Sifting through games reviews must be depressing if you work for NYC & Company, New York's official tourism marketing organization. Max Payne, 50 Cent: Bulletproof, True Crime: New York City, The Warriors...recent years have seen a sewer-pipe tsunami of games celebrating the Big Apple's seedier side.
Game developers don't seem interested in the NYC that is America's safest large city, its financial capital anda hugely popular tourist destination. The turning point might be here with the beautiful but dull Tycoon City New York.
TCNY casts you in the role of a property tycoon on Manhattan Island, the wiener-shaped land-sausage at the heart of the NYC hotdog. At the start of the game, there isn't a skyscraper in sight, just an authentic street plan and a few building sites. Covering this vast, empty grid with lucrative concrete, glass and steel structures is your primary objective and the aim of the AI opponents, too.
Mission-like "opportunities" provide story and structure; complete them and you are rewarded with unlocked districts and armfuls of the landmark bonds that permit construction of icons such as the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty herself and the Times Square Virgin Records store.
The rat's tail in this potentially delicious deli sandwich is the insulting shallowness of the game's business model. Don't bother buying a strategy guide for TCNY because the only tips you will need to know are contained in the following sentence. To get Rockefeller-rich, simply buy profitable businesses off the AI (easy to spot thanks to a helpful filter) and/or construct your own fledgling firms (type and location unimportant) making sure each is decorated with a fountain or a flowerbed. Financial success really is that simple.