Terroir Review – A Winemaking Tycoon game
A tycoon game with a huge amount of promise which is let down by its difficulty and game-breaking money issues.
Developer: General Interactive
Publisher: General Interactive
Release Date: 20th September, 2017
Platform Reviewed on: PC
Terroir is a winemaking tycoon game. One of the few tycoon games to be released in recent years. The game certainly does a lot right in terms of gameplay but new players will find this game to be quite tricky. It’s debatable if this is a good thing considering many tycoon games lack difficulty.
Players are put in charge of a vineyard without much explanation. That’s fine, however, we don’t play tycoon games for the story anyway. The game starts with three tiles. One is the estate where we crush, press and make the wine. There’s also a tile for the grapes and one environmental tile that has a unique bonus on the surrounding tiles. Terroir is players on a hexagon shaped board which is an interesting choice from the developers. It takes away some of the freedom as you can’t design your vineyard to be exactly how you want it but it does add some strategy to the game. It forces you to think about what grapes to grow and where to grow them on the board. Do you grow them next to the forest for that sweet bonus or do you grow it next to a lake? Decisions, decisions…
It takes quite some time to grow grapes and process them into wine. As a result, the game has attempted to emulate this by making grapes grow over a period of months and years. You can harvest them at certain times of the year however, you’ll want to make sure they’re the right “ripeness” otherwise your wine might not turn out so great. In addition to this, the grapes can be affected by certain negative effects that cause the wine to lose rating stars if you harvest them while that negative effect is still active.
After growing and harvesting your grapes, you’ll want to turn it into wine. You have a lot of freedom here over what you use to prepare the wine. Each option changes how the wine is prepared and even affects the different rating categories of the wine. You’ll need to experiment and practice to find the perfect combination for each type of wine. Especially if you want to create a 5* wine.
There’s certainly nothing wrong with the gameplay here and the concept is incredibly nice. Plus the game has nice graphics. However, it starts to go downhill from here.
The tutorial just isn’t clear enough for new players. It tells you to do one thing then you’ll be criticized by the wine critics for doing that thing. Almost as if the developer forgot to change the tutorial later in the development of the game. In addition to this, each of the rating categories for the wine are not explained in the game. Those who don’t know much about wine won’t understand what the game means by “body” or “acidity” and how it influences the taste of a wine.
It also doesn’t help that money just doesn’t get added to your account sometimes. This is a game breaking bug which can literally cause you to lose the game and o out of business. Financial reports in the game are also inconsistent in the sense that they can be correct and incorrect without warning.
These things are frustrating to see in the game as Terroir has such a nice concept. The developer just has to update the game and fix these issues to make this game a must-have for all tycoon fans.
- Unique concept
- Great gameplay
- Decent replay value
- Nice graphics
- Bugs that ruin the game
- Tutorial doesn’t explain everything and seems to be ‘wrong’
- Difficult at the start for new players