a different set of challenges.
As you work your way up (both in stars and tower height), you’ll get new units that you can construct. Instead of just a burger joint, you’ll get to build a pizza parlor, and even a Japanese restaurant later in the game. The new units as you progress are a nice reward. I had my fingers crossed that I’d be able to build a movie theater. Sure enough, I was able to build one after reaching the proper rating. I was bummed that you can’t change the movie like you could in Sim Tower.
OK, there is no way to review this game without a quick history lesson. In 1989 (wow, was it that long ago?), Maxis came out with Sim City. In 1995, the sequel, Sim City 2000 hit the shelves. Sim City 2000 set the standard by which all Sim/Tycoon games are judged. The Sim City franchise has been beefed up graphically but the basic gameplay is much the same as it was in 1995. Also in 1995, Maxis released Sim Tower. Unfortunately for Maxis, it was not as big a hit as Sim City. But, it introduced some great gameplay elements such as spying on people living out their day-to-day lives. Hmmm... that could make an interesting game... what to call it... how about The Sims?
So, what ever happened to Sim Tower? Not much. Sega put out a sequel in 1998 called Yoot Tower. It introduced some new elements such as locations and extra rewards. But, it didn't add enough to keep the franchise going. It's a shame this franchise disappeared, these two games were a lot of fun to play. That's why I'm glad to see Tower Mogul.
Figure 3: A decent sized tower. There are a lot of things to keep track of.
My only gripe with this being a clone of Sim Tower is that I’ve played this game before. I was a big fan of Sim Tower (in case you couldn’t already tell), but I mastered that game years ago. It’s fun to see a Pocket PC clone of Sim Tower. I just keep trying to remember what the secrets to success were in the original game. Your mileage may vary though.