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  • Writer's pictureL. Sahara McGirt

Review - Blockbuster Inc.


Developer: Super Sly Fox

Publisher: Ancient Forge

Available on: PC (Steam)

Review system: PC with 11th Gen i7 Intel processor, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060, i7 intel processor


Blockbuster Inc. has a sound concept: run a movie studio making top-of-the-line films and shows and be the number 1 movie studio. As a business simulation, it's a great-sounding game but does the execution live up to the expectations one might have about filmmaking?


Action!


Blockbuster Inc.'s overall gameplay includes hiring everyone from the production side to the creative for your movie studio. Some of the hires such as actors, producers, directors, and writers have fame levels and their expectations grow as they gain fame. Pretty typically expected stuff for running a movie studio. It's important to keep the creative talent happy or they'll leave for another studio.



Players are given a plot of land to build sets and other amenities for their hired staff. Some staff require an office or simply a desk of their own to work from. Amenities required for a functional production set include a canteen for cast and crew to eat at, lounges, bathrooms, and other basics to keep everyone happy. After all, a happy cast and crew make a better movie, right? These are all just bonus costs to the meat of the game: Making movies.


Making movies and shows in Blockbuster Inc. is what the game is really all about. Filmmaking isn't just picking out your producer, director, writer, crew, and actors. Blockbuster Inc. gives options for which sets to use, genres, themes, and more for the base creation of your film. When making a film, there is the option to set scenes and either let the game make something up or go in-depth and direct scenes and stunts. This is where the game's real fun is at. You can get about as creative as the game's options allow. That said, it has plenty of limits. There are only so many costumes, actions that actors can do, and camera angles. There is another layer to creating a film where you can edit the scenes, insert audio, and add captions. Overall, there's plenty to do to keep Blockbuster Inc. interesting for a time at least.



Aaaaand cut!


Here's where we get into the nitty gritty: Blockbuster Inc. offers up a good set of options to get into the game initially, do a few movies, and have fun for the novelty of it. Unfortunately, after making a hit film it begins to become less interesting. The first series of films made are challenging as costs are weighed against the initial amount of money you choose to start with. That initial amount of money limits who you can hire, how many sets you can build, and other costs. Once you make a hit film, however, the challenge is over. While you can increase the pay of your employees, hire more people, buy more land, and build more sets, the game loses its challenge as you progress. While the name of the game is to make that blockbuster hit, there's not too much after that.



Blockbuster Inc. also has a problem with bugginess. The devs have a list of bugs they've been working on, some of which were resolved as I played the game for this review. However, there has been one major bug that I've been dealing with that is quite irritating: In build mode when deleting a set, sometimes the game bugs and it deletes the items in the set but leaves the shell behind. Now I can't put any new sets in the space left by that horrible empty shell because it occupies that space, undeletably, forever. Blockbuster Inc.'s maximum studio lot size is already very limited. This bug creates further limits by eliminating valuable space to put down sets. There is a workaround, I found by putting up a larger set around the smaller empty shell, but it looks terrible.


There's also not too much to be said about the aesthetics visually. The game looks very much like business simulators such as Two Point Hospital and Two Point Campus but lacks any of what makes those games interesting and fun.



Not Quite a Blockbuster Game


Blockbuster Inc. has a great game concept. Much like filmmaking, however, a great script doesn't always make up for middle-of-the-road execution. At the moment, Blockbuster Inc. is continuing to add content to the game with updates. There's a chance the game could get better as options are added on, but at the moment, I'm not quite sure if buying it outright is the best option. It is only $25 so weigh the cost against the gameplay for yourself.


WAIT FOR A SALE OR WAIT AND SEE FOR BLOCKBUSTER INC.


Ancient Forge provided a review key for Blockbuster Inc. for the purposes of this review.

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