Terroir – Review
Follow Genre: Tycoon, Simulation
Developer: General Interactive Co.
Publisher: General Interactive Co.
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Terroir – Review

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Good: Unique, great fun
Bad: Difficult and unforgiving
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(1 votes)
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Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)

If you love tycoon games, or have ever just fancied yourself as a winemaker extraordinaire, then we may have a diamond in the rough for you. Terroir challenges you to manage your own vineyard, experiment with creating the worlds greatest wine and above all, make boatloads of money. So grab some shears and barrels, and get ready to dive into the difficult, yet eerily beautiful world of wine-making.Terroir (4)Story

As a tycoon style game, there isn’t a whole lot of structured story to discover, but to say there is no story would be underselling the genre. As you play and grow your property and fortunes, you will slowly build your own goals, reputation and history. You can’t help but start to develop relationships and build your own story with the game.


Terroir is very simplistic to look at, but this simplistic feel lends itself very well to the title. The graphics are clean and appealing, and indeed quite beautiful in their own way. Little touches like being able to watch the clouds drifting over your vineyard as the weather changes are nice, but the game could do with a few more of these.Terroir (2)Whilst it’s true that graphics have never exactly been the most important part of this genre, especially when you’re busy carefully micro-managing every aspect, a little more detail and small visual events would go a long way. This is however just a small critique that detracts little from the overall experience.


The sound design is good overall and you soon end up learning the audio queues intimately to know when the weather is changing and it’s time to hastily break out the shears. The music may seem a little bland at first but will quickly start to grow on you, right until you’re humming a tune in public and wondering how it got itself lodged inside your mind.

Terroir (13)Gameplay

Terroir is a tycoon-style management game where the aim is to become the greatest winemaker in the world. You must manage everything from buying land and choosing which variety of vines to plant, to exactly how to crush, press, ferment and age your wine in order to create the perfect vintage.

You must start off small and experiment with different attributes and flavours in your wines until you find the perfect combination for that variety. You can develop relationships with different wine distributors, gaining bonuses from keeping their approval maxed out, and gain contacts with increasingly prominent wine critics as your reputation grows.Terroir (8)From here you can expand into growing more and more difficult (yet lucrative) grape varieties. You can open your own pub which allows you to sell your wine to the public directly, for even greater profits, and build extravagant landmarks to draw attention and increase your renown.

Whilst Terroir is very fun and quite relaxing when your game is going well, don’t make the mistake of thinking that it’s easy. It’s actually incredibly challenging, particularly in the early game and when you are first starting out. Be prepared to go bankrupt several times in your first few playthroughs unless you’re willing to take the shame of putting the game on easy. (Which to be honest, is probably your best chance at learning how to play properly). It is only once you are past the difficult early game and truly start rolling in cash, that it can be a very relaxing experience to sit back, bottle your fine wines, and try and win those prestigious awards.Terroir (12)Terroir is actually remarkably unforgiving with new players, as you need to work out what a 5 star wine for each grape consists of, purely using trial and error. If you’re also not much of a wine drinker in real life, you may struggle even more, as a basic knowledge of whether a variety of wine should be sweet or sour, etc will help you immensely. Even the smallest mistakes or bad luck will cause your hard-won renown to plummet when critics don’t like your wine, or can even bankrupt you.

The games financial system is equally difficult to get to grips with, although it seems to be being consistently improved with regular updates. Banking is confusing and even simple purchases like buying a tile of land, or planting vines costs vast sums of money. You will find that even just bottling your wines will cost you thousands. More complex actions such as researching simple actions (such as pest control) costs even more, and can take you decades to unlock if you’re unlucky. This huge expense behind buying things or expanding, lends the game quite a slow and leisurely pace.Terroir (5)Once you master regularly making a 5 star wine of a specific variety you will find your money much easier to manage, but you can still suffer if unlucky due to the heavily RNG elements of things like the weather and pest infestations. Admittedly this is merely designed to reflect the real life effects of these forces on actual farmers and producers.

You can also occasionally choose open a “chance chest” which causes a random event to happen, such as the local mayor visiting you or supplying the local military. Whilst the chest does add some great fun and variety into your yearly harvest, it does seem a bit of a strange, if not downright immersion killing addition to the game. The events also rarely seem to be positive, with most of them ending up costing you a lot of money. We soon worked out that it is often wiser to avoid using the chest altogether.

Terroir (11)Conclusion

The random nature of weather and nature, two hugely important forces in the world of winemaking, is represented almost too well in the luck-based difficulty of this title. But whilst Terroir is definitely challenging and unforgiving at times, don’t let this detract from the fact that this game is an excellent and unique take on the tycoon genre. The scope and depth of Terroir is surprising, and any fan of old school management games would be doing themselves a favor by picking up this title.Terroir (1)

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Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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Terroir - Review, 8.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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