Blockbuster Inc.: Review

Blockbuster inc review cover

Blockbuster Inc. is a Hollywood-themed management game developed by Super Sly Fox and published by Ancient Forge. The game will be available on Steam from 6 June 2024.

Blockbuster Inc. allows you to create and manage a movie studio. The game is a sandbox with the 1920s as the starting date. Although it is a sandbox, we are also presented with periodic missions that give us objectives to complete in a given window of time. Achieving the objectives will give us a bigger fan base or hype for the release of our new film.

Blockbuster Inc: Lights, Camera, Action!

When we start a game in Blockbuster Inc., the first thing we have to do is choose the name of the studio, the year we are starting, and the genre and theme of the first films we are going to make. After that, we can choose to follow the in-depth tutorial, which will explain every detail about the interface and game stages of Blockbuster Inc.

At the beginning of each game, we have to design our studio offices and the sets where the films will be filmed. The construction phases remind us of the building tool from The Sims series. We can choose to create the rooms in our own way, or we can opt for pre-built rooms with all the necessary equipment for the production staff to carry out their tasks.

Blockbuster Inc screenshot 1

After building the studios, we will start hiring actors, producers, directors and all the crew needed to make a film. If we cannot find anyone we like from the thin shortlist, we can either wait a few months (day/night cycle in the game) or create the character ourselves. Again, character creation is heavily inspired by The Sims.

Staff management is not limited to paying salaries to employees, but we will also have to take care of their needs by providing quality food in the canteen, a lounge where they can relax and time to socialise with each other by adjusting working hours. Finally, if we are dealing with directors, producers and actors who have a certain level of fame, we will also have to choose a residence for them that is appropriate to their fame and pay their rent.

Blockbuster Inc screenshot

Furthermore, in order to keep up with new technologies, we will have a research and development department that will produce research points so that we can always discover new genres, themes and better equipment.

To make a film, it is necessary to build the sets on which the films are shot. Blockbuster Inc. provides a selection of sets that vary in size and theme. Once the theme and dimensions have been chosen, our task will be to add the props. These are categorised according to the theme, but we can easily put a barrel from a western film in a cyberpunk scene.

Once the sets are ready, we can start producing the film. So we choose the theme and genre, all the crew members, the sets where the different scenes will be filmed and the post-production effects. Each scene has to be shot, so it is up to us to position the actors on the set, choose the costumes, movements, stunts and framing. Furthermore, at the end of the film we will be able to watch it, edit it, add soundtracks, change the length of the scenes and even export it in mp4 format if we want to.

When the film is released, we will receive critical reviews, similar to what happened with The Movies (2005). And we will also enjoy the profits of our work. Each time we make a film, depending on the outcome, the actors will receive an increase in their fame.

Blockbuster Inc screenshot

Every year the Academy will hold a awards ceremony similar to the Oscars, where actors, films, effects and studios will be honoured. Winning awards will allow us to gain more fans, notoriety, hype or a higher price for cinema tickets.

Top & Flop

Blockbuster Inc. is heavily inspired by 2005’s The Movies, with which it shares many elements, the most obvious being the reviews you get at the end of each film and the Oscars ceremony. Of course, it also adds its own elements, such as building sets and directing scenes in the film, giving us the opportunity to create our own storyline.

Blockbuster Inc screenshot

Unfortunately, players’ creativity is limited at the moment. There is only one set per theme, many of which are clearly indoor settings, props are scarce, as are costumes, in fact there is only one type of costume per theme. The same goes for the animations and stunts, which do not fit all the themes.

Some animations that are necessary for the success of some of the suggested genres are also missing. For example, the romantic genre is present, but there is no animation of a kiss. Moreover, the characters in the scene do not interact with objects.

In the long run, this reduced variability flattens the player’s creativity, making the creation of the film repetitive, and thus the original part of the game loses its meaning. We also note that the choice of animations does not seem to affect the rating and the audience of the film.

In terms of management, however, the title defends itself well, allowing us to make financial acquisitions of rival studios, negotiate higher salaries with the stars of other studios to get them on our side, and take out loans. We can also take care of the training of all the staff. What is missing, however, is the presence of a monetary inflation system, which is common in many tycoons with a timeline, but we do not consider this to be a significant flaw.

Our verdict

Blockbuster Inc. entertained us, but still needs smoothing out to become a worthy successor and alternative to The Movies.

  • Sets creator
  • Opportunity for filming of scenes
  • Good tycoon
  • Few animations
  • Few costumes and set elements