This is the ultimate seaside management game. Not that there are a lot about but this is the best. If you always fancied running a stretch of promenade, a pier and a bit of beach then this is the game for you. Personally I've never really thought about it. Running a town or a theme park seem like fun but a beach front is not something I've considered. Now though it Is on my list of future possibilities. Hillsea Lido is as much fun as most simulation games. It's set on a much smaller scale than some of the better known management simulation games but this doesn't detract from the fun of the game. I've always been a big fan of such games with Sim City being high up on my list of favourites. This is a strange game though. I spent several years living in Portsmouth and I have seen the wonders that the real Hillsea Lido has to offer and believe you me they are not all that wonderful, however now here is my chance to save that concrete ruin that looks over some rather muddy polluted looking water in the Portsmouth vicinity.
The game is all controlled with the use of the mouse. It's easy to control and the idea is very simple. You have to create a thriving tourist spot along your beach front. No problem I've spent the whole of my life living on the seafront and I must know what makes a successful tourist trap. Not so easy! I soon found that this game is actually quite a challenge. There is a lot to take into account. The preview copy I had tried out was unfinished and I had no instructions so it meant that I could put my dismal failure down to these two facts. Now however I had absolutely no excuse. There is a great deal more to running Hillsea Lido than meets the eye.
Financially there is a lot to budget for and it's not all that easy to balance the books. There are also all sorts of examples of government intervention, health inspectors for a start. The whole game really does represent some serious challenges, You might get a superb beachfront but your promenade could be failing badly! It's all down to how you spend your money and how you put together your shops and services.
This game is very like Theme Park. However it isn't in my opinion quite as good. It is on a much smaller scale. Despite the fact that this isn't the best management simulator that I've ever played It is a lot of fun, also I have to confess to being a bit of a fan of Vulcan Software. Time Keepers was simply stunning and although this is not as good it still has the same wonderful production values, the odd sound effects and the same great graphic style. The graphics aren't however state of the art and the movement isn't the greatest, it's rather jerky. However at the end of the day this sort of game isn't all about graphics, it's more about gameplay and the gameplay is pretty good.
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