Virtual Businesses Take Shape on the iPad With The Syndicate! HD

The Syndicate HDIt seems to be a week of business-oriented games. After looking at a new Facebook title by the name of Office Daze, we stumbled across a high quality iPad application of a similar nature. Dubbed The Syndicate! HD, the game takes more of a role-playing stance on building out corporations, playing down the elements of virtual spaces. It’s created by Game Insight, a Moscow-based company of more than 200 developers led by a team with experience from Mail.ru and Microsoft.

Truth be told, however, the game feels dramatically similar to the RPG of Ponzi Inc. from the then Challenge Games, at least in its core elements. Obviously, this makes for the biggest complaint to be had, but one thing that does change up, is the inclusion of a few more interesting social mechanics.

So players have started up a new business, and it isn’t much yet. Starting with a rundown trailer, users are tasked with turning it into a towering skyscraper worthy of a successful corporation. Doing so, however, is not as complicated as one might think, as the game revolves around simple resource management.

EmployeesDepending on the current size of the player’s building, they can hire a maximum number of employees to do jobs. Each job requires a certain number of employees to accomplish, and as one might expect, bigger jobs both take longer to complete, use more employees, and earn more money. One of the aspects of the jobs worth noting, is that the game isn’t too strict on “expiration,” meaning that the earnings are lost if the player doesn’t check back frequently. Players actually have up to 28 hours to claim rewards, with bonuses granted if they claim it on time.

Most jobs will also require certain items to accomplish. Actually, this is the closest Syndicate gets to a virtual space, for players must purchase items such as a computer, phone, safe, and so on to unlock a majority of the work they can do. Unfortunately, players cannot decorate the various rooms of their building as they see fit, but rather, the items are delivered (over a set amount of time) and placed in set areas.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that there is no visual reward. On the contrary, as players level up, they will be able to not only add more rooms but upgrade each of the items and their overall building. Over time, these items will slowly transform from archaic and shabby to slick and progressive.

OfficeAside from reward and unlocking jobs, items also improve the statistics of morale and productivity. Each of these are affected, in a negative respect, by the number of employees one has. The former is a stat that the player must keep above 75% in order to get work done, while the latter, augments fiscal rewards from jobs. Essentially, the higher productivity is, the more money users can earn.

Obviously, this is a wee bit important, as growing a business gets rather pricey. This is more than just buying new rooms and equipment though, as the non-player employees cost money as well. It is also worth noting, that only ten can be hired at any given time, as it takes an hour or so for new faces to show up. Additionally, only five can be purchased with in-game currency. The other five require virtual currency.

As Syndicate is free-to-play, this becomes the primary monetization factor with the game. Nevertheless, the currency is not used on items for the office (like the virtual space genre of game), but on various perks and bonuses. Essentially, these come in the form of speeding up job times, deliveries, or boosting stats such as morale and productivity for finite amounts of time.