Constructor Plus (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Renan Fontes 27.10.2019

Review for Constructor Plus on Nintendo Switch

Like most small developers who were active in the '90s, System 3 isn't exactly churning out classic after classic anymore - at least not any new classics. In a medium where each generation potentially creates abandonware, it's important for developers to future proof their projects. Sometimes this is through porting, other times through remaking a title outright. Constructor Plus opts for the latter approach, but with a more... remaster mind-set - keeping the charm of the original intact while making the hectic management simulator more accessible to modern audiences.

In terms of tone, Constructor is perhaps most comparable to SimCity, but that brings other comparisons that really have no place in a conversation about the former. While both franchises share irreverent senses of humour, the former is more biting, more cynical, and a bit more focused all around. Tonally, at least. Construction for profit isn't exactly a hard sell, especially in a management simulator, but the element of organized crime does add another layer to everything. Not just that, the core conceit of the gameplay loop - make money by any means necessary - results in audiences needing to get their hands dirty in-game, strategically building to keep tenants happy enough to keep overpaying.

The tenant system is one of the title's most creative inclusions, and a gameplay element that can cause quite the chain reaction. Tenants are tiered in a hierarchy, and categorized with their own stats and behaviours. It's important to choose tenants carefully and to consider their pros and cons. A clean, quiet tenant may not cause trouble, but if their income is low, they won't be making money. A difficult to deal with tenant might cause issues for others, but is it that bad when they pay rent consistently?

It's not just that either - the wrong tenant pairings can lead to headaches down the road. If worse comes to worst, however, there's no harm in just letting a tenant die. After all, a dead cash flow is better than no cash flow. Tenants aren't the only ones who can die, though. The world is teeming with rivals ready to be dispatched of.

Screenshot for Constructor Plus on Nintendo Switch

Of course, not everyone has a taste for bloodlust - there are other crimes to hinder the opposition; robbery is a particularly fun one to get away with. Getting to that point takes a bit of time thanks to the slow paced lengthy tutorial, unfortunately. While it's certainly comprehensive and leaves little to the imagination, the actual gameplay loop is pretty simple.

The UI might give the impression of a more complicated building simulator, but that's just because there are so many surface level options. Very few mechanics go into further depth. Which isn't to say they are lacking in depth, it's just that the game design prioritizes quantity over quality - not necessarily a bad thing, considering the creativity at display. The tenant system doesn't go beyond the hierarchy, but it works well. Just the same, creating foremen to lug workers around from building to building, doesn't get much deeper than that, yet leveling at least keeps the process interesting.

The main campaign's difficulty curve certainly keeps gameplay engaging even if the loop is simple. Enemies really can be challenging to deal with, undermining the player at every turn. It can be stressful, but there are plenty of different scenarios and game modes to choose from. There are dozens of missions to unlock, a classic mode evocative of the original release, and a rather unique map builder.

Constructor Plus is an easy title to sink a lot of time into, especially once away from the tutorials. The majority of mechanics are simpler than they seem, but the economy of the world influences itself nicely, creating an ebb and a flow, based off how well players are managing their map. The game's sense of humour not only indulges the violent, it reaches for the stars - quite literally - featuring maps in outer space. Unashamedly itself, Constructor Plus is a product of its era in the best of ways.

Screenshot for Constructor Plus on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Simple to play, difficult to master, and oozing with late '90s charm, Constructor Plus offers a fairly strategic take on the management sim genre. The title's at times dystopian levels of capitalism not only help lend the overall experience a humorous edge, but that also ties into the cutthroat gameplay loop nicely. Money begets money, a philosophy the gameplay rewards wholeheartedly, whether building property on Earth, or in the reaches of outer space. The main game even features active opposition, keeping scenarios tense, exciting, and engaging all throughout. Constructor Plus is quite the well-constructed sim.

Also known as

Constructor Plus

Developer

System 3

Publisher

System 3

Genre

Simulation

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date None   

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