City building with a side of capitalism
Big Business Deluxe is a follow-up to Game Insight's 2010 simulation title Big Business, a Facebook game that leaped to the mobile world with no shortage of applause. The sequel keeps the basic framework the same as the original, only now there's more of pretty much everything! And if you played Big Business, you know that's a very big deal.
Big Business Deluxe can broadly be described as a city building game combined with Farm Frenzy and doled out in short, free-to-play doses. The game places heavy emphasis on creating structures that produce basic items that are then transformed into more complex (and more valuable) things. For example, growing grain on a farm, and then turning it into flour. Instead of simply tapping icons to make things and turn a profit, you have to concern yourself with all the little details of the city/business, such as where the warehouses are and what kind of trucks are running. It sounds like a mess, but it's strangely captivating once you get the hang of it.
As you slowly gain money, unlock new buildings, and improve old ones, you get the wonderful honor of being able to expand your city's footprint by purchasing adjacent parcels of land. Not only does this give you additional space, but it can also uncover nice rewards in the form of new buildings, new quests, or other small rewards. It's a nice incentive to reach out and seize property as soon as you can!
Big Business Deluxe is a bit overwhelming at first. There are menu items everywhere, little icons flashing and moving across the screen, numbers strewn across sub-screens that bewilder the senses, and half a dozen other things vying for your attention. None of it makes sense at first, and the tutorial doesn't walk you through much. Stick with it, though, buying new things and reading descriptions whenever you can. You'll discover a surprisingly rich and rewarding game that teaches other city sims how they should be conducting their business.
As with any freemium release, Big Business Deluxe comes with a few in-game currencies to keep track of: coins and credits. Coins are used for just about everything in the game, from creating structures, to producing foods, to demolishing unneeded buildings. Credits are sometimes used as currency, but are usually spent to speed things up: dropping a few here and there to make the trucks run faster or the workers work harder. Pretty basic stuff, and Big Business Deluxe is very friendly about how in-app purchases are integrated. They're never thrown in your face, and you're never tricked into buying them. A tip of the hat to Game Insight for that!
It's a steep learning curve for a mobile game, but Big Business Deluxe really pulls through in the end. It's easily one of the richest and most rewarding city building sims on the market. Spend some quality time with it, learn the ropes, and don't be afraid to fail. Your efforts will be returned with many hours of smart gameplay.
- So many things to grow, upgrade, and sell. It feels like a PC game crammed into your mobile device.
- Learning curve is a little high. Menus are overly complex.