Visually, the game is not much to shout about and at times looks worrying like a Flash game, even though there are proper city views with little cars and pedestrians wandering around. The artwork is the real problem, as its scrappy style only furthers the impression of this being a low-budget mobile game (especially as there are no voiceovers) when actually it’s clear quite a bit of work and effort has gone into it.
There’s also a second game mode (a third is promised later) where you play a 50-year-old man just released from prison and that’s actually the more interesting of the two scenarios. Here you start off with a fair amount of money and merchandise, after teaming up with an old friend, but that makes things harder as you essentially skip the opening hours of the standard game and instantly get to the point where your rapid growth is no longer so easy maintain.
If all this is starting to sound a bit clinical then you’re not far wrong, as in terms of gameplay you could change the subject matter to something less controversial and it really wouldn’t make much difference at all. But when it comes to interacting with other characters Weedcraft Inc plays things very broadly, with little cartoon portraits of various drug-related stereotypes, from stoners dudes to hipsters to, rather distastefully, cancer sufferers – who are portrayed with sunken eyes and hooked up to an IV drip.
The game’s clearly trying to be irreverent, but the script isn’t clever enough for it to seem like anything but lazy and borderline offensive. There’s not nearly enough unique dialogue for any of the characters to seem like real people and the narrative side of things suffers as a result. Which is a shame because through the gameplay Weedcraft Inc is able to make some interesting points about the social-economic influence of the drugs trade.
It’s when it comes to personalising these issues that things fall down and while that still leaves you with a fairly competent business sim the chance to be something more is largely squandered.
In Short: An interesting but flawed attempt to tackle the selling and using of cannabis, that never has the courage to take itself entirely seriously.
Pros: A solid business sim that, in gameplay terms, handles the expansion from basement business to country-wide empire very well.
Cons: Plant cultivation has too many random elements. Weak script and cartoonish art style trivialises issues the gameplay itself takes seriously.
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Developer: Vile Monarch
Release Date: 11th April 2019
Age Rating: N/A
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