Eidos Interactive jumps into the fray of sim management with Virtual Resort: Spring Break. While at first glance, this may appear like just another tycoon style game, it goes about it from a slightly different approach. The object of the game is to cater to guests that arrive on your beach front resort via boat or bus. These guests want the typical things everyone wants while on vacation, to be entertained. The entertainment ranges from providing beach rentals (surfboards, beach chairs, paddleboats, etc), to building dance clubs and themed bars. Of course you must make sure there is adequate food venues ranging from beach barbeques to sophisticated restaurants for those with more mature tastes. Being the ever vigilant manager that you are, the safety of your guests is a top priority as well. After all, would you go to a beach resort that allows its guests to drown?
As with most sim management games, the better your guests are treated, the more money you make, which as any good manager would, you turn right around and spend on your resort, making it bigger and better. Like most business sims, Spring Break allows you to adjust pricing and value of all your services. Nothing better than raising the price and lowering the quality of the beer your serving your guests. Of course, everything you do has its consequences. Keep serving your guests low grade beer at sky high prices, and they are bound to take their vacation business elsewhere.
The game is played in 2 modes. There are preset scenarios that usually entail you taking over a failing resort and turning it into a thriving resort within a set time limit. Usually, the reason for the resort failing is because of lack of entertainment, too many drowning guests, or just plain being run down and in desperate need of repair and revamping. Once you have completed a scenario, it becomes available in sandbox mode which allows you to explore different possibilities without a set time limit, or pre-built requirements.
The only thing lacking in this game is variety. When it comes to guest safety, the only thing available for you to build is lifeguard towers. Sure, you can build a store, but what about the products that store sells? Games such as Roller Coaster Tycoon, and Themepark allowed you to do research which in turn would allow you to upgrade various rides and items sold throughout your park. This is sorely lacking in Spring Break.
The graphics throughout the game are pretty standard for a tycoon or sim management type game. It is a top down ¾ view. One thing that should be noted:
During the loading stage, you are presented with slash screens showing babes in bikinis with chesty assets. In my opinion, this tends to give the wrong impression about this game. This game is very tame, quite the opposite of what one might be lead to believe by seeing the screens as the game loads.
The interface is standard mouse driven point, drag and click. I didn't run into any issues.
In a nutshell, Spring Break is a typical tycoon style game. Your job is to keep the customer happy, and keep your resort a well oiled capitalist revenue generating machine. Spring break has its various charms, but not unlike most spring break vacations, its over right when you just start enjoying it.