Game: Package Inc
Genre: Simulation, Strategy, Puzzle
System: Nintendo Switch (Also on Google Play and Apple Store)
Developer | Publisher: Infinity Games | Nerd Monkeys
Age Rating: US Everyone | EU 3+
Price: US $4.99 | UK £4.99 | EU € 4,99
Release Date: December 21st, 2022
Review code used, with many thanks to Nerd Monkeys.
Originally released in August 2020 for Android and iOS, Package Inc has made its way to the Nintendo Switch. Create your network of hubs and buildings so the packages flow from the warehouse to their destination. Complete the targets set for that location and move to a new city.
Will Package Inc make me a logistics mastermind, or will it be a logistical nightmare?
Build Your City
You begin your journey to logistics success at the level called Package Inc HQ. The only non-city-named level doubles up as the tutorial. Although, you can play it in normal game mode as well and then have the option of monsoon and/or night play.
The game positions the warehouse and hubs appropriate to the level. Then, with your starting pot of coins, you can build your first few destinations or stations, as Package Inc calls them. Initially, the warehouse will only have packages for the first station listed in the buildings menu. In the Package Inc HQ level, this is a house. By building a house, packages start flowing from the warehouse to that house and with each package successfully delivered, you receive some coins.
As time progresses, the warehouse starts to have other coloured packages, so you need to build other stations (matching the colours). In addition to the warehouse distributing packages, the stations will also create packages. So the flow of coloured blocks starts to weave a pattern around your network. The cost to build subsequent stations or hubs increases after each build.
I found that, on some levels, the colours of the packages/stations were very similar, and I struggled to work out which building I needed to add.
Within each level, there is an eco-friendly building (pine trees or windmills). Building these anywhere within the game area will give you a regular income of a few coins. Similar to the stations, the purchase price will increase with each one placed. I found it useful to build these eco-friendly builds on multiple squares. This helped to maximize my initial income, and I could always move them later if necessary. Disappointingly, only one will benefit from the multiplier, even if you manage to squash more onto the square.
I Need More Storage!
It starts getting tricky as the warehouse, hubs, and stations will only send packages at a certain rate. Although you can increase the speed of distribution, packages soon start stacking at certain places. Exceed the storage capacity, and packages are lost. The number of lost packages is the end game control, and you can only afford to lose ten packages. Luckily, for a price, you can increase the storage at any of the buildings.
One thing I couldn’t understand is why a certain colour would stack on a hub, even if the station was right next to it. It seemed that priority was given to the order of the stations in the menu rather than which package arrived first.
Stop the Clock!
One of the great features of the game is the ability to pause time. Really useful to collect coins from passing trains and take stock of your network. I regularly paused time to move stations or add to my network – it took the pressure off trying to watch everything. The game will auto-link the new build to existing ones, but trying to get the links you want is fiddly.
As well as stopping time, you can also speed it up. Again a useful feature, particularly if there is a lull in packages.
Collect the Stars
Each level has three targets. Successfully complete a target to get a star. The more stars you have, the more levels are available – 11 in total.
The targets can be anything from delivering several packages to adding stations, increasing storage or speeding up delivery, or even surviving for a number of days. You can check the targets during the level by going to the pause menu.
Once all three targets have been met, the game gives you the option of finishing the level. At this point, I liked speeding up the game, zooming out to see the whole city and just watching the little blocks whizz around the network, with the coins flowing in.
Having been originally designed for tablets/phones, Package Inc relies on a touchscreen function. The developers have cleverly combined buttons and a cursor option using motion control for those who play in docked mode and via a separate controller. Initially, I found this method difficult to use, but it becomes easier with practice. Although, I did keep using the wrong stick to move the camera.
However, this game works really well in handheld mode. You have the best of both worlds – a touchscreen combined with buttons (if you want to use them!).
The game did crash a few times, twice when I went to restart the London level and once just as I was near completion in Melbourne. Thankfully, when I restarted the game, I could ‘resume’ on the Melbourne level to complete the 24th and final day and gain three stars.
Package Inc is a simple management simulation game which works well on a handheld Nintendo Switch. It’s great for whiling away some spare time – not overly taxing, but it’s complicated enough to require concentration.
Final Verdict: I Like it