We live in a vast, interconnected world, and everything we own is just the latest step in a long economic journey. The food you eat, the clothes you wear, it all came from somewhere. Even the screen you're reading this on is just a full stop in a story of mined metals, manufactured plastics, and miles upon miles of cables.
It's only one story, though. What if you told your own?
Enter Masterplan Tycoon, a chill real-time strategy game about production chains from Bureau Bravin and Ravenage Games. Your goal? Make stuff, and send it where it needs to go. Simple? Not quite. Relaxing? Like you wouldn't believe.
Drawing on inspiration from the Mini Metro and Anno series, Masterplan starts on an intuitive, minimalist map dotted with natural resources and little else. Your goal is to build a vast economic engine of inputs and outputs that will eventually grow to swallow up the entire map, producing an ocean of complex commodities and—most importantly—a profound feeling of satisfaction.
But it's not as simple as sticking down the facilities you need haphazardly. Production requires careful planning and oversight to avoid problems and maximise efficiency. You'll have to place your production nodes in such a way that each one can reach all the other ones it needs, which will only get tougher as you start needing to produce goods that require the outputs of multiple, separate production chains. That might sound a bit stressful, but it's not, because here's the thing: You literally can't lose.
That's right. Unlike real production chains, your whole operation isn't going to grind to a halt because you make a mistake (or a ship gets stuck in a canal). You're free to make as many errors as you want, gradually feeling your way through the game, improving your processes bit by bit until you have a system that rivals the most byzantine modern economies.
You're not thrown in at the deep end, either, Masterplan Tycoon unfurls itself slowly, opening up tougher missions and new technologies as you get comfortable with it. It's got to be the most zen economic simulator on the planet: Even the music has a relaxed, easy vibe to it.
That doesn't mean there's no challenge, of course, it just means that you can take the challenge at your own pace. Every failure is a learning opportunity, a chance to shift your processes about and make those incremental efficiency gains that eventually add up into sweeping industrial revolutions. You might find yourself zoomed in, tweaking a bunch of individual production chains before zooming out and realising you've managed to create a sleek, beautiful, and oh-so-satisfying economic titan.
If you're someone who loves optimising the living daylights out of management games, Masterplan Tycoon is your catnip. Even better, you can try the game right now thanks to a free demo on Steam, and the full game will release early next year. If the demo piques your interest, you can also check out the entire Ravenage catalogue on Steam to see if anything else takes your fancy.
If you just can't wait to become a titan of industry, you can follow Masterplan Tycoon's updates via the game's Twitter, Discord, and Reddit page. You can also keep up to date with all of Ravenage's happenings on its Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Just remember: Stay chill, and keep those chains optimised.