Little Big Workshop PC Review
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to run a business staffed entirely by gnomes, who occasionally pass out from exhaustion and spend way too much time in the staff room? Well, now you can find out in the challenging, but fun, Little Big Workshop.
Players start out small in this business simulator and I mean small. The starting factory where you will be starting your construction empire literally fits on top of a desk in what looks like a basement, but I digress. The aim of this game is to take orders, plan, manage, build and distribute your way to a thriving business with happy content little gnome workers.
The aesthetics are incredibly pleasing. I often found myself just marvelling at the attention to detail in every little aspect, the workbenches with the little spools of wire and hand tools, right down to the way the coffee machine in the break room looked inviting (maybe I was playing for too long).
Introductions to planning, managing and building are very basic and you will have to learn on your toes as the business grows. Maintenance is key as the workbenches and machines can break down, which need to be fixed by staff. Of course, you will need a fully stocked break room or three, as no business can run on an empty stomach – even keeping walking paths and decor up to scratch is important for happy workers. There is lots to keep track of to the point there is more data than IBM Watson could keep track of.
The game feels like it’s designed to introduce people to the world of simulation games, but boy does it get hard to manage fast. My small issue with the game was the inability to pause and actually take heed with the stats on offer. Everything just carried on, which usually would mean if I miss managed something I would be spiralling out in no time and I found that some of the early jobs in the game quickly require specific machines or workbenches that I simply didn’t have room for, even after completing the intro.
Each order has a blueprint attached to it requiring you to plan out the materials and what machine/workbench it will be manufactured on. Some of the orders require to meet specific requirements, such as certain materials or attributes like strength and cosmetic appeal. A few of the early orders I found pretty much impossible to meet the requirements, so had to avoid them. This could be down to missing machinery or lack of certain materials, but this did get easier as the game went on, even if at that point it felt like I was more managing the logistics of building multiple items that require the same manufacturing machines.
Space really is a commodity early on in the game until you start making some profit and are able to extend the factory after meeting certain milestones. Later down the line, options open up to add more space and even work smarter with storage areas for finished products and materials, so that certainly helped free up locations in my workshop. I did, however, find that some workers would spend an inordinate amount of time eating and relaxing in the break rooms and no matter how many I had I always found workers collapsing in the middle of workshops, causing it to be more difficult, basically wasting time for the other workers to move around, which spoiled my well-oiled building machine.
Overall, Little Big Workshop is a relaxing play for people who enjoy the genre, outside of that it might be a little too off-putting for some people unfamiliar with this type of simulation game, especially with all the number crunching. Aesthetically, it’s very pleasing – I gained enjoyment watching my the little workers do their business around the workshop. For anyone who has a head for numbers or just want to try out a different simulation game, I can recommend giving Little Big Workshop the green light to go ahead with it.