Money clearly doesn't make the world go round, because industrial tycoon game Rise Of Industry is made entirely out of chunky, angular polygons. Developed by Dapper Penguin Games and launching out of early access today after four years in production. It's a game all about supply chains and keeping production up to match demand, like a more zoomed-in Anno game. Instead of building cities, those grow naturally around you, as little invisible computer people offer fat sacks of cash for goods. Players build the transportation and production chains that allow those goods to be made. See how it works in the launch trailer and v1.0 dev summary below.
Our man in early access (maybe we'll release him some day) Fraser Brown took a look at Rise Of Industry a year ago, with a lot of the game's development road-map still yet to be realised. At the time, he felt that while initially accessible, the game perhaps hides too many of its pointier numeral elements at the back of the drawer, robbing it of the feedback it should have offered. While I've not had the chance to play the game to compare either way, today's release comes after several UI improvements and a lot of quality-of-life tweaking, so hopefully it should flow nicer now.
As the developer says in the video below, "even though the game is feature complete, it is not finished", detailing plans to continuing work, tweaking, tuning and balancing it according to player feedback. The most recent update (with full patch notes here) added toy stores and factories to the game, each type of toy requiring their own resources to produce and exploit for cash. Beyond that, it looks to have been mostly polishing and tuning, cleaning up the UI for a nice and professional-looking launch.
As well as the usual procedurally generated sandbox mode that you'd expect from a tycoon game, Rise Of Industry offers a more structured campaign, plus a collection of standalone scenarios. Also accompanying the release is the Recipe Book, a handy reference PDF including every production chain in the game. If you've got the toner for it, you could print it all out - how very '90s. From what I've heard from friends deep into Rise Of Industry, fans of Anno and Factorio will be best served. Transport Tycoon addicts (as I used to be) are probably best sticking with OpenTTD.