• Good Hunter

The Dark Steam Hunt Volume Eight: Game Tycoon 1.5


Sunlight Games is an indie studio located in Cologne Germany. I would understand if you didn’t know about this little studio. Their record of accomplishment is at best underwhelming and at worst, utter garbage. You can check out their portfolio here. There have been some successes, Gold Rush! Classic for example has a very positive 8 out of 10 on steam (according to 43 reviews). Others however have received mixed reviews, such as Gold Rush! Anniversary and One Hundred Ways.

The Game Tycoon series seems to be something of a cursed series. Both being especially ill received for very similar problems; like the bugs, the translation errors (and oversights). Not to mention the boring gameplay. You might remember the last time that I claimed it kept breaking in five minutes, a fact that I still stand by as it happened multiple times. However, I did get a little further this time. Not too far, mind you, because of the obtuse design and just running out of ideas.

The time spent until breakage:

From moment one the problems mount up. For a couple of days, I could not even get into the game, the resolution was messed up that I could not load it. It would arbitrarily start working again one day with no influence or change outside. There is no options menu- like anywhere. A gross oversight that becomes even more egregious when you realize that you are stuck with the game's bipolar whims. When you try to select a campaign the game closes then reopens, this time the music has vanished. Half the tools don’t work for some reason, like the character select screen, which remains blank no matter how many times I tried to interact with it.

Come play with us GH...

There is something very unsettling about sound design and visuals. The bizarre silences between instructions, lack of music, and static imagery were unsettling to say the least. It was a dream that could not decide if it wanted to become a nightmare, the jarring mundanity of boring game design and horrific existential horror of a plastic world where nothing is real except you. . Do not get the wrong impression; Game Tycoon 1.5 is a very cheap and rushed project due to the abundance of selling/translation errors. None of what I mentioned is intentionally scary.

For what?

Anyway, I started my project, an incredibly easy process where you tick boxes to create an engine, I assigned my starry-eyed colleague students to the product (something that also required no skill) I was told by the mannequin pretending to be a man to fast forward. There was no button to do this. Nothing that I clicked on appeared to do anything. There were no clearer instructions, just the request to “speed up” as a result I had to stop the game because I just ran out of ideas.


What does this mean?

Sunlight Games appears to be a one-hit-wonder studio, a single good game in a sea of mediocrity and failure. Game Tycoon 1.5 is an unintentionally creepy, barely functioning piece of shovelware that exemplifies the studio’s weakest attributes. If the infinitely better Game Dev Tycoon came out before Game Tycoon 1.5, I would have called the latter a rip-off. Please avoid Game Tycoon 1.5.

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