Time to make use of the gym membership in Gym Tycoon Early Access and charge for it, rather than pay for it. In this indie simulator available on Steam, you get to build your own gym, manage the applicants to join and even enter competitions.

A gem of an indie title, you will find yourself watching your customers working out like some sort of voyeur as they run up and down, pump some iron then take a shower. Scratch that last one; that is voyeurism.

First impressions would have you believe this The Sims: Gym Expansion as the grid system for building is very similar, with the sometimes obtrusive lighting in your eye line. The biggest difference is the omittance of the high maintenance Sims.

Gym Tycoon Early Access PC Review

Life imitating art (I’m sure that lost its meaning here), this was in my review pile only my Head of Security decided to file away my gym invite in the spam folder. As if jumping on the treadmill at full pace, I had to quickly catch up and see how it runs. Geddit?

In Gym Tycoon Early Access, from Green Forest Games, if you haven’t put it all together, you run your own gym and are on a quest for expansion. That means more money, more customers, better equipment and potential notoriety.

Gym Tycoon Early Access - Humble
Loyal customer. Source: Screen capture

With humble beginnings, all you start with is a small plot where you can place a treadmill, benchpress and a dumbell stack. Place these however you like on your new, highly polished floorboards; then you can open up to potential customers.

At first, three applicants want to join, and you get to choose if they can sign up or not. Come opening time, you’ll be able to watch them workout and increase their XP – the better the result, the more satisfaction and payment you can receive (you can increase the fees, but I didn’t see the point as was never in the red once I built the gym.

Is It Worth It? Let Me Work It

As customer satisfaction improves in Gym Tycoon Early Access, so too does the rating of your gym on a five-star basis. The better the gym, the more your facilities can expand, charge and employ better equipment.

There wasn’t a moment where I didn’t know what to do.

Interestingly, you can only build a toilet and shower once you get a one-star ranking, so your existing roster has to pinch it. Each ranking has a cap on how many members you can have, and the requirements – i.e. so many toilets and showers and satisfaction of your customers.

Unfortunately at the time of reviewing, the game is capped at a two-star rating and other than the new amenities and a barbell rack, there are no other things you can build. My gym expanded pretty rapidly and limited at 30 members with approximately 72% satisfaction.

Gym Tycoon Early Access - Rating
A two-star rating? Source: Screen capture

Keeping customers happy wasn’t so hard to do, and there isn’t a difficulty setting that I found, so the early experience was a bit of a doddle, but I anticipate the later features will be more challenging.

Looking Good

A lot of people work out for health, some for vanity, others to hook up. Good luck. The characters in the game are pretty generic – no Kardashian booty in this, thankfully. They all have quite an innocent charm to them, and you can click on each member to see their stats. You might have your favourite customers.

you may be disappointed at the lack of aesthetic choice as all the walls are green by default

As for modelling, I really liked it. The environment where your gym is located is mostly free of anything other than blocks representing third-party buildings, but the floors and lighting effects are very nice, with some sharp textures.

For those that fall into the vanity side of gym attendance, you may be disappointed at the lack of aesthetic choice as all the walls are green by default, and any interior flooring is the same wood grain. Personally, I liked it, though it would be nice to kit out the place in something a bit more varied.

Gym Tycoon Early Access - Packed
Not social distancing in this community. Source: Screen capture

The UI is on the simplistic side too, but that is totally in its favour. There wasn’t a moment where I didn’t know what to do. On one occasion, I wasn’t sure how to rotate the placement of equipment, but there’s a quick help box that was precisely that: it helped, and it was quick. 

I do see me diving deep into this one, and I very much enjoyed my time playing Gym Tycoon Early Access, though I wish there were a few more options available at this stage, such is the nature of something early in development.

One to watch as it progresses. You can download the demo from the Steam page now.

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