Become the next oil tycoon in this interesting twist on the genre.

by Jay | Aug 2, 2015 | Turmoil | Early Access Version: Update #4

Note: This article is over 12 months old, covering a game that was in development and the game may or may not have changed since this article was published.

The year is 1899 and there is oil in the ground! The recipe for success in Turmoil is simple: build oil derricks, pump your oil and sell it for as much as you can. Of course there is a little more to it than that but we will get back to soon. Turmoil, being developed by Gamious is quite simply a game I didn’t know I wanted, and I’ve wanted it for a long time.

It immediately got me hooked, and what was supposed to be a quick look before I tucked in, turned into a 3 hour play session. The game starts you off with a short and to-the-point tutorial which shows you everything you need to know from striking oil to selling it. Then it quickly moves along, allowing you to build your empire and unleash the oil baron you always had inside you.

Fairly early development of a plot. Oil has been struck!

Fairly early development of a plot. Oil has been struck! Unfortunately, this seems to be a bad plot.

As you progress through the game, you bid on new plots of land and move from area to area, and in each new area you have to use a dowser or a mole! Yes, you heard that right, who knew moles were employed by the oil industry? After good guy dowser locates the oil for you, you can set up a derrick and start drilling. Now, once you have your oil flowing, you need to sell it, or store it in tanks if the price is low.

It can be challenging at times to store or get rid of your oil, and if you are like me and your brain goes “expand, expand, EXPAND!!” you can sometimes be forced to sell at unfavorable prices, which will come back to bite you when you get back to town and can’t afford that awesome new drilling gear! And without money, you are going to have to deal with Jill:

Jill won't even let me go for a joyride without buying land first.

This is the town view, where you upgrade and have some interaction with your opponents. Jill won’t even let me go for a joyride without buying land first.

The core features of Turmoil are very solid and you can tell from the state of the GUI that the developers themselves play the game extensively as everything is located exactly where you would want it to be and tells you exactly what you need to know. All that translates into a smooth and enjoyable gaming experience. However, in its current state the game does get fairly repetitive as there is very little variation from one plot of land to the next; it would benefit greatly from additional tasks.

The difficulty could also use a tweak or alternatively, additional difficulty levels as I never really had any trouble at all affording the plots I wanted or the upgrades I needed. By the time I was done with the first area I had unlocked all the upgrades it has to offer and could immediately unlock all the new upgrades the second area unlocked.

I also miss more interaction with the competitors. This could both increase the difficulty through acts of sabotage or the need to hire security and would be a welcome addition to the competitors as right now all they do now is occasionally enter a bidding war with you between levels.

On the plus side I didn’t experience any bugs at all for the 3 hours I was playing and apart from what appeared to be some minor AI priority issue: the carts couldn’t decide which derrick to go to for a little while before deciding and moving on. Other than that there is nothing to mention at all in this regard.

It will be interesting to see where Gamious take Turmoil from here and from reading their blog there seems to be much in the works yet when it comes to features: a new resource, natural gas, as well as a more fleshed out campaign, and it has already come a long way from its inception.

All in all Turmoil is a fun game that I cannot wait to play again when it has little more depth and some more features. Hopefully this will happen fast!

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