Let’s go back to a time where gentlemen on horses would tip their hats to southern Belles and the oil mining monopoly was in full swing in the old west. Turmoil is a 2D oil mining game where you must mine as much as you can and automate horse carts to wheel your hauls to the petroleum stations. However, you’re not the only one who wants in on this new money making craze, so you better act fast!
If you’re into resource management gameplay, then Turmoil will appeal to you. It’s a great blend of gameplay you’d expect with a tried and true setting of the old west. The game clearly originated and was developed specifically for PC and mobile devices, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing; having the game on the big screen and navigating through with a controller is clunkier than one would hope, but the Switch offering touchscreen controls is a nice compromise when playing on the go.
The aim of the game is to mine as much oil as possible, setting mining stations down and funneling a pipe until you strike oil. Once it feels up the storage tank, you’ll need your horse and carts to deliver it to the petroleum stations, but you’ll want to direct your carts toward the stations that are paying more. It’s all about making as much money as possible to plant your flag on the oil monopolisation in the west.
Turmoil is absolutely a game that I could only play in short bursts. As it had mobile in mind during development, it works best for short play sessions; this also works for the Switch’s ability for quick pickup-and-play style, but I still found myself yearning for more variety.
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The port of Turmoil is mostly smooth, however I did experience a glitch where after I zoomed in to move a pipe, it wouldn’t zoom back out. This was was quite frustrating but as soon as the level finished, the camera reverted to normal and it only happened a couple times throughout my entire playthrough.
There’s not much of a plot here, rather you are moving from one western area to the next farming for oil and building your oil monopoly. There are three other characters that you compete against as they act as your rival companies standing in your way. However the more you succeed, the more stock you can purchase from the town’s mayor, putting yourself in a better position to become the mayor yourself. It’s simple and it works to compliment the gameplay and setting.
Graphics / Art Direction
The art is basic yet wholesome, with a true ‘howdy ma’am’ southern setting. With soft colours, easy-on-the-eye 2D objects and a calming aesthetic, it’s a game that presents its own kind of beauty. The variety, however, is lacking and the character designs are quite generic, therefore you’ll be seeing the same colours and uninspired designs for majority of the game.
Music / Sound Design
The music in Turmoil makes you feel like you are in the Wild West about to dig for oil, which is what the game is all about, so they hit that nail on the head there. However much like the art, it also gets very repetitive with the same steel guitar fingerpicking over-and-over again.
Final Score: 68%
Turmoil is a fun way to kill time before a doctor’s appointment or on a short bus ride and with its soft aesthetics and southern charm, it’s a relaxing time, to be sure. However throughout my time with it, I couldn’t help but think that it’d be a more convenient experience playing it on a mobile device; having the option to play it on the TV or slide off the Joy-Cons in handheld mode is nice, but the mobile style gameplay remains the same.
Thank you for checking out our Turmoil Switch review, thank you to Playdigious for providing the review code and thank you to our $5 and up Patreon Backers for their ongoing support:
- Andrew Caluzzi (Inca Studios / Camped Out!)
- Belinda Cubitt