Industry Giant II (a.k.a. Industrie Gigant II
) is a business sim developed and published by JoWooD Productions
for PC CD-ROM
. It is the sequel to JoWooD's debut game, 1997's Industry Giant
- a game that was, to put it bluntly, very crap
indeed, but still managed to sell around one million copies. However there are very few similarities between the two games, bar the central concept of putting the player in the role of a manufacturing magnate
IG II is most similar in presentation to Transport Tycoon by Chris Sawyer. The transport system (in terms of the placement and design of roads and rail networks) has been simplified, but conversely the economic simulation is more detailed, having the effect of all the variables defining each of the over 50 vehicle types having a much more noticable impact on the game- in TT road vehicles (and almost everything else for that matter) was obsolesced by trains, whereas in IG II all types of vehicles remain useful.
Apart from the transport side, IG II introduces a whole other aspect of gameplay that is not present (in more than a token way) in Transport Tycoon et al: the design and management of production chains. There are over 150 end products that can be manufactured. Each requires one or more raw materials (or component goods) to be combined at a dedicated manufacturing facility. The manufactured goods can then be sold at towns dotted around the map, which can be influenced in terms of growth by the players' actions. The two main factors that should be maximised are: sophistication of goods (bottles of whiskey are exponentially more profitable than empty bottles), and minimisation of transport costs through efficiency.
IG II is a complex simulation with almost endless options for experimentation in the marketplace, and a very streamlined user interface which does away with most of the fiddly elements of the TT interface (there are no 'palettes' of road and rail pieces for example, you can just click and drag, and you can upgrade vehicles and facilities automatically instead of selling, replacing and reprogramming them). However compared to TT or SimCity 2000 (or to a lesser extent StarTopia), there is little lasting appeal to IG II simply because the game is rather dry and clinical. Still, for what it is, it is the most comprehensive and advanced entry in its genre.