Friday, March 4, 2011


There is something about tycoon games that keeps me hooked.  The first time I played one  was when a cousin introduced me to the world of Aerobiz Supersonic.

The game lets you be an airline operator.  Your goal is to open flight destinations across the globe.  Part of the airline expansion is the sound management of your cash flow. More profits mean more planes and more planes mean more cities.  Though my cousin always beat me in that simulation, to learn how to spend and earn from your imaginary money when you're ten years old is already a feat by itself.

Fast forward a few years later, the cousin - my favorite aunt's son - had outgrown our juvenile pastime. Meanwhile, my interest in strategy games has become an addiction that more time was allotted for it than with my school homework. There was Civilization, Sim City, Master of Orion,  X-Com, Heroes of Might and Magic, Warcraft and a slew of other games that were DOS compatible.  I spent all my money renting personal computers outside the campus just to play them.  

And when my dad bought my first desktop computer, I didn't leave the house for weeks. 

This desire - to make profit out of nothing, to conquer realms unclaimed by others, to make order out of chaos transcended into tycoon games whose single aim is to make profit. I remember wasting a day from morning to midnight trying to cover the sixty years, which the game Transport Tycoon lets you play. 

From the name itself,  Transport Tycoon is about managing transport networks. Using a variety of vehicles, including trains, airplanes and buses, the goal is to connect towns and factories by  building  roads and bridges.  Like in all business simulation games, the lesson learned is to start small and expand slowly. Better to secure your holdings than lose control by spreading too thinly across the map. 

This is how I manage to keep an upper hand in all simulation games. Sadly, the lessons hardly apply in real life. 

The hours rolled into eons.  I was able to run a business operation for two weeks, only to learn a couple of years later that I have no stomach to endure a protracted battle to turn around a bankrupt company.  I worked for a bunch of small companies and saw how fortunes rose and ebbed.  I learned how to live off with spare change masquerading as my salary with three credit cards, a postpaid bill and a premium cable service. I have a dwindling savings, which may collapse at any moment yet still, I manage to keep myself in black.

Sometimes I wonder if I was able to pick anything from my lifelong passion.  Did it make me become a wise spender and a fast learner? Did it trickle past the decade of stale living to reassert itself as a worthwhile preoccupation. Last week, I was able to download an open source version of Transport Tycoon Deluxe. The game keeps me up all night, challenging myself again and again to break the record of how fast I could turn a loss into profit.

In the end, I may not know if there's a connection. But given a better choice, I wish my penchant for tycoon games taught me to become a bold money maker in real life. 


Kiks said...

all these games [g] are just like those mini-games from

they are mini-doors to enter and escape from the reality every now and then. what happens there are small gratifications because we know life is hard in this world of ours.

i did enjoy civilizations though. i became, much to my disgust, president marcos.

Sean said...

I like rpgs though it has been a while since i played. I like the feeling of being in control and unlike life, i could easily revert to the last saved game or if necessary, start over again. Have a good weekend mugen.

Anonymous said...

ako, i play airwaysim. adik talaga ako sa airplanes, airports and things related to those.

someday, i'll own an airline company. someday.


Spiral Prince said...

I'd like to think it taught you a think or two managing things, or making decisions. A few games taught me that.

Mu[g]en said...

Spiral Prince: I wish. Looking back, I think what the games taught me to become a control freak. Hahaha. :) Happy weekend!

Yuan: I hope you will, who knows. Do you know there are people whose passion is to talk about airline liveries? :)

Mu[g]en said...


So nahilig ka rin sa neverwinter nights? Nag RPG lang ako sa Diablo. Saka dun sa mga Japanese adult games na kelangan may quest ka bago kanain yung mga haponesa na characters. Lol.

Have a great weekend!


And I had my Jomanian Empire. Hahaha.

Wait till I tell u that I tried having second life with Sims. Grabe.

Desperate Houseboy said...

papa Mugs, me ganyan na palang mga games ngayun. tekken pa rin ang alam ko. im so 80s to 90s pa rin pagdating sa ganyan. di nga ako sanay gumamit ng psp. hehehe

nOx said...

i'm not really into pc games for reasons unknown to me. ps games on the other hand, i like. a lot. lalo na ang ff series. special mention to ff 7 and 10 :))

Mu[g]en said...


Had I been introduced to PS, I would get addicted to the games in that console. Hehehe.


This is a revived version of an old game. Pang XP siya pero it used to be playable with DOS.

my journey said...

it did. coz you're good in everything..especially when it comes to money matters :)

im sure that altis will be yours soon