If you’re into construction games, management, or even just causing some chaos, then you need to check out Constructor Plus. Designed to be a sequel to 1997’s Constructor, the "Plus" part doesn’t lie.
Packed with different maps, ways to play, and things to do, you can build and plan settlements, sabotage your competition, and reign supreme in the building world. The game has so much packed into it that it can feel overwhelming at times, but if you persevere, you’ll find yourself addicted in no time.
Building A Foundation
One thing that this game does well is its tutorials. The first one will take you through the basics of the game before throwing you into missions. When I first went through this, I felt incredibly overwhelmed. There is a lot to remember and once I lost the guidance of the tutorial, some of the steps got muddled in my brain. However, I soon discovered that the missions actually guide you through some extra information and fill in any gaps in your knowledge.
Constructor Plus has a lot of different elements that make up the building process and the early scenarios give you step-by-step goals that allow you to explore more of them. Even if you’ve played Constructor, I’d highly recommend playing the tutorial and at least the first nine missions before you jump into sandbox mode. They will allow you to better understand the depth of the game and its more colorful characters.
Growing Your Empire
The game plays like a hybrid of management and simulation. You are the head of a budding property business and must buy land and send out work crews to build on it. These buildings then need to be overseen and managed.
There are, frankly, an overwhelming 147 different types of buildings available, which allows you to create incredibly complex and detailed cities. Houses will become home to tenants, who can provide money, work crews, or more tenants, and other buildings will provide for those tenants' needs. It all links together logically and each building offers products to manufacture or upgrades to apply.
New kinds of tenants, new crews, and new ways to keep on top of your empire’s happiness will all be unlocked as you progress. Each time the game will point you in the right direction, helping you keep on top of the complexity.
Choosing Your Path
In addition to building and manufacturing, you can also choose to grow by more hostile means. This aspect of the game adds an entirely new element to the city building process, involving hippies and gangsters, amongst other undesirables.
For those with a ruthless streak, hippy communes can be built on your opponent's land and their occupants sent out to cause some chaos. They can stress tenants out with demonstrations, raucous street parties, and even squatting in empty homes. Just beware that two can play at that game and if you choose this path, expect your neighbors to retaliate.
As the game progresses, extra types of undesirables will cause even more chaos (and explosions) or help beef up your security. If you’ve ever wanted to stop a street party using a mobster then now is your chance.
When I started the game, I expected it to be quick. I thought I’d play a few hours, get a grip on it, and job done. A quick, simple game; a short, easy-to-write review. Or so I thought. It turns out that it takes a very, very long time to explore all that this game has to offer.
Over the last few days, I’ve spent hours playing Constructor Plus and every time I turn it on, I’m still uncovering new things. I’d love to say this review covers everything you can do, but it doesn’t because the game is so packed with content that it sometimes feels like I may never get to it all.
While this can feel overwhelming at times, it’s this variety and intricacy that has me coming back for more. On more than one occasion, a “quick mission” has turned into several hours of immersive gameplay. If you like detail and options in your management simulations, then Constructor Plus will provide it in spades.
Utilizing The Extras
"Extras" is an area in which this game keeps on giving. If you get bored with the more traditional building, then there are some unique destinations to set up home on, including the Moon and Mars. You can use these to play in a sandbox mode or against other constructors via online multiplayer mode. Each setup is also configurable, allowing you to adjust the difficulty, number of opponents, and more.
If you prefer more structure, then playing the missions will also offer variety as they include 15 story-based missions and around 50 other scenarios.
You can even choose how much you want to control with some elements, such as auto-repair and automatic tenant replacement upgrades, helping you keep on top of your estate as it expands. Everything automatic also appears to be able to be overwritten, meaning you can quickly take control, if required.
Expanding Your Empire
Overall, Constructor Plus is a must-buy title for lovers of management simulations. There are so many things to do and ways to play that you’re highly likely to be able to find a mode that fits your specific playstyle, whatever that may be.
My only complaint in the entire game is that the constant voice narration was irritating after a while, but this can be turned off quickly and easily in the settings menu, making this hardly an issue. If you enjoy management games, city builders, or quirky tycoon games, then Constructor Plus is for you. As a bonus, it even runs smoothly on my low spec laptop.
Packed full of varied features, tiny details, and total chaos, this game will hook you in and keep you entertained for hours.
5 Out Of 5 Stars
A review copy of Constructor Plus was provided to TheGamer for this review. Constructor Plus is available now for PC.