I was finally able (after 12 hours or so of gameplay) to successfully complete my first playthrough. Here are some points might help you save some time and frustration.
After Starting Your First Power Unit
If you were finally able to setup and successfully start your first power unit, here are some tips that might come in handy when progressing through the game:
- Save frequently. It sounds clichéd, but it’s really useful particularly before making any modifications to your power unit’s setup, since most likely you’ll be blowing it up quite a few times and starting from scratch is no fun.
- Research and implement tech. One if the things the mini-tutorial states. What it doesn’t say is that once you research any tech that has a money stamp on its icon, you have to take an extra step and “implement” the tech by clicking on the money button on the lower-right part of the research screen. Wondering why you researched steel pipes but don’t see any improvement in your power unit’s pressure resistance? This is why.
- Delay moving to a new boiler/fuel. Once you improve your power unit with a new boiler or move to a more efficient fuel, the power demand of the contracts offered to you will skyrocket. I’ve found that it’s better to acquire as many techs as possible that will increase your overall capacity until you feel comfortable enough to take on the next wave of GW demand.
- Build a power storage facility as soon as possible. You have to research this one, it’s to the top-right direction of the tech tree, then you’ll be able to select the facility from the build menu. With a power storage you’ll decrease the chances your power unit overheats and explodes since you can store a lot more power before getting to the power saturation point. Also, you’ll be able to fulfill higher demand contracts by balancing your production and your storage capacity.
- Upgrade your facilities. By selecting a given facility you’ll get the chance, once researched, to improve certain aspects of it. It’s very important to increase heat resistance, for example, to your power unit before upgrading the boiler or moving to a new fuel. If you focus on research and facility improvement, you can get a long way with just the artisanal boiler and wood as fuel.
I guess these 5 points are enough to complete your first playthrough. I did suffer with this game, but I guess in the end I found it actually fun, past several hours of bitter frustration. If you get stuck, keep trying, you’ll find it was worth it once you get to the year 2000 as the biggest power tycoon.