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Weedcraft Inc Review

Edited by: Tiffany Lillie

Weedcraft Inc. is a management-based, tycoon simulator focused on the cannabis industry and all that it entails, both from the legal and illegal perspectives. Published by Devolver Digital and developed by Vile Monarch, you can choose between playing as an ex-MBA student or a released ex-convict. In either the case, your main goal remains the same: build a successful business growing and selling marijuana.

MANAGE, MANAGE, MANAGE

At its core, Weedcraft Inc. is a management game through and through. Right off the bat, you’re tasked with planting and growing your first strain of weed, which requires consistent watering and trimming to build up the quality and help it grow faster. This is just the first taste of the extensive management mechanics you’ll find, as more and more become available as your business progresses. From identifying and creating the ideal room conditions for each type of marijuana strain, to synthesizing brand new types of weed to suit your customers’ needs, you’ll find that there is much more that goes into your business than meets the eye. The management mechanics are impressive, and are more than up to par with the expectations of the genre.

Though the ample management needs fit well with the tycoon-style simulation, they can also devolve into tedious micromanagement at times. After an hour or two, watering and trimming plants can quickly become tiresome and while you can hire employees to automate the task, you’ll likely have to intervene until they’re fully trained. There can also be quite a bit of waiting around and fast-forwarding time while you wait for the strains to grow, which doesn’t always make for entertaining gameplay.

SOCIAL ASPECTS

In addition to being able to grow, sell, and synthesize new strains of weed, there are also several management features surrounding social interactions as well. You can hire employees and befriend them to do favors, or blackmail them into working for free. Similarly, you can also befriend your competition to join forces and gang up on another competitor, or you can dig up some dirt and blackmail them into finding a new place to deal or dispense drugs. The social aspects help to add some variety to your play style, allowing you to choose what type of business you want to run and what type of image you want to show the world.

While the characters you can interact with do help to add in some variety, they aren’t particularly fleshed out. Talking with them and building up your relationship can be pretty boring at times, especially when they repeat the same lines as the other characters you talked to previously. The dialogue also lacks consistency, such as how a character might reveal that they have two dogs, only for them to say that they’re too busy and do not own any pets in the next dialogue. These repetitive dialogue choices and inconsistent lines can take you out of the gameplay, which does detract from the appeal overall.

INSIGHT INTO A CONTROVERSIAL WORLD

Weedcraft Inc. is described as taking a controversial topic and presenting it in an insightful manner, but I’m not entirely sure that promise is delivered. While credit should definitely be given to the fact that all aspects of the industry are explored — the corruption present in both legal and illegal forms, the consequences of working illegally versus the hardships of working legally, etc. — there are also quite a few stereotypical tropes presented. You’ll find the standard vagrants, stoners, hipsters, metalheads, and hippies all associated with the industry, which doesn’t really add any insight into the consumer base. Additionally, cancer patients are depicted as pale and holding IV bags, PTSD patients are shown clutching their heads, and epilepsy patients are presented as having electrodes glued to their skulls. Though the game has more of a dark humor and these portrayals were likely meant to be part of the comedic undertones, they don’t exactly help to sell an “insightful” look into the medical side of the cannabis industry. Ultimately, it seems like there was a missed opportunity to accurately depict or offer a new look into cannabis users that was instead traded for more humor.

6

The Verdict: Good

As a management-based game, Weedcraft Inc. has an impressive amount of mechanics and a nice variety of play styles available, however, it suffers from a few tedious features and lacks depth in its social aspects. If you’re a fan of the subject matter or you enjoy the tycoon simulation genre, you’ll likely enjoy what’s presented, but don’t expect a fully nuanced take on the world of cannabis.

See About Us to learn how we score

Jade Swann
Written by
Thursday, 16 May 2019 17:08
Published in Strategy

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Jade Swann is an avid video game player and fiction writer. She loves getting lost in open-world RPG’s, making tough choices in story-driven games, and is a big fan of the horror genre. Some of her favorite games include Fallout 3, Fallout 4, Skyrim, Planet Coaster, and The Sims 4. When not immersed in the world of video games, she can be found reading, writing, or spending time with her very lazy Boston Terrier.

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