Game Review – Yoot Tower

Yoot Tower
Company: SEGA
Estimated Price: $29.99

Simulation games have always been popular on the
Macintosh platform, and Sim Tower by Yoot Saito
was no exception. Its real world problems and rewards delighted gamers of all ages. Now, Mr. Saito has returned with the sequel to Sim Tower. Yoot Tower has tons of new features that are sure to keep you playing for hours upon hours at a time.

Location’s the Key
Unlike Sim Tower, Yoot Tower does not limit you to one building location; it gives you three locations to pick from: Hawaii, Kengo Falls, and Tokyo. All three locations have their own goals, limitations, and funds. Tokyo is a major metropolitis, placing emphasis on height and fast expansion, while Hawaii and Kengo Falls are mainly tourist locations, encouraging the construction of hotels and shopping centers.

The Basics
Yoot Tower’s interface and game play are familiar territory for Sim Tower veterans. As in Sim Tower, you start out with a rating of one star, and with that rating comes a limited number of items that you can build. As your tower and your star rating grows, you are allowed to build more items, all the way up to the end, when you build a “final item.” The “final item” is different in all three of the locations, and it can only be built on the top floor of your tower.

Your tower and star rating will only grow if you keep your tenants happy, and that means strategically placing offices, condos, apartments, restaurants, and shopping centers. You also have to keep traffic moving with elevators, escalators, and sky bridges. If you don’t, your tenants will leave in drones, and you will be left all alone with a very unsuccessful tower.

Yoot Tower includes all of the exciting features that made Sim Tower a hit, including offices, hotels, restaurants, movie theatres, subway stations, and more. In addition to all of Sim Tower’s items, Yoot Tower offers new shops, cafés, rest rooms, schools, gathering areas, power rooms, and much, much more! You can also view the outside of your building and construct billboard advertisements for extra revenue.

Yoot Tower offers much more control over the tower than its predecessor. There are new tools such as range, scroll and interview, which let you view the range of customers affected for commercial areas, scroll the screen freely, and find out what your tenants are thinking, respectively. You can freely view traffic patterns, building evaluation, and more–all without interrupting the game play. The info window for many items is also refined, letting you not only specify their rent, but also in commercial locations, control what and how much they sell. Unfortunately, you still have to set the preferences for these items individually for every structure in your building; there is still no global way to set them. This can cause a very time consuming problem when you have a large tower!

Time in Yoot Tower is much more realistic than Sim Tower. Time follows a special calendar, and one day per month is simulated. That day could be a weekday or a holiday, depending on the year and the month. Weekdays are more beneficial for locations such as Tokyo, where there are a lot of offices, while Hawaii and Kengo Falls reap sales from tourist-filled holidays.

Special Situations
Keeping your tenants happy is not always the only thing you will need to deal with. At certain points in the game, you will have to deal with both pleasant and unpleasant situations ranging from terrorist threats and fires to buried treasure and VIPs who need to be pleased, because if they’re not pleased, you won’t be either! With a bad visit, a VIP will not allow your tower to gain a higher star rating.

Plug it in
Probably the most exciting new feature in Yoot Tower is its plug-in architecture, allowing you to add new features to the game at any time, as they become available. SEGA claims that you will not only be able to add new locations, but also new construction items such as shops and restaurants. Once these plug-ins are available for download, Yoot Tower will be able to bring life back to old towers with new items that were not previously available.

Yoot Tower requires Mac OS 7.5 or higher and a PowerPC processor. It also requires at least 100MB of hard disk space, 32MB of RAM, a 2X CD-ROM drive, and a monitor capable of displaying 256 colors at 640×480. When Yoot Tower opens, it makes you switch your monitor over to 256 colors, but when you close the game, it does not automatically switch back to your previous color depth. This can be quite annoying when you use your computer for more than just games, as I do.

The Summary
Yoot Tower is a well done game that is sure to be a hit amongst the Macintosh gaming faithful. Its new features and plug-in architecture are bound to excite many gamers, while its familiar interface is sure to reel the Sim Tower faithful in for more.

Despite the limitations of color depth switching and global preferences, Yoot Tower’s vast improvements over its predecessor easily make up for this apparent oversight. Yoot Tower is a wonderful game, and all Macintosh gamers should be thankful to Mr. Saito and SEGA for thinking of us first. At only $29.99, Yoot Tower should be on every gamers list.
Highly Recommended!

MacMice Rating: 4

Adam Karneboge

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