Last week we reviewed Big Business Deluxe, the latest city building game for Windows Phone from Russian publisher Game Insight. The game combines traditional city building tropes with some business management mechanics, allowing players to create, process, and sell products as they grow their cities. The economic focus and variety of businesses players can manage make for a smart and interesting take on the genre.
Big Business Deluxe launched on Windows Phone 8, but not tablets and PCs. In our review, we promised that a Windows 8 version would be coming later. Not too much later, it turns out. The game has just launched on Windows 8 and RT today! Now everyone in the Windows ecosystem can start his or her own business empire in this simple but addictive simulation game.
One business at a time
Initially your city will consist of little more than a farm and a milling plant. But that farm produces grain, which the milling plant can turn into flour. Buy a truck to move everything around, initiate production at the various facilities, and then you can sell the end results or use them to produce even more commodities. Most buildings here produce a specific commodity (or commodities); you just need to supply the ingredients and order them to do it.
That's not to say that genre staples like residential buildings don't play a part. New businesses require people to man them. You'll have to build homes and then collect the people they produce in order to keep the city populated. Restaurants, swimming pools, and other amenities that your citizens will want can produce money over time without supply management.
Population and money are not the only resources needed when building new businesses. Most things need electricity in order to run, so you'll also have to erect windmills and other power-generating structures. Juggling the general resources is simpler than the My Country series, likely so that players can concentrate on producing goods and shifting them between buildings.
Optional side quests frequently appear on the left side of the screen. These involve building or upgrading buildings, putting out fires, delivering specific goods, and other tasks. Completing a quest gets you both coins and experience, so they're always worth doing. Collect enough experience and you'll level up, unlocking new buildings and items.
Multi-tiered quests add long-term goals to work towards. One such quest involves building the Eiffel Tower in your city. The construction process consists of five phases, each with multiple steps. If you can complete a multi-tiered quest within a certain time limit (30 days in this case), you'll get extra rewards. Larger goals like building the tower give the game more of a purpose than city builders that only consist of endless single-step quests.
Not a cloud in the sky
As far as I can tell, Big Business Deluxe does not share save data between phone and tablet and PC versions. If you want to play both versions, you would have to play them separately. The lack of cross-platform cloud support is disappointing given that Game Insight's own Cloud Raiders boasts exactly that feature.
City builders are an ideal genre for players who like to check in with a game throughout the day rather than playing for extended sessions. But Big Business Deluxe can be played for longer than most of these games, as most of the business-related functions don't use up your stamina resource. That reduced need for stamina and the welcome complexity of the business simulation make for a fun time. Give it a try and let us know how you think it stacks up to Game Insight's other city building games!
- Big Business Deluxe – Windows 8 and RT – 26 MB – Free – Store Link
- Big Business Deluxe – Windows Phone 8 – 26 MB – Free – Store Link