HomeReviews2.5/5 ReviewDrill Deal - Oil Tycoon Review

Drill Deal – Oil Tycoon Review

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Until I saw The Rig on Amazon Prime, I couldn’t care less about the running of an oil rig, but since then my interest has piqued. There are many hazards while out in the middle of the sea and managing such situations, in tandem with ensuring efficient production, seems like it could be quite exciting as well as lucrative. Fortunately, there’s a simulator for everything these days (even power washing) and so now I can delve into the oil industry courtesy of Drill Deal – Oil Tycoon. 

Can Drill Deal – Oil Tycoon deliver a fun oil rig simulator that’s equipped with thrilling hazards to entertain the masses?

The short answer is no. The long answer is that it tries hard, but falters mainly due to repetition and technical issues. 

Drill Deal - Oil Tycoon review pic
A thriving rig raking in the money

It’s probably best to start with the Drill Deal – Oil Tycoon tutorial to get a grip on what you’re meant to be doing. Presented with a massive drill, extracting oil and gas, it’s your responsibility to expand the enterprise. Erecting a refinery, hiring employees with the necessary skills, and selling off resources to contractors is the bread and butter of this business. Keeping employees happy is another key aspect introduced, hence adequate places to eat, sleep, and relax are required. On top of that you must unearth new resources to maximise profits, while adequately preparing for any issues that may arise.

There’s a bit too much crammed in to the tutorial, in what is effectively a ten minute information overload. The worst part is that a lot of things feel as if they’ve been skimmed or skipped over. Throwing yourself in at the deep end with a real mission is perhaps the best way to understand the processes. Chances are you’ll be apprehensive though. Not just as a result of the daunting task ahead, but because the user interface is a mess.

Porting a game from the PC often leads to issues concerning the control setup and the UI. In principle, the implemented controls are perfectly fine with the use of a radial menu to access most parts and other buttons taking care of additional, important information overlays. It’s almost bereft of criticism for the overall setup on a controller.

Fire brigade saving lives by putting out the flames

Unfortunately, when navigating the menus, the portion you’re interacting with occasionally becomes unresponsive and you just have to close that particular section. Re-opening said menu leads to the erroneous bit rendered useless, which is far from ideal if it’s something critical like bricks you’re trying to order. Having to reload an earlier save is the solution; you can imagine how annoying that is. The UI is very temperamental on the whole, so you’ll often have overlays outstaying their welcome and being a nuisance, even for a short time. 

Nevertheless, the show must go on and beyond the tutorial there are eight different scenarios to tackle in Drill Deal – Oil Tycoon, each attempting to cover one of the many ways in which running an oil rig can be difficult to do. Up to three stars can be earned by completing the main objective as well as secondary tasks. Once you’ve garnered a star, the next scenario opens for you to jump into, or you could stick around to sweep up the rest. It’s a nice option to have. 

You’ll soon notice how deep you can go with enhancing the bare bones of an oil rig, especially after investing cash into the technology tree. There are a wide selection of refineries, chemical plants and distilleries available to produce all sorts of useful resources. Whether you want lubricants and asphalt or benzene and ethylene, it’s possible to acquire them. A range of entertainment buildings such as a games room, a gym, and a cinema, can be unlocked to keep the employee morale high too.

The pirates are closing in on a stormy night

In order to fit everything in, further platforms can be built and connected to the main one. It’s a must to avoid creating issues with the workers, who don’t take kindly to the noise pollution from generators and industrial type buildings near where they want to relax. Ultimately, if done right, you end up with a rather cool, slightly sprawled out enterprise that’s raking in the cash with a happy workforce. 

Despite having a fair amount of depth in terms of buildings, resources and upgrades, the gameplay becomes repetitive rather quickly. That’s because the basic principles remain consistent throughout, so you’re taking those all too familiar initial steps to create a foundation and then unlocking the same technology each time. The hazardous goings on are the only aspects that make a difference and bring freshness as you advance. 

Don’t expect much realism in the hazards though, and I mean that in a good sense as they look to add a bit of a thrill to proceedings. Stormy waters and electrical fires are the least of your worries, with explosive mines, aggressive pirates, illness, and a bloody kraken to contend with. Obviously you need to find a way to deal with all of these individually, but the pirate ships are particularly susceptible to turrets and firing those manually is quite fun. The mechanics aren’t perfect, however these situations are still a decent change from an otherwise monotonous routine.

Things can get a little strange…

Outside of the scenarios, a sandbox mode is available after obtaining enough stars to progress past two scenarios. While not for everyone due to a general lack of direction, the settings can be tweaked to suit and that’s a positive for sure. Giving yourself lots of money and limiting the chances of events occurring is one possibility should you want to live your best life on the rig. 

Visually, there’s a voxel art style here, which works rather well and the differing environments are pleasantly presented. Sure, the employees look a little bit silly in this aesthetic, but it adds to the charm to be honest. As the platforms get more populated with buildings, the vibrancy of certain types begins to show too. In regards to the sound design, I’d recommend setting up a playlist for yourself via a music app as an alternative to the in-game noises – unless you have a penchant for water swishing, horns, and the like.

Drill Deal – Oil Tycoon comes with the tools to make it a success, but it’s plagued by issues and repetition. The idea is solid, with a cavalcade of good options to build and improve the rig to earn money from resources. Hazards and disastrous events are a particular highlight too, with some bizarre moments keeping you on edge. So it’s a huge shame that the UI is an awful mess and causes frequent technical issues that are an instant put-off. Even if you stick with it, the core gameplay repeats itself as you venture into another scenario and after a handful of them, it’s mind numbing.

Investing in Drill Deal – Oil Tycoon will only cause you to lose money and gain frustration. Whilst it is in this state, don’t do it.

SUMMARY

Pros:
  • Plenty of buildings, resources and upgrades add depth
  • Hazards and disastrous events
Cons:
  • Repetitive gameplay
  • UI and technical issues
Info:
  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game go to - Ultimate Games
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S (reviewed), Xbox One, PS5, PS4, Switch, PC
  • Release date and price - 26 May 2023 | £12.49
James Birks
James Birks
Been gaming casually since the SNES as a youngster but found my true passion for games on the Playstation 1 (the forbidden word ooo). My addiction grew to its pinnacle with the purchase of an Xbox 360 & Xbox Live Service. A recovering GS hunter that will still play literally any game.
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<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>Plenty of buildings, resources and upgrades add depth</li> <li>Hazards and disastrous events</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>Repetitive gameplay</li> <li>UI and technical issues</li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game go to - Ultimate Games</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S (reviewed), Xbox One, PS5, PS4, Switch, PC <li>Release date and price - 26 May 2023 | £12.49</li> Drill Deal - Oil Tycoon Review
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