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Drill Deal – Oil Tycoon Review for Nintendo Switch

Drill Deal – Oil Tycoon, by developer A2 Softworks and publisher Ultimate Games, is a strategic business simulator with blocky graphics available through Steam and more recently on the Nintendo Switch. Beginning with a small platform, the objective is to build and develop your offshore oil rig (equipped with a drill tower, crane, and two docks) as you advance in and through various levels and locations.

There are 10 levels (including a sandbox level unlocked with Level 4), each featuring different goals and obstacles. Every level begins with its own primary and secondary goals, requiring players to maintain regular business functions while defeating pirates or working through harsh weather conditions, among other difficulties. Maintaining your reputation by fulfilling contracts and leveling up, making advancements in your technology, and keeping employees happy are all part of these operations, not to mention maximizing profits and sustainability (ironic as it is). As you advance through levels, research and products are unlocked along the way.

 Drill Deal – Oil Tycoon Review for Nintendo Switch

The game opens with a lengthy, info-packed tutorial. You get a lot of controls and material thrown at you very fast, and the UI is less than intuitive. The menu options and stat features are
extensive to the point of being almost-complex; in my first few attempts at the first level (“North Shore”) it took me longer to find structures I wanted to build than it took to actually build them. With so much information packed into the tutorial, it’s hard to know what to prioritize. This steep learning curve, however, is easily overcome through the first level. Although there are mines surrounding your rig, there’s no immediate threat, leaving you with ample time to familiarize yourself with everything before tackling the level’s objective of destroying the mines.

That said, I did have to start the first level over more than once. Strategizing how to manage employee contentment, money, and energy would’ve been much easier with a perhaps more applicable tutorial. Similarly, knowing everything you need to do is a bit difficult to follow in the beginning. But once you fulfill your first objective or two in level one, it’s easy to get into a flow and keep up with optimizing profits and employee satisfaction.

To move on, you only need one star, which can be earned by completing one main goal. I definitely recommend trying to achieve all three stars before moving on, but there’s no notable difference in play aside from the amount of experience you gain. Unless, of course, your goal is to get to the sandbox level, then get there as fast as you can! As much fun as I had with each
target-based level, it was calming and a lot of fun to manage an oil rig with no fires or pirates trying to destroy it. And if you’re worried about missing the ghosts, employees will still bring them back from their expeditions when you’re hoping to receive treasure…

Overall, I had a lot of fun playing Drill Deal – Oil Tycoon. Despite being thoroughly confused immediately after the tutorial, it was definitely helpful! The mechanics are great, and the
objectives are challenging enough to make for exciting play while not being difficult enough to cause stress or make achieving 3 stars impossible. The soundtrack isn’t extravagant, but the
wave sounds make for relaxing play, especially in the sandbox level. Accompanied by pleasant music, I found that the sound within the game really helped me get into it. I’m usually not a big fan of tycoon games, but I definitely have to give this one a solid 8/10!

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From playing games since I could get my hands on the controls to reading game-centered sci-fi, video games have been and always will be a huge part of my life. Currently pursuing a degree akin to game design, I'm nursing the goal of breaking into game development myself. (I'm also, admittedly, a sucker for any game with stellar aesthetics.)