Beachfront property? Check. Some cash in the bank? Yep. A desire to build up a successful marina? You bet. So long as you’ve met these requirements, you can create and maintain a thriving harbor in Youda Marina. This business sim with a time management element might take a while to wrap your head around but offers a deep and enjoyable game if you’re up for the challenge.
The overall goal of this marina simulation is to build a beautiful – and efficient – marina, but in order to get there you perform dozens of smaller goals such as docking motor boats, creating attractions to make for happy guests, and of course, raking in plenty of cash (which can then go towards newer facilities to keep everything running smoothly).
As you’ll learn in the functional and comprehensive tutorial, you’ll first survey the map and decide where to build key structures, beginning with a radio station to communicate with boats and a lighthouse to speed up their docking (and better see at night). Much like a real-time strategy (RTS) game, a mini-map in the lower right corner of the screen can also be clicked to quickly jump to a given spot.
In some cases you’ll build on land, such as bars and restaurants, while at other times you’ll add onto the dock (and adjust the length of the extension to allow for bigger yachts), adorn it with lamps, ramps, drop in some buoys, and so forth. As with real-time strategy games, Youda Marina will help you find where you can build by showing you a faint green outline on the map (meaning you can place it down there) or it’ll be red (indicsting where you can’t build).
On a related note, construction is comprised of five main categories and each of the items within requires a certain amount of money to build: land attractions (hotels/resorts, amusement parks, taverns and marina tours); shore facilities (rescue facility, helipad, gas stations); event facilities (sea park show, surfing school, fishing excursions), utilities (police station, hospital, fire station, and so forth) and infrastructure (ramps, buoys, graders, asphalt road). Some buildings need repair over time (which costs money) or you might choose to clone a building to place another one down efficiently.
The more guests you can attract (and the longer you can keep them at your marina), the more facilities and attractions you must build to handle the traffic, and the more money you’ll get. In fact, you’ll be tasked to reach certain milestones within a given time, which is where the time management component comes in. The game features a day-to-night cycle, too.
The main game mode is made up of four different maps (shore, bay, island and lagoon) but only the shore is available at the beginning of the game. The more missions you complete (and the more you improve your "rank meter," where stars are awarded for playing well), the more locations (and facilities) you’ll unlock. You’ll also discover different kinds of boats, ships and cruises as you move about the various areas and gain access to the "relaxed" mode from the main menu (eliminating the time element).
Because of the large number of buildings and areas, there is quite a bit of meat on the bone here. If you can get past the somewhat steep learning curve and (at times) multitasking mayhem, the game can get quite fun in the thick of it.
Visually speaking, though, Youda Marina isn’t much to write home about, but it’s not terrible either. It’s just that the colors appear to be washed out and the game seems to lack high detail for both the buildings and environments. The music, though, made up of island rhythms (think steel drums), is catchy and fitting.
All in all, Youda Marina is a good pick for those in search of a challenging business sim, with plenty of replayability.