Become a Kingpin
Ever since the inception of TV shows like Breaking Bad and Narcos, we’ve all considered how successful of a drug entrepreneur we’d be. Thanks to the kind folks at Cybertale Games, you can see for yourself if you have what it takes to sling dope on a mass scale while evading the cops and rival gangs. This management simulator has you build up your net worth through the classic buy-low-sell-high business strategy while also committing heists and performing legal jobs. You use your accrued money to buy assets like businesses, dope labs, lawyers, etc. all of which help you obtain street cred and increase in level. The game has a pretty sharp learning curve, one that this reviewer did not totally overcome, and is likely to challenge even players. However, I believe the game can be a fun way to pass the time once you get the hang of it.
The multifaceted gameplay experience of Urban Drug Empire challenges players to think strategically, manage resources effectively, and adapt to unforeseen circumstances. Beyond the logistics of drug trafficking, players must also contend with the moral implications of their actions, grappling with questions of ethics and responsibility in a world where profit often comes at the expense of human lives. As players delve deeper into the game, they discover layers of complexity that demand both cunning and empathy, making Urban Drug Empire a compelling and thought-provoking experience.
In Urban Drug Empire, progression unfolds through a blend of strategic decision-making and calculated risk-taking. Each month, players are tasked with acquiring the highest paying job available, balancing the need for legitimate income with the allure of more lucrative but riskier ventures. Simultaneously, players can attempt a crime each month, which puts them at risk for a run-in with the law but yields a higher payout than their legal job. Additionally, the cornerstone of progression lies in the buying and selling of weed, with players strategically investing in and managing their drug empire to maximize profits and expand their influence within the urban landscape. After accruing sufficient wealth, players can reinvest in useful assets. Businesses provide players with additional monthly income, weeds labs provide players with additional weed to sell, weapons assist in fending of police and rival gangs, and transportation assists in evading police and rival gangs.
Finding out how to make money in Urban Drug Empire as efficiently as possible is a struggle. The player needs to keep track of the highs and lows of all of fourteen different available weed strains. Admittedly, I thought there was only three weed strains because I did not realize you could scroll down on the weed menu. I was building my income from buying and selling Blue Dream alone. However, discovering that there were many more strains available was intimidating. It made me realize that in order to deal at maximum efficiency, I would have to memorize the highs and lows for all of the weed strains, which is a pretty big commitment for a casual simulator. I ended up just sticking to buying and selling the Blue Dream strain. This allowed me to progress fairly steadily, but I felt as though I wasn’t operating at maximum capacity.
This is perhaps the biggest drawback of Urban Dope Empire; the games progression feels severely underbalanced. The amount of work needed to progress makes the progression itself feel very underwhelming. Gaining the knowledge of all the weed strain prices feels like a hassle that will turn off a majority of players. Ultimately, progression in this game feels too spaced out and like it does not yield enough reward.
Is It Hardcore?
Urban Drug Empire has the building blocks of what makes an interesting simulator. Unfortunately, it falls short through poor balancing, uneventful gameplay, and steep learning curves.