Listen, running a corporation is hard. It's a non-stop task that gobbles up all your waking hours and forces you to hang around in the wee hours of the morning. It's balancing the see-saw of inter-office promotion politics on a tightrope walk of multilateral department coordination towards the achievement of the company mission statement and high dividend returns for the shareholders through the implementation of an effective management to grassroots strategy.
Or: I keep making sure everyone in a given office all have the same shirt colour. Get ready to rule the corporate world in the new simulation time management game Corporation Inc from Armor Games and jmtb02. If you can dig back far enough to the years when the 'Sim' series of games had nothing to do with person setting light to furniture and everything with cities, earthquakes, ants and earths. And Towers. Sim Tower challenged you to build a vertical empire, finding the perfect balance between offices, apartments, facilities and garbage disposal. Imperfect, yes... but fun.
Corporation Inc. revives the gameplay of that classic, but keeps the concept very lean: you only deal with an office environment, and you solely aim to build higher and make more money. You start by laying down an office can getting some workers. The purpose of your company is to push buttons, so every time a worker taps you get money. But the computers they tap on break, so you hire an I.T. guy, and when the end of the work day dawns, you employ a janitor to clean stuff up during the night. Happy workers are productive workers, so you start to employ H.R. staff to comfort them and Supervisors to encourage them with extreme prejudice and a stick. And let us not forget about the R&D department: research guys unlock all the upgrades in the game.
To house such an army, you construct the office building and assign seating. Though there is some movement horizontally, the design is clearly going to move up. Offices can be upgraded to serve specific departments and its performance, while elevators make sure people can actually get to their desks. They also might leave their desks, so investing in facilities like a gym, cafeteria and restrooms will encourage the button pushers to not stray too far. To keep them happy, throw in a couple of plants, perhaps a watercooler and, if they really (really) play nice, a vending machine. Do you know how many executive offices I could upgrade for the cost of one of those? On second thought, they will need to revolt before I spend THAT kind of dough. But before that happens you can hand out promotions.
Analysis: To be fair, I am not entirely sure how you go about 'beating' Corporation Inc. The game has a build limit of 131 floors, but it will take you a while to get there. If the balance of your enterprise isn't right, such as perhaps not enough janitors to remove the trash or your workforce wastes a lot of time waiting for elevators, you make less money. Upgrades and promotions increase productivity and performance, so you make more money. Cats... you will collect a lot of cats. Everything is reflected in a daily budget sheet, basically a big number that tells you if you made more or less than the previous day. More is obviously good.
While there definitely is a point to Corporation Inc (as reflected by the high score leaderboard), it's not a game where you need to worry about a purpose, other than creating your own ivory tower with a legion of willing slaves pushing buttons for your bottom line. Simply playing Corporation Inc is fun and it saves your tower, so you can pick up and take off as you feel like it. There were a few bugs and annoyances in one of the early versions I played, but there is far more right than wrong going on here. A smart interface, intuitive graphics and intuitive gameplay form the perfect illusion that makes you feel productive. One concern I should highlight: the game slows down when the screen gets busy, so users of lower-end machines could find it cumbersome after a while. But overall Corporation Inc is worth checking out at least once. Capitalism demands it.
Thanks to Repairmanman, Victor and Joey for sending this one in!