Rise of Industry makes an evolving, adaptive puzzle out of supply chain simulation.
Rise of Industry's polygonal trucks and farms draw onto your map with a cuteness that belies their capitalist designs . Towns that once boasted a single grocery and tailor develop greater appetites, and then consume the countryside. Toxic fumes from factories pollute the air next to water supplies and chicken farms, because it was efficient for you to build them that way. Health risks? What's that? You don't have to care about pollution yet in Rise of Industry, or competitors, or zeppelins — but that'll all change before you can say “Newarktown needs more hamburgers,” according to the development roadmap  provided by this fledgling title's mama bird, Dapper Penguin Studios.
This industrial management title makes an evolving, adaptive puzzle out of supply chain simulation. Already, the alpha fulfills sweet, substantial developer promises, and it does so on a schedule [EN: Well, damn]. The experience targets that elusive sweet spot for simulations: fresh yet familiar, deep but approachable, and as detail-intensive as you want it to be. Personally, I can't stop optimizing until none of my trucks, resources, or buildings are idle, and I enjoy the process because I'm well aware I could have stopped earlier. That'll do, pig, that'll do. I love sliding scales of anal retentiveness in management titles, and Rise of Industry hits that gofer on the head.
In the beginning of a new game, you construct buildings that harvest raw materials, and then you buy trucks that haul those materials to your factories. Both raw and refined goods can be sold to towns that crave them, or the State — the State being the hammerspace at the edge of your map that eats any goods you manage to ship to it and spits out mediocre payment in return. The State's a last resort for goods for which you have no other use, but towns are where the real fun is, since they implement supply and demand and react to your decisions.
O captain! My captain! of industry, sunk by your own ambitions!
After you supply a town with raw food, wood, and other easily gathered starter goods, that town's population grows. Your consumer base expands. However, so does the town's workforce, and they might decide they want to grow their own apples and pump their own water instead of buying from you. Supply goes up and price goes down, and as an entrepreneur, you have to get creative before you go broke. Forget harvesting raw materials — time to tear down your farms and build factories in their place. If that town's so dead-set on producing its own water and fruit, you'll buy their raw materials and sell it back as orange juice. Of course, you'll need to bottle it, and for bottles you need glass, so let's figure out how we're going to haul sand from the coast...
If you're not careful, you might invest heavily in a complex product that few consumers even want by the time you're done making it. You might reroute your eggs, milk, and wheat into a factory that bakes tasty pies and expect to make a killing in a city you first grew by selling raw farm products—only to find that city shrinking because you no longer supply them with the basics. Optimize and seize opportunities, but don't neglect your foundations, the mechanics preach. O captain! My captain! of industry, sunk by your own ambitions!
I look forward to the update which brings warehouses, since lack of storage space currently generates boatloads of error messages. Rise of Industry needs options to centralize distribution, and it begs for more adaptive AI that seeks to cut out the player-middleman. Luckily, Dapper Penguin Studios anticipates these needs and actively works toward them. It even lays them out in a chart. Their communication and transparency with their player base — alongside their track record for keeping feature, fix, and update promises — bode well for the title's continuing development.
Rise of Industry makes an evolving, adaptive puzzle out of supply chain simulation. The experience hits an elusive sweet spot for simulations that satisfies both noobs and hardcore simulation fans. Important features yet to be implemented include options to centralize distribution of your products, as well as more active AI for town economies. The developer anticipates these needs and actively works toward them, laying out the dates on which these features will be added on a tidy chart. This communication and transparency bodes well for the title's continuing development.