The Problem With Management Games

Management games are ones where you own a business, usually in a godlike position with a birds-eye view, you may even own much more than a single business like a whole city or town.

Generally I find the style of game quite relaxing and fun. They’re like doing a puzzle most of the time, how to run things at their best at the cheapest possible price and eventually make money. Putting a sewage plant upstream from a water source in Cities Skylines and putting a herbivore in a carnivore enclosure in Jurassic World Evolution are fun to watch the results of but bad for your progress. Solving issues is the aim of the game and keeping on top of everything can be fun.

The big problem with these games is that they eventually play themselves. Two Point Hospital is a game that really showed this issue but also did a lot to counter it. There’s a level in Two Point Hospital where it says “Have a hospital value of…” and the value goes up as profit goes up so you get it all working, then leave it for half an hour because as long as nothing goes wrong the objective will complete. Two Point Hospital gets it right by offering many levels with differing obstacles and objectives so there is almost always something to focus on and keep on top of, keeping you busy.

Sometimes the objective will be so far out of reach that you just have to leave the game to do what it’s doing like the ones on computer. I used to play Forge of Empires but once you get so far it said wait eight hours for build completion at which point I wasn’t playing the game but instead waiting for it to play itself.

I love a good management game because it can really make the brain work but either when you get too far or when an objective requires it the game will lose its charm and become very boring as you just have to wait it out.

I think my favourite was Civilisation Revolution where you had to keep things running constantly, making allies, soldiers, money and research, all the while hoping Gandhi couldn’t get you. It always kept me on my toes which was really fun for a quick play session.

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