Chuck a dart at a map of the USA and you’ll get a different answer as to whether its legal, decriminalised or still going to get you a bunch of jail time for sparking up a joint. Weedcraft Inc. is a game where you can navigate these muddy waters for righteous or nefarious reasons, but ultimately for profit.
Weedcraft Inc. is very much a ‘Tycoon’, game that puts you in the shoes of a business graduate who has come back to the family home to deal with the aftermath of their father’s death due to cancer. Your brother quickly tells you he had been growing weed to help with the pain management, rather than prescribed opiates, and quickly convinces you that starting to sell it is a good idea.
Growing plants is a case of choosing soil and setting room temperature to control quality, then managing water and ‘training’ the leaves, which is a nice rhythm of clicking and holding the mouse buttons, until it’s fully grown. Then, it’s time to take to the streets and start shifting the goods.
Setting your price to attract the potential buyers in the area is one thing, but you have to also account for specific needs and tastes. Some locals might not care for quality, only price, while the jocks from the nearby college are willing to pay a premium for the really good stuff. It’s not just people looking to get wasted, however. Some of the weed can help with veterans with PTSD, or the aforementioned pain management, so you have to grow the stuff with the most desirable effects for your market. By upgrading your grow room, adding a laboratory and staff, you can create wild hybrid strains of chronic, each with a cool procedurally generated look and name, like Purple Mustaine or something.
As you grow (sorry) your operation, you can choose to stay underground, disguising your operations as coffee shops to keep the police from the door, or you can ‘go legal’, opening shops in states where marijuana has been legalised. You can play the political system from both sides, petitioning to legalise it or even bribing people to keep it illegal—that’ll stop some pesky new business opening up and taking the cash from your criminal empire. They’ve kept morality grey, too. You can be an absolute saint, treating veterans from an illegal crop, or a total Scarface who runs a chain of legal weed stores.
One day we’ll live in a world where there’s a Tycoon-style game for every business type under the sun, but this one, with its mix of real life grey area politics and subject matter that, frankly, lends itself extremely well to the genre, is looking interesting. Weed keep an eye on this one. Oh god.