Developed by Smidge Games and published by Gameparic, Playway S.A. we bring you Horror Tycoon! Available until the 2nd of June via a free playtest on Steam. So, now is the time to check out something that could be pretty awesome.
Nothing to see here, just collecting souls and teeth!
Having recently caught a bug for horror titles, this will be the first of many to appear under my name on the site. I figured starting off with something a little tamer would be ideal. Something where I do the scaring is probably the best place to begin. So join me as I check out the Horror Tycoon Playtest
So, due to the passing of your father, you inherit his assets and property. Oh and the Bloodline Agreement that your family has been making with the devil. Generation after generation the Bloodline Agreement is passed down and it is now your duty of care to sign it and keep to it. Luckily there is a tutorial to help you understand the mechanics of the game. Which ultimately help you stick to the agreement you just signed.
The Tutorial is fairly short but it gives you a quick tour of everything you need to know and the rest you can easily figure out by playing the game. My first run was all about getting used to what the game can offer. From placeable items to how it runs, I am not going to lie I just made a walkway through the house and put random items throughout. There was no agenda it was just to see how everything works. This helped me figure out just what everything did. The one thing that I had to get used to was the fact that there was no snap axis present. So you could place anything, anywhere, at whatever angle. At first, you do build quite messy paths however, when you get used to it, it becomes second nature and you can create some super creepy corridors of doom!
The idea behind the game is that you create a house of horrors, think of each attraction in there being a tower. You then have your visitors that you have to try and scare to death using each attraction. The visitors start off with an empty bar and as they get further through your house of horror it fills up, on completion of this bar death is reached. For each death, you gain in-game currency to spend, from Teeth to Souls. This can be spent during your game session to unlock, buy and upgrade new traps and items. Obviously the higher the costs the better the scare.
With Horror Tycoon the more you play the better you get and quite quickly. I went from hardly getting many scares to understanding how to get the most out of your game within a couple of games. The one small thing that I really loved about the game was the facts on the loading screens. I won’t spoil any of them for you but they are great little reads. Some of them really get you thinking as well!
Graphics & Audio
As Horror Tycoon was only a playtest, I was expecting it to be a little rough around the edges. However, you can tell that this is a passion project as it looks great. The smooth dark assets really add to the environment you are gaming in, with darkness surrounding the outer breaches it really adds to the overall atmosphere. Even the amount of options for the walls and flooring for example really enables you to create something special. I especially like the look of the tiled floor for some reason, add a splash of blood and boom instant creep factor.
The audio was really well scripted and the build-up of the introduction really embedded you into the game. The soundtrack including the FX used all work in tandem to create an eerie arena for you to let your inner horror house architecture go wild. Just don’t have your volume up too loud. If you aren’t expecting your next customer horde, it gives you quite the fright!
Horror Tycoon sits somewhere in between a sim title and a tower defence title, this means that off the bat there is plenty of replayability. Whether that be to check out new content or refine your game you can often visit titles like this over and over again. Ultimately, it is down to how much you like the genre: horror and tower defence.
With Horror Tycoon being Pre-Alpha – I envisage more content being added which could easily spice up the game. I also think this game is crying out for some epic collaborations with some Cult Horror Franchises. House Of 1000 Corpses would be my first recommendation. There are so many directions this title could go in. There could be epic story modes, challenge modes only allowing certain spends or certain souls in a specified time.
Despite the available build being extremely short, it gives you a great insight into what this game will be like. I am extremely looking forward to checking out the new builds and fixes when they become available. It is safe to say the foundations are there to make a fantastic horror house sim tower defence style title.
If you enjoy Horror and love a Tower Defence title then I highly recommend checking out Horror Tycoon and getting involved in the Playtest currently running over on Steam. As always let us know in the comments if you end up checking it out, we would love to know what our reader’s thoughts are.
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.