Titans of Industry
Developed by RSGapps, Technopoly – Industrial Empire offers players the fantasy of becoming a high-tech industrial tycoon. In that way, it’s the continuation of a decades-long legacy of simulation games with a similar concept. And while Technopoly is not the most nuanced or complicated management game around, it offers a decent idle city building experience.
Technopoly begins pretty simply, with players constructing Wind Turbines on an island. The Turbines produce Money and Electricity, two of the game’s most important resources. Most buildings require Electricity for upkeep, with Water being the next most widely used. Players unlock new buildings in a mostly linear fashion by spending Money and the Research points produced from School buildings. Every building costs Money to build, but it balances out since they produce Money as well. They pay for themselves pretty quickly, so Money isn’t a problem as far as construction is concerned. However, it remains essential for Upgrades, Technologies and unlocking additional Islands.
When first unlocked, every building only operates for a limited time before players need to click to restart it. However, they will buy an upgrade that makes this no longer necessary. I say “will” and not “can” since it is essential to the game. This was one of the things that annoyed me the most about Technopoly. It means that players effectively need to research every building twice. The other obnoxious part of Technopoly is the ads. Most are not too bad, offering optional boosts or shortcuts without locking off parts of the game. However, they are very buggy and often don’t load properly, locking players into a black screen.
Supply and Demand
All but the most basic production buildings like Wind Turbines and Water Towers also require resources to function. Typically, these include Water, Electricity and one or more minor resources. These often form a single long production chain. For example, Water Towers collect Water for Farms, Farms feed Timber Yards, which make Wood for the Gravel Pits. These Pits produce Sand, which the Arc Furnaces process into Silicone. However, things get complicated over time, with more advanced buildings requiring multiple resources to stay productive. Concrete production, for example, requires both Sand and Wood in addition to Water and Electricity. Technopoly’s most advanced building is the Electric Car Factory, which produces Electric Cars from Engines and Car Bodies. Both of which are complicated components with very elaborate production chains behind them.
Technopoly has about twenty different resources that players need to keep track of. A shortage of one can cause a cascade of failures as it disrupts everything down the line. This becomes more of a concern with some mid-to-late game buildings, which require resources from the same point along the chain. For example, Silicon, Concrete and Steel all require Sand in their production. Meanwhile, Integrated Circuit’s effectively need Silicon twice, both in its raw form and after being processed into Semiconductors.
RSGapps built Technopoly around managing this complex supply chain. However, players can make things easier by unlocking and upgrading new Islands. Players can buy new Islands with either the in-game Money or Coins, Technopoly’s premium currency. Each Island provides a bonus to a specific resource, increasing how much of that resource buildings produce and reducing what others consume. For example, Water Towers collect more Water on the Water Island, while Farms built on that Island consume less Water. Players can upgrade Islands to increase these effects, which eventually becomes necessary to keep everything running smoothly.
Overall, Technopoly – Industrial Empire is a decent game if you approach it as what it is: an idle game with some nice pixel art. The simulation aspect is relatively shallow, and the technology “tree” is just a straight line. It is also not a game that lends itself to long sessions. However, those looking for a simple city builder they can leave ticking in the background might consider picking it up on Google Play.
Is It Hardcore?
Technopoly doesn’t set out to revolutionize the city-builder genre and doesn’t offer a very deep simulation. Still, it’s a fun little idle game that provides enough interaction to remain enjoyable.