I never thought that I would be up until the early hours of the morning playing a simulation about the 19th century North American oil rush, but thanks to Gamious that is exactly what happened. Their title, Turmoil, is a tongue-in-cheek take on the genre, but it is still a rather unusual (and very cleverly titled) game.
Your goal is to become the richest oil baron in town, working your way up from humble beginnings. The action is viewed from a side-on perspective where the first order of business is locating oil in order to begin drilling. Initially you only have access to dowsers, but soon unlock moles(!) and scanners for the task. Once you know where to drill it is time to set up a rig and construct a pipe network down to the black gold. Buying horses and building silos allows you to transport and store your precious cargo while you wait for the right opportunity to sell. You can unload oil at “Left Inc” or “Right Inc” depending on who is offering the best price and then hoard the profits or use it to improve your current drilling operations. After a set amount of time, usually a year, it is back to town where you can spend money upgrading tech or brokering shady deals before repeating the whole drilling process in a new area.
Turmoil is very simple to understand and features a clear tutorial that will get anyone up to speed very quickly. Once you grasp the basics you will also find that it is a very addictive game that will have you hooked in no time. Drilling for oil might not sound very exciting, but between keeping an eye on the prices, managing your horses and silos, and drilling for new wells, there is rarely time to get bored. Oil spills can quickly sap your profits and later levels throw new challenges, such as rocks, your way.
For an Early Access title Turmoil is already in very good shape and the developers have listened to community feedback in order to release a couple of updates to enhance the gameplay. The simple, but stylish visuals make the game very accessible and the relaxing music is perfect for extended play sessions. I have been playing Turmoil since its release on Early Access and every time I plan on playing only a round or two it somehow turns into hours! An ending for the Campaign mode is still in the works and hopefully the developers can figure out a way to add multi-player, but as it is I can already wholeheartedly recommend Turmoil.