Gym Tycoon Preview – To Lift, Or Not To Lift?

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In Gym Tycoon, your goal is to build and own your ultimate gym. So basically you get fat whilst playing this game to make your members get fit!
Gym Tycoon comes to Steam on 23rd November 2020, currently with no price listed just yet.

To lift, or not to lift? that is the Gym Tycoon question!

Time for us to discuss my time in Gym Tycoon from Green Forest Games, who are the developers and publishers of Gym Tycoon, I played whilst on version 0.5 so there’s certainly more to come to the game.


Once you start the game, you are first shown an 8 part tutorial that explains the ways of the game. Such as hotkeys, how to move the camera and objects as well as the basics of the game such as build mode and information about your gym members.

Speaking of gym members, these are your money makers in Gym Tycoon, keep them happy, you’ll make money, make money, you can expand your gym with new equipment, shower rooms, toilets, and more to keep your fitness empire growing, the members level up…

Level up you say?

Correct. Gym members can also level up, which earns your gym points towards getting a better star rating, think like a hotel or B&B. Your gym starts at 0 stars, as your gym gets higher star ratings, you get more applicants to join your gym as members. When you first start the game you start with 3 applicants for membership to your gym.

Gym Tycoon - My first few applicants
My first few applicants

Apparently, if you fail to satisfy members’ needs they may end up leaving your gym and cancelling their membership with your gym. Although I did leave the game alone for some time (approx an hour) whilst I was eating food, showering etc.. I came back to the game and I had gained something like $9,000 and all of my members were still at 100% happiness, so that may not have yet been implemented into the game (remember I am playing v0.5).

Like most tycoon/city builder games, there is a skip time feature which has the usual pause, normal speed, x2 and x3 speeds.

Build mode

Build mode is very intuitive, reminded me of a basic version of The Sims build mode. For your building, you have the choice of a wall, doors and windows. On version 0.5 there were only 7 items to purchase to place inside of my gym, the items were a bench with a barbell, a squatting rack, a dumbbell rack, a treadmill, a ceiling light, a toilet and a shower. I took a look at the items you unlock for getting a 2-star gym and currently, it says “items coming soon”.

Whilst I did find expanding my building with walls a bit fiddly, possibly a bug or improvement needed in the game. I found I had to use WASD to help me move my cursor to build the walls.

Gym Tycoon - Some of the equipment you can buy for your gym.
Some of the equipment you can buy for your gym.

You seem to earn money fairly quick in the game so expanding the gym size or purchasing equipment was no real challenge for me.

I did notice members don’t actually use the bench press. They literally stand at the end of the bench for a period of time, earn happiness and walk away. Again could be something else still in development.

You can also take part in contests. Gym members enter to win prizes which can also earn your gym a temporary boost to your gym star rating.

Graphics & Audio

Currently, the graphics aren’t anything to write home about. Gym Tycoon is running on Unreal engine so can definitely do much much better. The graphical options in the menu are a choice of 5 different options, low, medium, high, epic and cinematic. It also appears that the game does not have any anti-aliasing as there were quite a lot of “jaggies”.

Gym Tycoon - Look at those jaggies!
Look at those jaggies!

The models of your members could do with a lot of improvement (image below), not too sure what that triangle is on the male’s chins, assuming it’s a beard.

Textures are very plain with the exception of the floor in your gym which looks like polished dark wood, currently, other buildings in the city are just polygonal buildings with no texture, I’ve also noticed the animation for some of the gym activities for members is either bugged out or, is yet to be developed into the game. In the current state, the graphics remind me of Theme Hospital for some reason.

Gym Tycoon - Nice beard, pal.
Nice beard, pal.


Gym Tycoon - This woman is hitting it hard.
This woman is hitting it hard.

The audio in Gym Tycoon is pleasant enough. Basic sounds with a basic background song and birds singing away to pass the time whilst in-game. Members do not make any noises other than basic footsteps whilst walking around. The gym equipment also does not make any noise or sounds. This is the quietest gym I’ve seen!


Like many tycoon games, you get out what you put in. Although this one is an early release at v0.5 there isn’t much to do in-game as of yet. I imagine as the game receives updates there will be more content and graphical updates (hopefully) to keep players entertained.

Final Thoughts

I’ll most certainly keep an eye on this game as updates roll in for Gym Tycoon. With this current version, Gym Tycoon would be looking at a Thumb Culture Bronze award.  Let’s see how this game progresses!

Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.

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Gym Tycoon PC Preview - To lift, or not to lift?

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