MacSoft, $30. Requirements: PowerPC, 16MB RAM, System 7.5, CD-ROM. Fro more information, visit http://www.yoottower.com.

Review by Dave Price

The basic premise in Yoot Tower is you are an entrepreneur with a few million dollars and a plot of good real estate. Your goal is to build the best darn tower you can and to build it as you see fit. This is an excellent simulation of managing a tower. This game is fun and can be mildly addictive. (Surgeon General's Warning: May Cause Slight Nervousness When Gill Bates Visits Your Tower.)

This game is more or less the unofficial sequel to the old Maxis game SimTower. Yoot Saito, who came up with the idea for a tower simulation has continued his work and Yoot Tower is the fruit of his labor. The similarities between these two games are quite extensive. You have a lot of the same types of structures to build, offices, condos, hotels, and shops. However, instead of placing a random type of restaurant or store, you can now choose the exact type of facility. Shall I build a French or a Mexican restaurant?

Compared to SimTower, Yoot Tower is a clear improvement. In this new game several rules have been change to make the reactions of the people living in your tower a little more realistic. A good example of this is when I built a large area of condos, they did not sell immediately like they would have in SimTower. Instead I had to wait for a particular time of year in which people felt like buying condos. A great feature that has been added to Yoot Tower is that of plug-ins. When your start a new tower, you have a choice of three types of towers to build: the traditional tower in Tokyo, a Hawaiian resort, or a resort on the Kegon Falls. In addition to these 'scenarios,' other plug-ins are being planned. Presently, the Yoot Tower web site says that they are planning a 'Statue of Liberty' plug-in. Another sort of plug-in used by the game is that of the individual types of facilities you can construct. When you get enough people in your tower, are approved by a critic-visitor, and your tower's status improves to more stars, you are allowed to build new types of facilities, or different facilities of similar types. For example you may be able to build a toy store, but when you get another star, you can build supermarkets too.

The graphics in Yoot Tower are very similar to those of SimTower, in fact so much so that you may actually forget and think you're playing SimTower. The game ran quite smoothly on my G3; however, I was mildly irritated when the game asked me to change my monitor to 256 colors. I was dismayed when the program failed to return my previous setting of colors when I quit. This almost leads me to think of the dating that must be associated with this. Most games today don't require you to change to 256 colors, and even then they at least change the colors setting back automatically.

The controls in this game are excellent. A useful feature I was glad to see was you can view the rent levels in your building without having to pause the game. This allows you to be able to go through and raise the rents, know where you've already raised them, and not have to go back and pause on occasion to make sure you didn't miss anything. (In SimTower, if you had to pause in order to view rent levels and whenever the game was paused, all the controls became grayed out.) The new layout of the menu bar I found to be very efficient in space while at the same time allowing the great diversity of facilities to build and reports to view.

Overall this is just a great tower simulation. If you still like to play SimTower once in a while (I still do) then I would recommend buying this game. (Until March 2 it's only $30!) The new features are well worth it. It'll add life to your life, and especially to those living in your towers. If you haven't ever played SimTower, then you have no excuse not to buy this game. And for all you old-school Mac users (like me) who firmly believe that PCs are the work of Satan, then you should check out this site: http://www.yootmacfirst.com/.

 
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