The theme park builder with real geek appeal for mobile and tablet.
There’s a reason I avoid certain games without even taking the time to try them out – when I saw The Simpsons Tapped Out, for example, I just knew that all other areas of productivity in my life would be wiped out! Due to their addictive nature and players’ constant need to open up the game and update neighbourhoods, collect rewards and keep things ticking over several times a day, I realised that if I were to begin playing one of those freemium city-building games, no matter how much fun they were, I’d basically be waving goodbye to my free time.
But last week as I browsed the Google Play store for something to pass the time on my daily commute, I saw a game which combined many of my favourite aspects of old gaming geekdom – as well as being a loving tribute to geekdom itself.
One of my all-time favourite game genres was the simulation; I wasted countless hours during my high school years playing the original incarnation of The Sims, as well as Theme Park and various others. I quickly became obsessed with getting the best rides and attractions for my park, as well as the most expensive TVs and couches for my Sims, so that they would go to work satisfied, get that big promotion, and set me off with those big payday bonuses on yet another redecoration.
The Geek Resort game combines many of these things, and adds some real geek love to the mix – so naturally I was interested enough to get the download and try it out.
As the creator of the Geek Resort theme parks, it’s your job to attract as many geeks as you can to check out your rides, admire the geeky statues and give your park the thumbs-up. Just like Theme Park, you buy the rides and place them within each game map – allowing you to raise ticket prices and eventually afford larger parks to go wild on while making sure to have enough staff for picking up litter and fixing the rides – while Sims fans will enjoy placing cool comic book and sci-fi themed statues around the empty spaces for your guests to nerd out over.
There are currently five themes from which to build rides and statues – sci-fi, tech, anime, fantasy and comic book – the combinations of which attract different types of Geek; at present I’ve collected 25 different types thanks to varying placements of different genres on each park. Customer satisfaction is key here; make sure the ticket prices are fair and the parks are clean, and you’re free to build the park any way you see fit.
There are also a couple of mini-missions to survive before your park can get back on its feet, but there don’t seem to be many of these and they’re unfortunately fairly repetitive; there are only so many times my ticket gate can be hacked before I wonder why I shouldn’t just fire the guy who fixes them.
It’s the small touches that I like best about the game, such as the ability to upgrade the rides so that I can charge more for entry, as well as juggling the types of energy I use to pay the bills most efficiently; for example, nuclear power is cheaper than other forms but it’s a less geek-approved method, so I need to determine how best to keep my parks fully-powered without annoying anyone.
Although I’ve really enjoyed putting the parks together and checking back in to see how popular and successful each is, as well as the little things like picking up litter just by tapping on it, I’ve found the playing experience otherwise quite limited. The creators of the game have said that more themes and rides are coming soon, which means I’ll definitely stick around to see what other Geeks I can try to unlock, but the game design itself is quite basic at the moment and could use a little bit of extra fun stuff so that I’ll keep returning to it, not to mention just a little bit of cleaning up; it’s not bug-ridden or anything but could use a little spruce-up to feel less clunky.
The freemium basis of the game is to collect Geektonite, a rare mineral, from around the parks. I can spend this on rare statues and rides which are the most popular; however, you can also buy Geektonite for real money to get upgrades built faster. The only thing is, I have no desire to do this. I’m sure that some superfans of the game will be emptying their wallets to get the best rides to share with Friends online but I personally won’t be bothering with that.
All in all, Geek Resort is a fun thing to keep coming back to; while the likes of Tapped Out have so many different layers of appeal to fans, I think this has some of the same appeal, but its full potential is a while off yet. Definitely worth a play though if you don’t mind losing hours at a time!