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
Platforms: PC (Windows, Mac OS and Linux)
Platform Reviewed on: PC (Windows)
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, we don’t play tycoon games for the story anyway. The player 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 puts players on a hexagon shaped board which is an interesting choice for 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 only harvest them at certain times of the year but there’s a lot of strategy for this.
You need to ensure the grapes are the right “ripeness” otherwise, the wine won’t turn out to be very good. There are a few other factors to winemaking in this game, however, such as negative effects that cause grapes to lose rating stars if you harvest them while it’s still active. In Terroir, there’s actually a lot to consider and think about. And that’s just when it comes to harvesting the grapes.
After harversting, you need to turn the grapes into wine. How do you do this? Well, there’s a lot of options and freedom involves. Each option you’re provided with does affect the different rating categories of the wine overall. In order to find the perfect combination, you’ll need to experiment quite a bit. Oh, and did I mention that each type of wine needs to meet a different set of requirements to appease the reviewers? It’s not an easy or quick process, expect to spend some time trying to get this right.
After creating the wine, it’s then rated by different reviewers. The average rating is then assigned to your wine which affects the price and popularity of the batch. If it does well, you can sell it for a lot at the high-quality establishments. If it’s a dud batch then you’ll need to give it away essentially as no one will buy it.
There’s a lot to learn and Terroir is visually amazing. Especially for a tycoon game. However, there’s a major issue right now. The tutorial system. It’s just not very clear.
It will tell you to do something and then the wine critics will complain that you did it. Almost like the developer forgot to change the tutorial later in the development of the game. The tutorial is also very limited in terms of what it covers and players are left to discover things by themselves. It also doesn’t help that the rating categories are not explained at all. For those who know very little about wine, terms such as “body” and “acidity” won’t mean anything to them in regards to how it influences the taste of wine.
Plus there’s a game-breaking issue. Money isn’t always added to your account. It can literally cause you to lose the game and go out of business. Meanwhile, the financial reports can also be incorrect at times while being correct at others.
These things are frustrating to see 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’ at times
- Difficult at the start for new players