Have you always wanted to work in a quarry and mine all that stone? Have you ever dreamed of being the best stone quarry guy in the world? Well, I can’t guarantee you a real life job, but I can guarantee you with a virtual play field that tries to simulate some real life work experience. Thus, I present to you the almighty Stone Quarry Simulator. Developed by Astragon and published by Excalibur Publishing. So strap on those steel toe-capped boots and grab that hard hat as you enter the hard-grafting world of a quarry worker.
So where do we begin? Well, the tutorial section is probably the best place to start. Here you will learn all the basic controls and get a chance to try your hand at everything from blowing big holes in the ground to using a pneumatic drill. There are a number of different vehicles and tools to master. They are all used for different tasks. We have wheel loaders that you see often, that you can attach various tools to. These range from a shovel to a massive chain saw device that you can use to cut perfect blocks of stone with. The handiest tool I found was the mammoth dumper trucks that have wheels three times the size of you. Once you have completed the tutorial, you feel pretty well equipped to set off and begin the career mode.
In the career mode you start off with the most basic tools and vehicles. The story behind it is pretty much the same as all of these simulation titles that Excalibur Publishing are churning out; you have set-up your new company (which you get to name) and have to deliver the goods ordered by your customers. The further you get into your career and the faster you fulfil orders correctly, means you can buy more equipment to make your life easier. A prime example of this is for your first order; you have to make some gravel. Annoyingly you don’t have a dumper truck so you have to scoop some gravel up with your wheel loader using the shovel attachment and drive a long way to the grinder that grinds your stone chunks into gravel. You need to make about 5 trips in all. This becomes tedious, although I suppose I should have expected that as it is a simulation after all. To combat my boredom of this mundane task, I played my own music in the background to make the time fly past.
The controls in this game are very fiddly. I often found myself getting stuck in the scenery and found the controls took me a good bit of time to master correctly. Also I have to point out that during the tutorial it tells you which keys to use for each action. However, some of the keys I was told to use were wrong and I had to find them myself. I mean, come on!! This is pretty basic game design, can the beta testers not find this. Saying that, I am not sure they did much beta testing here. This game is riddled with issues. From the graphics being appalling and the fact that there is so much texture tearing and glitches going on to the fact that I got stuck many times on a simple stone and had to reset the task I was on. This is pretty shoddy, and makes this game feel like a game from the eighties not the modern age we live in now.
This game is pretty bad in a number of areas. If you have a great thirst to learn the ways of running a quarry and what goes on there, then this is the game for you. Like all of the Excalibur Publishing simulation games I have played and reviewed however, I have to tell you it’s very sub-standard. These games could be so much better if they pumped more money into making them. I am sure that Astragod do the best they can within the budget, but you can tell they are using the same graphics engine all the time and it is starting to look very dated. The simulation market seems to be closing rapidly, which is why I feel publishers are starting to be wary about investing in this type of game. I am sure this is not the last simulation game we will see, what will come next? Pub Manager maybe? That would be my kind of game.
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