Guest Author - James Shea
Essentially a television version of the "Tycoon" series of games, "M.U.D. TV" is an inoffensive game that doesn't really bring much to the table.
M.U.D. TV casts the player as a TV producer, operating and running a television studio. This includes filming shows, scripting shows, and determining program schedules to appeal to different demographics. The game takes place in an office building, and different floors house different studios. The main interface relies on an overhead view, allowing the player to build a limited selection of new rooms and facilities within the confines of their floor.
Essentially, the game's goal is to take television programs from conception to release: from marketing to scriptwriting to shooting to scheduling. First, a script is either conceived by the writing team or bought directly from screenwriters. Next, actors and directors are brought in to actually make the show. Finally, the producer puts it on the air in a time slot that gets the most audience. There are a few different demographics, from yuppies to geeks to kids, and the goal is to get a program, timeslot, and advertisements that all appeal to the largest number of people (i.e. put a geek show with geek ads in a timeslot when lots of geeks are watching).
There's other stuff to do, as well - you can hire specialists, sabotage rivals, and expand your floor - but it all feels kind of simplistic. It's not a bad game, but it's very content-light. The whole "designing your office" thing doesn't have much depth, and while there's some semblance of scenes for the TV shows you make, they're pretty simple. The graphics are cartoonish but in general decent. The sound design is kind of bland, nothing really sticks out about it.
In essence, M.U.D. TV is an average game - if the gameplay concept sounds interesting, pick it up. If not, there's nothing that's really worth playing about it.
We purchased M.U.D. TV through the online Steam system with our own funds for the purpose of doing this review.