Yoot Tower - billed as the sequel to SimTower - is actually no more than a rehash.
Yoot Tower - billed as the sequel to SimTower - is actually no more than a rehash. As in SimTower, you play the role of a building developer. You begin with a piece of land and several million dollars, and your goal is to develop your tower into a five-star building.
The generic city of its predecessor is replaced with three scenarios. You have the choice to build your tower in Tokyo, Waikiki, or Kegon Falls. Each scenario requires different strategies for you to succeed. Tokyo requires you to build office space to generate more money and people, while in Waikiki you need hotel rooms and shopping to succeed. All the scenarios share several facilities, such as restaurants and shops. Many of the facilities from SimTower have returned unchanged, like offices, hotel rooms, security stations, and medical centers. Yoot Tower augments the standard facilities with "plug-ins," facilities that are unique to each scenario. Waikiki, for example, has ship docks, whereas Kegon Falls has a Shinto shrine. Although these plug-ins are supposed to allow for new scenarios, there is no way to create your own. Updates are only available through the Yoot Tower web site.
Gameplay has changed very little from SimTower. The basic premise of the game is to build the best skyscraper and keep your tenants happy. To build the best skyscraper you need more tenants to move in, or you need to make VIP guests happy. In order to keep your tenants and attract more, you need to design an efficient transportation system. These are the elevators, escalators, and stairs. You need to have enough elevators spread throughout the building, because if tenants have to walk too far to their destinations, they'll complain. If you can satisfy your tenants and VIPs, you will be awarded extra stars and new facilities.
Two areas where gameplay has changed from SimTower are in elevator control and the role of stores and restaurants. In SimTower, much of the gameplay concentrated on controlling the elevator schedules. You would have to tweak the elevators to move people efficiently. This has been replaced with a simplified system; you only control which floors the elevator stops on. In SimTower, restaurants and stores were rented out to tenants, and you could only control the rent. Now, you are the owner of each store, and rent and pricing cannot be controlled. Any loss or gain at that store is reflected in your daily balance. The advantage of being the owner is that you have greater control over what kind of stores are in your building. The disadvantage is less realism.
Graphics and sound are similar to SimTower. Tenants and guests are tiny shadows, and shops look just as tiny and pixilated as in SimTower. There is now an external view available, which lets you see how your building looks from the outside. The image is very pixilated, but at least you can see how weather influences your building. One would hope that with all the improvements in graphics technology, Yoot Tower would look a bit more advanced.
There is so little change from SimTower, it is questionable why Yoot Tower was even released - especially considering that the original was rather disappointing to begin with. Had the graphics been improved and a scenario editor included, it might have been a decent game. The game is passable for a short while, but - like its predecessor - it quickly degenerates into an elevator-building contest. Die-hard SimTower fans may enjoy Yoot Tower, but only because it is the same game with a new name.