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Motor City

From the Database of Home of the Underdogs




Copyright 1995, Max Design

The last game developed and published by Austrian developer Max Design before they were bought out by Sunflowers, Motor City (marketed in Germany as Oldtimer) is an excellent simulation of the car industry that is sadly not as well known as Impressions’ Detroit. Although they both tackle the same subject matter, Motor City is a much better game due to a more realistic and versatile economics model that underlies the game.

The idea in Motor City will be familiar to Detroit players: as manager of a fledgling car company, your job is to expand your business by designing and selling cars. Similar to Detroit, most of the time you will be looking at the premises of your company, on which you start with only two buildings: administration, and warehouse. Motor City includes many more options and details that Detroit lacks. For example, before you can build a car you must choose general concepts, e.g. size (small, medium, or large), whether its roof can be opened, chassis type, and engine type. All these components cost money, of course. Since building cars take time to complete (and the time varies depending on how many bells & whistles you add to it) but you have fixed costs to pay every month, having a long-term business plan, including astute timing of when to market new models, is crucial to winning the game. There are numerous statistics you can access at any time to see how you faring in the industry, from overall financial position to track record and trends.

Overall, I am very impressed with Motor City‘s depth and variety of options. Detroit is a lot of fun, but it often feels as if it could have been about any other industry had Impressions substitute cars with other products. Motor City, on the other hand, contains many industry-specific details that aren’t common to other industries. The bottom line is, if you want a more sophisticated business simulation than Detroit, Motor City is a must-have. It may not be as accessible as Detroit, but its economic model is hard to beat (and quite educational as you put more time into studying how the market works). Top dog, without a doubt, and a two thumbs up from this fan.

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