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Gearcity Review – Is It The Ultimate Business Sim?

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the ultimate business sim gearcity
Metacritic NA / Steam Very Positive

Gearcity released on Steam in Early Access in 2014.  In January it was released in its final form.  

What is Gearcity About?

In Gearcity, you are at the beginning of the car industry in Detroit (Even though the car industry actually started in Lansing).

You are in charge of everything from designing the cars, producing the cars, selling the cars, making a profit, and growing the business to multiple locations.

Just like anyone who has started a real business and scaled knows, there is a lot of micro-management involved.  

Unlike Most Tycoon Games, there is a lot more to control in Gearcity.  While the interface doesn’t look as up-to-date as it could, it probably wouldn’t in real life either, so that may be intentional on the developer’s part.

Gearcity is heavily a business and marketing sim, as opposed to a simplified Tycoon game.


Where do you begin?


Starting off the game, you are in the R&D department, which is one of my favorite parts.  

The first car I developed was bright green, had tires about 10 times too large, was extremely powerful, and (opps) the steering wheel was on the wrong side (It was an accident, I in no way thought I was making a European model.

Did I scrap it and start over?  Nope.  I put it into production and started to produce as many as I could.  I wanted to see how realistic the game was by trying to sell this completely unrealistic contraption.  

Late Notices started piling up on my desk and in three months, I was out of business.  Opps.  Try #2.

For my second car I made something that looked like an old grey model T.  The car was much more realistic, and had the correct steering layout.

grey model t

What's Next In Gearcity?

Next I started selling my car.  I realized after my first outing with my unrealistic beast of a car, balancing production and sales is important.  

If you don’t have cars to sell you can’t make money, but if you use all of your money, you can put yourself out of business.  It is a large game of balancing the books.

monthly summary gear city

You receive monthly reports, and it is important to go through them thoroughly every month.  It’s important to see where you are over-spending, or where you could spend more to create more sales.

Our Gearcity business is successful! Where do we go from here?

At this point Gearcity becomes more of a marketing sim.  You have to start opening and selling in new cities.  There are hundreds of cities that you can open more car dealerships in.  

Each city has accurate purchasing power, population, population growth, inflation, interest and market growth rates.  All of this has to be taken into consideration when deciding where to open, and how much production is needed for that specific area.

While the developers claim these figures are historically realistic, I have no way of checking that, but they do have a major effect of gameplay.

Pros and Cons of Gearcity



Final Gearcity Review

I found Gearcity to be a load of fun with the perfect balance of challenge and fun.  It takes the idea of a Tycoon Game and significantly adds to it.

While I enjoyed it, Gearcity is not going to be everybody’s cup of tea.  If you are not a fan of micromanagement, Gearcity is not your type of game.  

If you love Tycoon games but would like to see them more in depth, then Gearcity is exactly what you are going to be looking for. 


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