A game reviewer for several years, Jordan reviews games from any decade. They tend to ramble about game design and old media.
Take on your own workshop! Little Big Workshop puts you in the shoes of managing your own little team of gnomes to make various items, fulfill contracts, and keep team morale high.
If you can buckle down and keep up, you might just have a huge factory of your own!
The best way to describe the visuals in Little Big Workshop would be, charming. Nice vibrant colors, many of the objects looking a little sharp on some edges, but intentional, as the game utilizes toys to represent what you are doing. Toy trucks pull into your workshop and deliver supplies to you or for you, the little workers you have all have gnome-like appearances. The best way to compare it would be to say everything looks handcrafted.
It is a really nice creative choice when you compare it to other simulation or management games, where they could have just had cookie-cutter, boring visuals. I think the decision was the proper one.
The music and sounds are decent in what they are to represent. You hear the working of various machines, some of the special events have their own little noises, and the music is calm and peaceful. The clients you take all have their own individual voices. In other games, I would complain and say that this was not nearly enough, but at the same time, for a game like this, what more could you have done?
This was the area of the review I was most conflicted about, I can neither give it a plus or a negative, it just sits right in the middle, not really swaying either way.
The bread and butter of the game, and as it should be for a management game! You take control of a little tabletop workshop with handcrafted pieces and sets. You take contracts from clients, for example, one client wants 10 chairs made. So, you have to plan on a blueprint for the chair:
- What material do we use for the various pieces?
- What shapes do we make them?
- What are the costs of the materials?
- Can we use cheaper material?
Everything you decide will also require tools for the task, some tables can do multiple things decently, some can only do one thing, but really well. With the limited space you have in your workshop, you have to plan everything carefully to make sure you don't knock yourself out of the game early, just because you forgot one machine.
Your money is always ticking down, you have to build a break room which is always costing money to refill, you have to pay your workers, and you have to pay for general upkeep (the machines, materials, etc).
On top of everything else, you also have to be careful because the game introduces small events, things that can also knock down your ability to make things and money, fall into the negative too far and it is game over. However, the little minigames that introduce these problems are a fun little distraction for doing the same tasks over and over.
Which is something you do very often, in a management game, for a workshop. I would not go into this game expecting some grand adventure game. You own a little workshop and you try to make it a success. It is a fun little game that I could see adding some content later, I kept wondering if they might do a Santa themed pack around the holidays.
Very high for this title, many times I would restart my factory just to try and change one major thing to see how it would improve my performance. There are many objects to make, plan, and design.
While at first I was investing hours upon hours into it, it has become that little game I turn on when I just want something a little slower, where I can just relax and play a little game where I manage things. It is a really good cool-down game after a long day of classes or working on something.
I got confused quite a bit in the beginning. The game needs a little more done to maybe remind, or show players when something in the game isn't working correctly. In the beginning, my production would halt and I had no idea why my workers were doing nothing until I checked every individual machine to see what the issue was.
While that may be a minor nitpick I hope it is addressed. However, after playing the game for double-digit hours by now, I would say that once you can figure that out and check your assembly often, it is easy to catch on to what exactly needs to be done.
AND PLAN, PLAN, PLAN. I can not stress that enough. it will do you wonders for later in your game.
Overall, sitting in the market where management games on console feel few and far between, Little Big Workshop went above the expectations for a console port and is something I will be coming back to for quite some time.
Simplistic and refreshing visuals
Needs some mechanic fixes
Welcomes thinking outside the box
A bigger variety of music would be welcome
Throws twists in to keep it interesting
Please work on a assembly notification system