Gym Empire – Gym Tycoon Sim Management is the latest simulation game brought to our screens. Gym Empire comes from the minds of developer and publisher Chronik Spartan with a planned release date of the 21st of July 2023.
What is your passion?
Gym Empire is the newest addition to the simulation management genre. It aims to bring the fun that was seen when games such as Theme Hospital and Two Point Hospital were released. Embark on an adventure working your way from the bottom to a gym empire.
You begin your journey as a personal trainer, who has a dream of becoming a gym tycoon. Starting from the bottom of the chain, your role is to build your popularity and reputation rankings to obtain your dream. There are multiple tools to help you achieve this, as well as different strategies. Players can choose what kind of gym they wish to build to attract particular clients. You can create your gym as you wish, whether that be a muscle focused gym or cardio focused gym.
To achieve your dream, you must handle your finances. Improving the gym costs money, which can quickly dwindle. You have to make sure you are spending your money carefully and wisely to increase gym revenue. Otherwise, you will end up like me, in the minus. Money can be used to spend on new machines, which in turn increases your clients’ happiness and the money in your pocket. Your clients’ happiness is important, as without it, you will be without a gym. A way to handle your clients’ happiness is through primary and secondary needs. You need to cater for these needs so that clients will keep coming back. If you don’t, you are at risk of losing a customer, and therefore a loss of income. This is defiantly important to consider if you decide to cater towards one type of clientele.
Are you all muscle? Or all cardio?
Clients do not just offer monetary value, they also offer the gaining of tokens. Tokens are used to provide new equipment that can be placed and used in your gym. The better the machine, the more tokens are required to unlock the equipment. Therefore it is important to think carefully about what new additions you will be unlocking. This feature allows you to constantly improve your gym, which in turn positively affects your clients. If you improve your gym, naturally the value and worth of it will increase, and therefore you should start thinking about the price of a monthly subscription. Gym Empire allows you to manually increase or decrease the monthly cost of your gym. This could negatively or positively impact your business, so consideration is needed.
How will you stop injuries?
Like any other simulation game, you must be careful to make sure that your clients are not disgruntled. If the client is angry due to you not meeting their needs, they will make this known. This will in turn negatively affect your ranking and reputation. Always remember, the client comes first.
An addition that I really enjoyed in Gym Empire was the use of injuries. If clients do not have an understanding of how the equipment works, their probability of sustaining an injury increases. You will notice this when multiple question marks hover over the client’s body. If you allow the client to do their own workout, you run the risk of a lawsuit, and they must be fairly compensated.
In order to ensure this does not happen, you have to outsource help by hiring personal trainers. You are presented with a menu with different coaches which offer different levels of ability and value. Of course, the trainers who are better at the job cost more. You will have to decide how many trainers your gym needs, and the level of training they should provide.
Graphics & Audio
Before I go into the graphics and audio, it must be said that this build only represents 40% of the final game. Although this is not representative of the finished product, it does not take away from the well built state the game currently presents. Considering it is only 40% complete, I did not run into any problems with graphics or bugs. The only thing I would say was somewhat annoying was the loading times. However, this does not affect the overall feel of the game. I think the design of the game is ok for what it is trying to achieve. The game is not here to focus on graphics, it is focused on the playability as well as the realism of having to run an actual gym. It would be nice if the graphics were slightly better looking, however, I don’t think complaints can be made.
The audio in the game is suited well. It begins with an elevator type of music which is erupted through the use of quirky and quick radio inserts. These feature silly dad jokes that are sure to leave you with a slight smile. However, this is due to it being more stupid than funny. I think it is little features like this that can truly make a game.
The game ends when you decide it does. You are the only person who can decide when you have reached the perfect gym empire. Whatever strategy you decide to use, there is a variety of different ways that make the game repayable. The game offers creativity in this aspect, as you can start a new game which switches to a different type of focus. In addition to this, longevity is also offered through the use of upgrading to a new gym. As seen in the picture below, once you have accumulated enough money, you can move gyms. This could be a better and bigger gym which moves you one step closer to achieving your dream. Again, money is a factor. You need to think carefully to have the money to improve your facilities.
I think that Gym Empire does offer a lot of replayability, and as stated before this is only 40% of the build. Perhaps as the game gets closer to release there will be new additions to the game that increases playtime.
I, fortunately, had the pleasure of speaking to the publisher/developer of Gym Empire, after he kindly responded to my message. I firstly asked Chronik Spartan who is behind the team, to which he stated “It is just me doing everything. It is a true labour of love in between my day job, being a dad of 3 and running a YouTube channel”. In addition to this, I asked Chronik Spartan the reasons as to why he thought a Gym simulation game was needed, to which he stated “I wanted to do a gym tycoon game because they are two things I am passionate about. I have always loved tycoon style games since the days of Theme Hospital and Constructor. But I also noticed that there had never been one about running a gym. I felt they would be a perfect match!”
I think Gym Empire is a great addition into the simulation genre, and the fact that it is a one-man solo team is extremely impressive. Especially with what you can actually do in the game. Of course, because it is only 40% complete there are some additions that are needed, but it is also completely enjoyable now. So I am definitely looking forward to seeing what the finished state looks like. Let me know below if you are also looking forward to Gym Empire!
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.