Blockbuster Inc. Review | PC

From a bygone era, Blockbuster Inc. brings back the freedom of finding hidden talent and directing movies.

By AtillaTuran, Posted 22 Jun 2024

Simulation games, mixed with strategy elements, have been always a great way to introduce people to management. Not only does it help with coordination, but it also paves the way to adulthood with lots of multitasking and unfortunately, unnecessary amounts of responsibilities given at the time. But for kids, a simple video game used to help them a lot with creating their own world while keeping themselves entertained with games like Theme Hospital and RollerCoaster Tycoon.

Blockbuster Inc., Gameplay, Review, Management, Movies, Strategy, NoobFeed

These games mostly flew under the radar as they were mostly available for the PC platform, and let’s be real, kids in those times would rather play 3D platformer games with polygonal graphics than start a business. So it catered to more mature audiences with the intention of either killing time or getting better at managing their small businesses. Fast forward 30 or so years later, the classic simulation games are reemerging from their dust-filled boxes, albeit with some new make-up and different approaches.

One of the games I have given the example of, Theme Hospital, had a resurrection under Sega’s own branding with the name of Two Point Hospital. Two Point Hospital had a very similar approach to managing hospital work with setting up the building, finding employees, and managing a whole business- while keeping the slapstick humor of the original title. Along with these resurrections, one of the other classic titles reappeared again, and that title belongs to Movies Inc.

As the name suggests, in Movies Inc., players were diving into the detailed world of movie making, getting their contracts, making stars famous, and everything in between. The charm of crude animations and being allowed to completely rule your own production studio was completely nuts for its time, as you could also edit your own movies and choose anything you thought was suitable for a better outcome on the movie.

The idea of managing a movie studio in a video game was lost for quite a long time, as Movies Inc. led the charts for its still relevant and fun gameplay until Blockbuster Inc. came along and basically provided a similar experience for the newer generation of players. Blockbuster Inc. was made by three people and it is quite impressive to see such a detailed outcome, the gameplay feels natural to what we have seen in Movies Inc. so, kudos to that.

Blockbuster Inc., Gameplay, Review, Management, Movies, Strategy, NoobFeed

Like a typical strategy game, Blockbuster Inc. starts with a detailed tutorial on how to handle your aspiring business. Setting up a movie studio, building certain rooms and pathways, and hiring dedicated staff for each work are a few of them. You might think it’s just a straight-up, brief tutorial but it actually lasts around 45 minutes so, you must hold your horses for quite a while before jumping in.

It is great that Blockbuster Inc. has lots of details for players to check before making their own movie and start earning some hard-earned dosh. However, it is one of those games that become rather dull very quickly once you get a grasp of what the game has to offer. Sure, there are extra steps to take care of once you level up and get used to making short movies, but the premise of making movies is always the same.

Once you hire the necessary people to create a movie, all you have to do is set the genres, themes, and scenes. Freedom in Blockbuster Inc. exists to some degree, unfortunately, those feel a bit short as all you can do is just give commands to actors, change their animations, and change the camera. In The Movies, however, the players had quite a lot of options to make the movie as funny or dramatic as much as they could. So, although the idea is there, the execution is quite a bit lacking.

Since Blockbuster Inc. is currently under the “full release” phase, you would expect some parts to be rather polished and met with proper standards for the enjoyers of the genre. It becomes rather blatant when some of the bugs start sticking out like a sore thumb as you play through. Such as the difficulty being nonexistent and rooms you have created serve no purpose.

Blockbuster Inc., Gameplay, Review, Management, Movies, Strategy, NoobFeed

In the tutorial, the game strictly teaches you to set custom buildings with certain objects to make them special rooms, like a producer's or writer's office. Just like any other job, your recruits have to have breaks during work, setting up a building with couches and pool tables unfortunately does not make it a special room for employees to ease off the stress so I couldn’t understand why their social rating was going down.

In the other part of things that need to be changed, the lack of difficulty kind of makes Blockbuster Inc. a cakewalk. For example, the game sets missions for players to achieve in a certain amount of time. Since the game starts off with themes from 1920 and gradually becomes more and more advanced, your upcoming goals are set in a way that would give you bigger rewards. However, these objectives are so easy to grab, that there is a potential for you to dominate the market by 1925.

Of course, there is a slider for difficulty, such as starting with lower money and gradually making your way up to the top with barely any money. By the time you make your second movie, you can easily reach the money you started with. It gets even easier when the movies constantly bring in revenue because it's an art form that can be consumed indefinitely.

What made me think that the missions were kind of redundant for the players is that they are restricted on time, trying to give some edge to people to fulfill that mission in a said time. However, if the mission is making some reachable money in around 5 years of time, then I easily assume the rest of the missions are not going to be different at all.

Blockbuster Inc., Gameplay, Review, Management, Movies, Strategy, NoobFeed

Blockbuster Inc. is rather detailed as you need to care about every little step of creating a favorable movie as much as possible, but the steps become a chore later on because of the repetitive and reoccurring actions. Sure, there is a sweet spot to steal the hearts of the critics for making movies and revenue better, but since there is zero competition between rival companies, you can just expect to buy them outright in the first ten years of the timeline.

While the premise of Blockbuster Inc. is to remember the old times, it unfortunately falls short of the experience it is supposed to give. Since it had its fair share of feedback on the early access phase, the developers could have worked on what people wanted but seems like these requests are slowly being made instead of being released with the game.

It is no stranger that most developers first release and then work on their game, this type of approach could be neat if developers are serious about their product, but Blockbuster Inc. seems like a novelty for now, at least until new packs and content start arriving.


For what stands, it is just better to go back and play the original The Movies game as it provides more content and freedom over players’ choices. As for Blockbuster Inc., I’d say there is still time for it to be worked on before a full release. The mix of lacking options and ease of dominating the whole business might just throw off people right away. Since there are a very small amount of people who are working on pushing updates for Blockbuster Inc., it might take some time until it provides a worthy time to invest your time in, but for now, it is better to just stick to originals.

Atilla Turan (@burningarrow)
Editor, NoobFeed

comments powered by Disqus


General Information

Platform(s): PC
Publisher(s): Ancient Forge
Developer(s): Super Sly Fox
Genres: Simulation
Themes: Management
Release Date: 2024-06-08

View All

Popular Articles