For a genre I really enjoy, I feel it’s been a long time since I actually played a simulation / management game that wasn’t Football Manager. So when the devs of Tech Corp offered me the opportunity to review their game, I was more than happy to. I had actually been keeping an eye on it as it happens anyway, as these games always whet my appetite.
The Next Facebook?
Something that perhaps I wasn’t expecting about Tech Corp was being able to work in all aspects of technology. I thought it’d be just working at building a software house up to be the next Facebook or something, but you do in fact get the opportunity to build hardware as well. The software side is pretty well made and thought of, at the start you’ll work on getting contracts and creating different components with your developers to satisfy the requirements, but you can grow into building custom software for things you create as well as other aspects. The hardware side was significantly more interesting to me though. You get a good number of different things you can build, ranging from security cameras to games consoles, and you get to create everything. All the internal components as well as the software to go with it, and you also get to pick how it looks and everything too. You can also work as a company that produces hardware components for other people buy buying the raw materials and converting them into the components required. Overall there’s a significant amount of versatility afforded to you, so you can really build a company that focuses on doing what you want it to do. Aside from the initial tutorial, you’ll never feel pushed to do one thing or another, you can build pretty much what you want.
It’s quite evident that Tech Corp is still in Early Access, and this is its biggest drawback. There is a lot missing from the game that makes it somewhat less fun to play. After a good few hours of playing the game, I’d been able to progress to a couple of new offices and purchase new gear to make my life a little easier, but there was still quite a bit missing. The worst thing that was missing was the lack of automation on the production side of the company. As you split your time between writing software and building components, you flick between both floors of your office building, but when you’re building things you need to manually buy more raw materials to make components. This meant that whenever I was keeping an eye on software contracts, my hardware contracts had a chance that I’d not be producing anything and they may time out. I can understand not having one in, because it may run your funds a bit low if you don’t keep an eye on it, but I’d counter that with saying that’s just the risk you have to take, and certainly would be part of making a successful tech business.
I also found that while generally you have enough space to put everything down in your offices, occasionally you won’t. Especially in the second office you move to. The office space is certainly nicer than the storage room you were previously in, but it doesn’t appear to be any bigger, even though some of the items used for the break room are. In fact, when I was building the area, the only place I could see to put the sofa – which is more of an entertainment suite – was so it would block the only exit. It’s definitely one way to ensure that your employees never leave, just gotta hope that the health and safety officials don’t pop around for a visit.
The first time you create a new product is a bit of fun really. You get to pick the picture of your product on the box, you delve in deep to pick all the hardware that goes into it, and also then you get to deal with all of the marketing that goes along with it. You get a choice of different ways to promote your product, and each of them behave slightly differently. For trailer, you get to pick who is starring in it and what all the money should be spent on. Then afterwards you get a small showreel of how your campaign went, which involves a lot of clicking around to skip it basically because it doesn’t often contain useful information. Any time after the first time, it’s a drag. Creating a product from scratch every time isn’t very interesting, and the marketing campaigns get quite old quite quick. The worst part is that when you’re shown the showreel, it will interrupt whatever you’re doing. Even if you’re building something or hiring people, it’ll just get in the way and force you to look at it.
The Final Word
I would say that Tech Corp is a typical Early Access product. Not good enough for you to buy yet, and certainly not justifying its £15 pricetag, but enough potential there to make you think that in the future there may well be a time that this game is worth it. The devs are pushing out lots of patches, to fix bugs or introduce new features, so if they keep on that trajectory then it probably won’t be long until they have a good game, but right now? It’s not worth your money.