Drill Deal – Oil Tycoon review for PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch

Platform: PS4
Also on: PC, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One
Publisher: Ultimate Games
Developer: Ultimate Games
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: E10+

Seeing as I’m a pretty staunch environmentalist, I have…let’s say, “issues” with the very existence of Drill Deal – Oil Tycoon. At a time when we need to be moving away from petroleum products as quickly as possible, it’s kind of morally repugnant to have a game that glamorizes working on something as environmentally destructive as an oil rig.

Now that I’ve said my piece, how is Drill Deal – Oil Tycoon as a game, rather than as a propaganda tool for an industry that’s trying to kill us all?

All things considered, surprisingly not bad.

What’s more, it’s surprising not because it’s a half-decent game about destroying the Earth, but rather because it’s half-decent at all. Ultimate Games have a track record of churning out games that could charitably be described as complete and utter garbage. For them to come out with a game like Drill Deal that’s actually functional counts as a point in its favour.

What sets it apart from games like Castle Renovator or Ship Graveyard Simulator is that Drill Deal makes an effort to vary up its gameplay. It’s not just the same mindless task over and over again, but rather different scenarios – whether it’s clearing mines, fighting off pirate attacks, or even building an eco-friendly rig, Drill Deal actively tries to engage players and get them to use different approaches in different situations.

It also helps, too, that Drill Deal’s mechanics don’t require as much precision as, say, fiddling around with tiny screws. An oil rig is obviously a much bigger endeavour, and it gives you a lot more room to work with. Couple that with controls that feel like they were properly adapted to console (rather than just doing a barebones PC port and hoping players could figure it out), and you can see why the end result works relatively well.

I mean, Drill Deal is far from perfect in that respect. It still requires a lot of scrolling through menus, and even if it’s easier here than in other simulator games, it’s still much better suited to a mouse and keyboard than a controller. The other problem with the game is that the AI is pretty stupid: they tend not to do the obvious tasks, like repairing broken machines, which means you need to hire a lot of workers and hope that the sheer number means some of them do the right things at any given time.

But on the whole, Drill Deal is far better than it has any right to be. It’s not about to make me run out and buy a car or change my attitude towards the oil industry (for the record: still wholly against it), but as these kinds of simulators go, I’d be lying if I said it was anything other than a solid game.

Ultimate Games provided us with a Drill Deal – Oil Tycoon PS4 code for review purposes.

Grade: B