Updated: Dec 5, 2020
I spent my time not sleeping last night because I started playing Little Big Workshop. Little Big Workshop is a factory simulation game where you manage a miniature factory for some big production. You have to control your workers, stations, machines, and design amazing things from toys to furniture that meet prospective buyer product specs.
My first few minutes of the game were rather frustrating; the tutorial had several bugs in it. If you don’t do something exactly how it says, you get stuck. I had to restart four times to complete it. To be fair, if it wasn’t for the three-hour blog project, where I must try each game for at least three hours, I would have probably just hit uninstall because it was already late, and I lack patience.
That said, once I got through the tutorial, I didn’t experience any real bugs beyond the responsiveness of the game speed controls. I would have to mash pause a few times to get it to respond from high speed. Again, back patience thing, I like to fast forward through production as it would be redundant otherwise.
The graphics are cute, and I love the concept of this little factory on a drafting board in an office. You get calls on the big phone, which part of me chuckled at. Who even sees phones like that anymore? Even office phones today are generally sleeker in design. I just loved the retro feel of it. But then again, drafting boards are probably getting outdated with computers, but that is speculation as I don’t work in those fields. And even though it is this little model factory, it does pump out some really cool items so great way to play up the name.
So, onto production, I found it really bright how they have you design a product. The design screen is neat once you get the hang of it. The tutorial didn’t do an excellent job of teaching you how to change your mind and back up a production line to pick a different route. I do like how it saves your recipe or design so you can reuse it again if it meets client or market specs, or just hit copy so you can make a few small changes without starting over.
The game really hits its stride with work boards. When you can balance machines and tools for a project. They are not super smart, but you can go into a machine and split loads and reorder the production queue to make it a little more efficient. An example would be making two different kinds of padded cushions for a chair and having two machines. It makes sense to put them both on their own tool, then splitting out the backrest and the bottom seat after. Then it hits assembly faster, and since most customer orders have a time limit for delivery, time is of the essence.
The game also has some random events that pop up. I highly suggest getting them done because whatever it is can spread, but more importantly, it is generally a good chunk of change for completing them. Especially early on when money seems tighter to come by. I had to sell some machines more than once to avoid bankruptcy, but it works.
There is also research points that can be spent to make workers specialized and some other things. I couldn’t tell you how I got the points. They seemed slow to come, so maybe through experience? I never paid enough attention until I saw the little icon over the research panel to open it and spend it. I did put my points on specializing my workers as soon as I could. I am not sure if that was ideal or not. I didn’t see an increase in production speed or efficiency. It just seemed like they were less efficient overall, but it was getting really late at this point, so I could be wrong.
Overall, I liked the game, I enjoyed playing it and will continue to play it as I like management sims. But would I rebuy it? This is a tough one, but I would almost say not right now unless it is a hot sale. It is clear there are still kinks being worked out, but the development team seems to be actively addressing it. The game is still rather new, so this is almost to be expected, but it is not an early release so torn there. It does have the makings of a fantastic game with a super cute concept, so I don’t regret this purchase.
Game: Little Big Workshop
Developer: Mirage Game Studios
Initial Release Date: October 17, 2019
Knowing what I know now, would I repurchase it? Yes