Developer: Pavel Tovarys
Release Date: June 9, 2021
About a dozen years ago now, I played a lot of “casual” games. At that time, Shockwave Unlimited was probably the best value around if this type of game was your jam – I think it cost around $50 a year to download and play anything they had in their considerably large library. One of the hallmarks of casual games at the time were series with seemingly endless sequels, and I remember playing a lot of the Build-A-Lot games during that time.
This might seem very much off track, but I promise, it isn’t. Because Big Bang West is basically a Build-A-Lot game wrapped up in a cowboy hat and chaps. Calling it “heavily influenced” would be generous – it basically plays exactly the same way. You have blank lots, which assuming you have the proper resources and available workers, that you can build any available building on. Each level gives you just a handful of days to meet a set of requirements in order to earn a gold star, but the worst that happened to me was completion with bronze; in an hour’s play, I never failed a level.
There is no story, and very little in the way of mechanics past building and upgrading to an arbitrary level requirement. There’s really not a lot here to complain about – the UI could be a little more intuitive, I suppose – but there’s also not a whole lot to get excited about. The store page lists “35+” levels, and based on how far I progressed in an hour, it seems highly unlikely that most players would take longer than a couple hours to finish the game in its entirety.
SteamDB estimates that Big Bang West has sold between 100 and 400 copies. Not overly surprising, as it’s a bit a niche title even inside of the casual game sphere. It is ranked 7293 out of 10,967 games released in 2021.