Devolver Digital has announced that Weedcraft Inc, developer Vile Monarch's intriguing marijuana-themed tycoon game, will launch on PC on April 11th.
The core of Weedcraft Inc, as Devolver explained last year, challenges players to consider both the cultivation and business sides of running a successful cannabis operation. As part of the former, you'll need to select strains of weed and fiddle with different parameters - such as growing environment and soil nutrients - for optimal product quality and maximum yield. The latter, meanwhile, is all about the external factors, expanding the business, growing your customer base, and selling the goods to bring in the cash.
Then you'll need to shape the kind of business you want to be - either operating on the right side of the law, as a licensed distributor of medical marijuana, or as an illegal, under-the-radar operation (and even then, you can still be morally decent, rather than shady), with your choices influencing how you'll need to deal with law enforcement, politicians and policies, and more.
What makes Weedcraft Inc particularly intriguing, however, is that, despite sounding like a concept dreamed up by Edgy McEdgelord, aged 16 1/2, on the surface, Vile Monarch and Devolver appear to be attempting to tackle the moral and political complexities of its potentially controversial subject matter with genuine maturity and nuance.
For instance, each of the game's narrative-heavy scenarios (by lead writer Scott Alexander) will focus on a different business venture - from "basement-run startups ducking the fuzz to full-blown megacorporations vying for influence over politicians standing in the way of their profits" - and aims to explore the unique challenges and circumstances that each might face.
There's an example of this in the new trailer above, which showcases the kind of processes and choices you might encounter as a pair of brothers who unexpectedly find themselves with a lot of leftover cannabis on their hands after their dad dies of cancer. The trailer, at least, suggests Weedcraft Inc might be able to strike the right balance between light-hearted management tinkering and its heavier, more grounded socio-political themes.
Weedcraft Inc will cost $19.99 USD (around £15) when it comes to Steam on April 11th.