By Michael Fontanini / February 23rd, 2016
|Title||March of Industry|
|Release Date||October 7th, 2015|
|Genre||Indie, Simulation, Strategy|
|Platform||PC and Mac (Steam)|
March of Industry is a fun little factory game that tasks you with managing a factory to build and sell weapons to make profit and expand your factory. There are a number of resources and secondary resources that you can craft and then use to create your weapons. Some of the weapons are quite silly, such as “Ivan the Thirsty Man Who Drinks All Your Vodka”! What a jerk! Can you manage the factory and make it a manufacturing titan?
March of Industry has a playful, fun vibe to it and doesn’t take itself very seriously. It also has a decidedly Russian theme, as you might have guessed from the silly weapon mentioned above. The game tasks you with running your own factory, which can be expanded as you make money to give you more room to build your machines and assembly lines in. You start out with only a few basic resources and machines available in the shop. Assembly machines come in two main types, single input, and dual input. A single-input machine takes one resource and turns it into something else. A dual-input machine takes two resources and combines them into a new, more advanced resource or sometimes a weapon.
In the image above, the left machine has one input (green), and the right machine has two. The top of the machine will spit out invalid items if you put in stuff that can’t be made into anything (you can rotate machines to face the way you want, too). Because of this emergency output, there is no 3-input machine, but you can do the same thing using multiple assembly machines. You can see that you have buttons on the left for controlling game speed, as well as looking at the list of items you’ve already discovered. The game won’t tell you how to make anything, rather you are supposed to discover all of the recipes as you progress. The top-right corner of the screen shows how much money you have, and the bottom-right corner shows your current goal. The “Accept Promotion” goal we see here is a very late-game goal. Most of your goals involve producing a certain number of weapons based on a certain resource, but there is no time limit to reach your goals so you’re not punished.
You can also see some of the plots of space for expansion on the right side of the screenshot above. You can use the WASD keys or the arrow keys to move the view around in your factory, as it can become much larger than the screen. They have gotten very expensive in my game, to the point that I think it would take you a long time to get your factory expanded to the maximum size allowed. You also get some other machines, namely box loaders and unloaders. You can see them below in this simple assembly line that is producing glass.
Unfortunately, when you first start a new game, loaders and unloaders are not unlocked yet and you can only buy resources one at a time. These unlock very quickly, though, as does the ability to buy the first few resources in boxes of 100. Just put the box of resources beside an unloader, and it will start unloading the contents on to the belt in front of it. On the right side, I have placed an empty box and a box loader to pick up glass and load it in the box. These boxes have far more storage capacity than 100, by the way. I discovered this later in the game.
You may also notice some metal barriers on the left side of the assembly line. I should have put some on the right side too and a vertical one on top of the box loader to keep items from slipping past it, as they seem to sometimes do. Any machines, belts, or barriers you don’t need anymore can be sold, and the same is true of extra resources and items. The screenshot below shows a more advanced assembly line.
The assembly line pictured above has items placed by the three inputs to remind me of what it takes. The bottom line takes glycerol and produces high explosives. The top two lines combine potatoes with glycerol to make vodka. The vodka is then combined with the high explosive to make a Disintegration Ray gun. So, as you can see by these recipes, March of Industry is a bit silly. It is a very entertaining little game though.
The game could really use more items to make, but fortunately, it does support modding. You can go to the March of Industry website (the login link is at the bottom of the page for some reason) and create custom items. Just make sure your item image is transparent so your item doesn’t have an ugly white background instead of a transparent one! The price of your custom item is automatically set based on how complex it is to make, since players would otherwise cheat and make an item that instantly gives them all the cash they’d ever need! Then just click the Sync button beside an item and restart your game and it will be added to your game. You can always go back to the site and desync an item if you don’t want it anymore, too. The developer also posted a Steam guide on the whole modding thing.
The music is nice and adds a bit of flare to the Russian theme of the game. There is also a little bit of voice acting, particularly when you sell things (your Russian girlfriend will comment on how good your weapons are). She has several different things she can say. The sound effects are goofy, and one or two of them are even annoying (like the sound effect that plays whenever a machine manufactures a rocket). The graphics are 2D sprites that are of pretty decent quality, with item sprites having the lowest graphical quality (but that’s only because they are smaller images).
I must point out that March of Industry is not designed to be a big, serious game (if that’s what you’re looking for, you’d be better off looking into something like Factorio). It is designed to be beatable in a relatively short time, so it doesn’t have much of a story beyond the basic premise either. It’s just a fun little diversion that took me around 6-10 hours or so. The game will be much shorter if you cheat and look up all of the recipes on the wiki, though. It is a very enjoyable little game in spite of its limits, and you could easily come back to it from time to time if you like this sort of game. There are also achievements for discovering every item in the base game, and expanding your factory to max size among other things. These will take you a long while if you go for all of them. You can pick up March of Industry on Steam for $9.99. The fact that you can add custom items is a big plus, as it would be much harder to recommend the game otherwise just because it doesn’t have a huge amount of content on its own. March of Industry is the game that asks if you have what it takes to run a very silly Russian weapons factory and become a manufacturing titan!
Review copy provided by publisher.
Archive EntertainmentMarch of Industry