Game: Moviehouse – The Film Studio Tycoon
Genre: Casual, Simulation, Strategy
System: Steam (Windows & Mac OS)
Developers | Publishers: Odyssey Studios| Assemble Entertainment
Controller Support: No
Price: US $10.99 | UK £ 9.29 | EU € 10,99
Release Date: April 5th, 2023
Review code used with many thanks to Press Engine.
Moviehouse – The Film Studio Tycoon is a casual simulation strategy game that allows players to take control of a movie studio in the 80s and develop it into a blockbuster-making cinema giant throughout the years.
The game’s premise is simple and easy to understand. At the beginning of the game, a tutorial explains its mechanics, followed by tips for beginners pinned on the start menu. Players start by making short movies and progress to indie, small, medium, large, and blockbuster movies. The job involves hiring a writer to churn out scripts, and when the script is done, a producer is hired to produce the film. The movie is then released either by another distributor or self-distributed. Players can also enter their films in a movie festival for extra buzz, which can be used to start fan campaigns to raise the profits from the movie.
Scriptwriting and movie production are mostly done without input from the player, which some players may find limiting. Players can choose the title, but everything else is a choice between options they have unlocked, not all possibilities. For example, in the beginning, players can choose to make a drama or a western. The story’s setting, heroes, and villains are selected from three cards, which are generated randomly, giving them little control over their movie’s plot.
Players can also hire staff members to scout settings, make props, and build sets. Including appropriate sets and props in movies earns a higher grade from critics and the audience. Critics are harsh, but the audience reviews are generous.
Writers and producers have a happiness meter you must keep full for them to work. Players can send them on vacation if they start showing signs of exhaustion. However, employees exhaust slowly. Players can fire and train them as well.
During movie production, players can choose two sets for each movie and actors and help the producer by answering one trivia question per movie, for example, what actors to hire for non-speaking roles. If you don’t know the answer, you can ask for experts’ help. Players also allocate the budget for actors, sets, and props.
When hiring actors, players can choose from multiple options. Still, they have to select someone with higher popularity, who, at a relatively early phase in the game, are the same two actors used in all the previous movies. This can limit the variety of actors in the film, making it feel repetitive.
The main difficulty in Moviehouse is making money. However, if you ever find yourself out of money, your studio will be approved for bank loans, which can keep you going until your next big hit. Later in the game, you can also invest in your rival studios, giving you a steady monthly income. You’ll never have to worry about money again.
There is an element of time management in the game. When ordering a script, you can decide how long it would take for the writer to finish it, and the same goes for movie production. The longer it takes, the higher the quality of the finished product. That being said, it also means that the player will spend much time just staring at the screen and waiting. To avoid that, the developers have put a fast-forward button. However, I wish it was faster.
While the game is brand new, I saw no bugs during my playthrough. There are also Steam achievements included.
In conclusion, Moviehouse – The Film Studio Tycoon is a good game with an interesting premise. It offers a fun and engaging experience, especially for fans of simulation and strategy games. However, several issues, such as the limited control over the movie’s plot and the game’s repetitive nature, can make it boring for some players. Despite its flaws, the game is worth trying. The developers’ continuous dedication to improving it is a promising sign for its future.
Final Verdict: I like it
Thanks for the review. For some reason this game makes me think of Game Dev Tyccon, but with better graphics 🙂 Have you tried this one?