Yoot Tower
  4 stars

November 16, 1998
by Misha Sakellaropoulo

Preorder (availible 11/24): $29.95 + $5.95 (reflects $10 discount if ordered before 12/31)
Yoot Entertainment
Yoot Tower Mac First
System Requirements: PowerPC, System 7.5 or later, 16 MB of RAM

Pros: complex, challenging, almost a hundred items to build, addictive
Cons: rent rates must be adjusted individually, doesn't switch back to previous bit depth from 256 colors

   Simulation games have always held a special place in the minds of Mac gamers. The SimCity series, one of the most popular of all time, originated on the Mac and since then a host of other sim games have come our way. SimTower, created by Yoot Saito, is one such example, and now Yoot is back with the sequel, Yoot Tower. The goal remains the same in Yoot Tower: build up your vertical empire while keeping eveyone happy, but with many more elements that make the game both more amusing and challenging.

Choose your location

   Before you begin construction on your tower, you'll have to decide where you would like to build. Yoot Tower offers you three locations, each with its own attributes. Tokyo gives you a down town location emphazing the height of your tower, up to 100 stories, Kegon Falls, the largest waterfall in Japan, forces you to build mostly underground, while Hawaii offers a coastline location limited to 45 stories. Yoot Tower also supports plug-in modules, and new locations will be availible for download. Unfortunately, at the present time there is no way of creating your own locations.

   Each location also offers a different amount of funds to start out with and emphasizes building certain items more so than others. Tokyo encourages offices and shops while larger hotels and restaurants are better suited in Hawaii. Each location also has a varrying level of difficulty. Tokyo is a safe bet for sucess but you will have to figure out how to keep your buidling profitable during the off season in Kengo Falls.

From the ground, up

Click to enlarge   Yoot Tower retains much of the look and feel of its predecessor. From the onset you are allowed to build a limited number of items, from building facilities such as restrooms and security stations, to various shops. As your building gets larger and if you keep its residents satisfied, its star rating will increase. Each additional star offers you additional facilities that you can add to your tower. Although Yoot Tower contains close to 100 different items, you can expect plug-ins that will offer you even more options.

   Life's not as relaxed as it sounds in Yoot Tower, though. Making your building financially successful is obviously essential to its growth. So are the locations of facilities, especially elevators. Each person in your building has their own stress meter and if you don't keep them happy they'll simply pack up and leave. Smart thinking and careful planning are musts if you wish to ensure the success of your building.

Outside View   A wealth of information is availible at your fingertipis regarding your building, including traffic levels and an evaluation of each item. You can even see an exterior view of your building, from where you can sell billboard advertising space, but you might be a little disenchanted when you see that your building doesn't look quite as eye catching as you had envisioned, although each building location has its own unique exterior appearance.

   You will also deal with several unique events as you construct your building. These range from disasters, such as fires or Terroristterrorist threats, pleasant surprises like a discovery of valueable treasure, or VIPs whose opinions affect what the public thinks of your tower.

   Yoot Tower does have a couple annoying caveats. The game requires that your monitor be set to 256 colors and will ask you each time you load it whether you would like it to switch your setting, but when you quit it doesn't switch it back. Also, if your building is enjoying a high level of success and you would like to raise the rent prices, you'll have to click on each unit individually and adjust the price manually which, when you're talking about hundreds and hundreds of units, can be prove to be a tiring and tedious task.

Return of the strategy simulation

   For Mac users, it's been a while since a solid simulation game has come along. Yoot Tower erases that trend as an addictive, challenging, and enjoyably complex title. Not only that, but thanks to Yoot Saito's personal dedication to the platform, you can be playing Yoot Tower more than a month before your PC counterparts will. tr


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