Have you ever pictured yourself in the business of car parking management? Development team Geekon and publishing team Midnight Games have made your dream a reality with Parking Tycoon: Business Simulator. It throws you in the deep end as the person who owns a new parking complex in the middle of the city, and you need to make sure you make all the correct decisions to ensure you are earning the big money.
You begin the adventure in a small block of land with an office and a couple of car parks, and you need to choose where you invest money wisely. More car parks equal more money, but upgrading the current structure and expanding your business will cost you. There are currently four blocks of land you can acquire, and like every car park in your closest city, you can also expand upwards and downwards into a basement. I would recommend that once you have unlocked staff, and as long as you can afford them, put them on. They help with taking payments and working as security, and later in the game, cleaning, which plays a huge factor in the simulator. You can also upgrade your carpark, such as adding a road base, so rather than forcing your customers to park on dirt, you cover it in concrete, and then eventually asphalt, and you can earn more money by adding covers to the parking spots, offering a little more protection from the elements, and your customers will love that.
I was a little disappointed with how the criminals acted in this title. You could see them from a mile away. It seems that they are the only person who will run, and they are always dressed weirdly, so it’s not like it’s a challenge to catch them trying to steal parts off customers’ cars or cover your building with graffiti. I would have loved to have seen their behaviours change, perhaps being a little more casual, so you could actually put some effort into finding them as they sneak up on you to tag your office.
After a quick Google search and reading through the game’s Steam page, I was interested to see that there was supposed to be a story built into the game, but after spending several hours playing, I have yet to see anything story-related. There were a couple of quests at the beginning of the game, with the last one being you needed to make $10,000, but this was a walk in the park and only took about an hour to make. The story is meant to be an intriguing narrative experience, where you can unravel the mysteries of the land and discover the history behind the curse that has haunted the property for years, so I’m hoping that this will be enabled in a future update. I would be right into this, and I’d be keen to see how it would affect the two-story parking complex I have on the supposedly haunted land.
I’ve always found the control setups in simulators quite simplistic, making the gameplay that little bit more enjoyable. There always seems to be a lot of mouse clicking and some hotkeys to get things like menus open or walk around. Movement is quite simple, using WASD, you can jump around with a space bar, and using the “Q” key, you can open a radial menu that lets you access things like the baton or the vaporizing gun. If you want to adjust the controls you can, but I didn’t feel a need to change them around.
The environmental graphics, for the most, part looked stunning, and the developers have chosen some great textures to give it that realistic feel, and the character models reminded me a little of the crowd in FIFA 07, but when it came to things like the vehicles parking in your garage or the pedestrians walking around I was let down. The vehicles looked like great models, but the paint jobs were all matte-coloured which seemed to remove any textural detail that may have been there. None of the cars had headlights or taillights that worked, so when it was dark, it made zero difference apart from the couple of lights you stick up around the place. This let the game down a whole heap, and I was quite disappointed that these details were missed.
They would have made a much nicer experience. I also would have loved to have seen some different weather cycles while playing – it was all sunny days or clear nights. There was never rain, storms, or anything like that, which might have spiced the gameplay up a little bit, possibly adding extra challenges to keep your lot profitable. The great thing about graphics is that they’re something that can be updated with a patch, and I’m hoping to see the developers do so because I really enjoyed everything else.
The sounds were quite basic, and I’ll be the first to admit hearing car horns constantly going off was getting to me after a little while, but it soon turned into white noise that I could ignore. There was not much dialogue in the game, apart from the occasional “I must watch the business.” if you try to cross the road and leave, or if you hit a criminal with a baton, you’ll hear “Go Away”. As I mentioned before, there is meant to be a narrative-driven storyline, so I’m hoping there may be some extra voice lines as part of this. Apart from the occasional voice line and cars honking their horns, the sounds in this game were lacklustre at best, and even some more diverse car sounds might have created a more immersive environment.
The developers have done a great job with the title, but it does need some work. Of course, this could be done over with future updates, so I’m excited to see where they take this game. Lacklustre sounds, textureless cars, and no vehicle lighting aside, it really drew me in, just for the fact that I wanted to have the biggest and coolest things in my garage, and I wouldn’t accept anything else. If you are business-minded and love a little challenge, jump in and see if you can build the ultimate parking garage.
- Great Ideas
- Fun gameplay
- Business-minded thinking
- Good environmental graphics
- Cars are lacking detail
- Criminals are far too obvious
- Advertised narrative doesn’t seem to exist
- Sounds are dull and repetitive