Showtime – Review
Follow Genre: text-based simulation game
Developer: Myrtilus Entertainment
Publisher: Myrtilus Entertainment
Platform: PC

Showtime – Review

Site Score
4.9
Good: import posters/logo
Bad: Gameplay, no music
User Score
3.6
(7 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 3.6/10 (7 votes cast)

Haven’t we all thought about being a famous actor or actress, director or producer. Well, you can taste how it feels to make the complete movie from scratch with Showtime. I don’t guarantee you’ll play it for a long time though.

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Story

There isn’t a real storyline implemented in Showtime. Plainly said, the only purpose of the game is to make movies. Nothing more or nothing less. You don’t need to earn an amount of money, get into the top 10 or win an award. This has its positive and negative points.

It is great that there isn’t a deadline you need to respect and that you get the chance to make the movies you want. On the other side, the game feels kind of pointless  without a real goal to work for. You get the opportunity to earn money or win an award, but that’s about it.

Graphics

As this is more of a text-based game, there aren’t that much graphics involved. You have a quite nice authentic-feeling login screen and menu, but that’s about it. The other screens feel quite dull and not finished. The developers didn’t even took the time to make two different dialog screens. Both the “yes” and “no” are together with the “ok” on the same screen. If you need to press ok, the two other options aren’t clickable, but are still visible and vice versa. The screen itself feels like a Windows 98 rip-off and feels badly done for a game, even for a text-based one.

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Sound

A title like “Showtime” implies glamour and superb magical soundtracks, but you’ll be disappointed then. The game doesn’t have ANY music, only a few sound effects. It could be that the developers didn’t want to implement music because they thought that it would be too repetitive, although it would’ve been better. The game feels kind of plain with no music in the background.

The sound effects aren’t that impressive either. For example, you get some clapping now and then and some “pings” when you get mail. Also, there are strange noises that randomly occur and don’t seem to have any purpose. It even gets creepy at times.

Gameplay

The goal of the game is to make movies and earn money. That’s about it. When you start a new game, you can choose the name of your studio. The game offers you a standard scenario which you can follow, but you can also alter these options, which will determine how easy the game will be. Firstly, you can pick your starting funds. The more money you have, the more you can achieve of course.
As second parameter, you can travel through time and choose in which year you wish to start your career. This won’t have its influence on the difficulty level, but more on the technical upgrades you’ll need to buy.
Thirdly,  you can choose to have all the studio facilities and the sound levels. Checking these boxes will make life a lot easier, because you won’t have to spend money on buying them.
As the last factor, you can set your global reputation to your liking. Showtime also has its own way to end the game, namely after an amount of releases. This is something you can also change, but this won’t have any effect on the difficulty level.

When you’ve found your perfect settings, it is time to take the step and play the game. There is a tutorial, but this covers only a part of the information the game contains.  Let’s start with making a movie.

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An idea starts with a name, so you’ll need a title for your film. This can be anything, so let your creativity speak. If you’re not  in a creative mood, you can let the game chose a random title. Isn’t that handy?! When you’ve chosen the name, you can also enter a plot summary. This isn’t obligatory though. The next step is to determine the screenplay. This includes the genre of the film, if there are any stunts involved, how many leading/supporting roles the movie will have and who will write the movie. There are a lot of writers that want to take a shot, but only a few have the necessary skills. This menu seem to have quite some pointless elements, since they’re not clickable or just not useful.

If you finish this part of the movie, you’ll have to wait a few months before the first draft of the film is complete. This is the moment when you pick your director, producers and actors. You can choose between a variety of people, and every one of them has their own particular positive and negative points. You can discuss the salary, giving you the opportunity to change the cost of your “employee”. Next to that, you can find it a great idea to give one person multiple jobs. Well, there is no stopping you! You can let, for example, an actor do both the directing and producing if you want. If you pick a performer, it is important that you pick one that is great in that specific genre. This will have its consequences on the score. “What score?” I hear you think. Well, when you select your actors, you’ll get to see an overall grade that represents the “star power”. The higher the score, the better the actors and the movie. If you’re sick and tired of hiring new people, you can also hire permanent staff at the talent agency.

After your crew picking, it is time to look at the production. You’ll have to set a location for your movie, select the sound stage and the film quality. Next to that, you can add some extra budget, which will give you a grand total. After these decisions, the movie is in preproduction and you’ll have to wait two months before your crew will start filming. Count another two months for this step and one month for the post-production. When this is all done, you can give funds for the marketing of your movie. Then it is finally time to schedule your film and you get the option to choose a poster. You can import pictures or you can make a poster in-game, using a standard or custom background and change the colour and spots of the information.  This is a great feature, giving you the chance to let your imagination run free.

You can find a filmography that contains all of your movies. This section has an overview of all the elements per film. This is useful to search the best one and make a sequel. You can also turn a movie into film series, addressing another public and giving you the possibility to gain fans. This doesn’t seem to have a purpose though.

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There is a complete section about your facilities and the financial status of your company. You can find extra information about your property and the sales reports of all of your movies. The reports are kind of unclear and you won’t get any extra information from the tutorial. You won’t be accessing this section much, but it would’ve been nice if there was at least a bit of information available.

As a last topic, I want to mention the headlines section. Every month, you will get mail and invitations for award events. You’ll also get notifications when a phase of a movie is done.

Now that I’ve covered a lot of the game, it is time to talk about the gaming experience. Showtime is all right to play for a few minutes, but it gets boring quite fast. The only active thing you can do is make movies. As it is a text-based game, there aren’t a lot of interesting effects or actions occurring that can keep your attention. The award events are just a waste of time as it is just text appearing on your screen. Thank god that you can turn this off.

Some of the mechanics in-game don’t make sense as well. If you start a game with the settings they first recommend, you will start in 1950. Technology hasn’t stood still since then and you will have to upgrade your equipment. I understand that it will cost quite some money, but the fee was monstrously high. When I finally had the necessary money, it was even more expensive. Needing the impossible isn’t the only flaw though. It seems that actors are better in directing and producing a movie than the qualified people. I was fooling around a bit and made some films with only actors fulfilling all the jobs and guess what, they were the best films I’ve ever made. The acting sucked though, but the directing was superb. This actually blew my mind.
During one of my playthroughs, there was also a bug that randomly appeared when I had finished the game. I got a runtime error and the game shut down. This isn’t what’s supposed to happen, as you normally can continue playing if you want.

Conclusion

“Showtime” sounds like a game that includes loads of glamour, great gameplay and fabulous music, but that’s not what you’ll get. Although this is a text-based game, you’ll expect a bit more from the graphics and you would expect great soundtracks to support the text and gameplay. Nope nope and nope. The gameplay is quite dull and you’ll get bored quite fast. The game doesn’t cost that much, but I would rather spend it on something else with a bit more amusement.

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Rating: 3.6/10 (7 votes cast)
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Showtime - Review, 3.6 out of 10 based on 7 ratings
AnneMieke
AnneMieke


Faster than lightning

1 Comment

  1. MC_JP
    MC_JP
    July 2, 2014, 5:18 pm

    This game looks like it’s made by those online scam firms. the grafix are the same :p

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