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                           Review: Hillsea Lido
                            By:  Ken Anderson 
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Published by: Vulcan Software

As I write this, summer has apparently just arrived in Scotland.  The
clocks have just jumped an hour forward, the spring has sprung, and it's
almost time for a holiday.  And here comes HillSea Lido, right on cue.

Lido sets you up as the manager of 30m (that's 9 yards for all you Imperial
types) of beach and promenade.  You are allocated a budget of 1,000,000
somethings, and the challenge is to make much much more.  Personally, if
anyone gave me a million and a stretch of beach, I'd sell the latter to the
first property developer and head to the airport ...

Sites on the promenade and beach can be allocated to various stall-holders
and businesses.  A postcard stall will attract lots of punters, but won't
make you much margin on each item.  On the other hand, motor boats hires
makes lost of profit, but not everybody wants to hire a boat.

A pavilion hall can play host to a number of entertainers, all who have
their price.  Still, the more you pay, the bigger the name, and the more
people who'll pay for a seat.  That's if you pay for advertising, of
course.

"Hang on Ken", I heard you tell your monitors, "this is all sounding a bit
Theme Park-esque, isn't it?".  Predictably enough, you're right.

Hillsea Lido is Theme Park Jr.  There is no doubt whatsoever that the
Bullfrog classic had a major part to play in the design of Hillsea Lido. 
Let's see: security guards, litter collectors, "intelligent" tourists,
wholesalers, all pretty much as they are in Theme Park.

But how many of you out there ever played Theme Park on "realistic" mode? 
Haggling with union bosses over wages?  Placing security guards in exactly
the right place to stop trouble?

Lido cuts out a good deal of the "administration" required in keeping your
enterprise going.  Ordering stock is a simple matter of setting how many
you want, and then ...  click!  ...  it's ordered.

This simplicity has it's price: interest in the running of things will soon
wane.  After you've set up all of the shops, seen all of the acts and got
things running pretty smoothly, there isn't much else to do.  On the other
hand, it's only 13UKP.

Pros: Effortless gameplay, and enough pace and character to keep you
interested.

Cons: Limited appeal.  May not be enough of a challenge for some people.

Overall: Cheap, fun entertainment.  If Theme Park was too much for you, try
this.

[Additional notes from Jason Compton:  Initially, I was going to review
Hillsea, but when Ken signed on it took a load off.  Still, I have a few
comments to make...]

Hillsea Lido does suffer from simplicity in a few parts--and this evil
crops up in Theme Park as well.  It can get mind-numbing simply trying to
afford the next most expensive attraction or shop, and that seems to ALWAYS
be what the customers are looking for, without fail.  Bleah.

Lido has the one thing Vulcan seems to have mastered--cuteness ALMOST to
the point of sickness, but not quite.  They've quite economically and
unobtrusively mixed in their trademark speech snippets as well.

Lido is ECS compatible and installs effortlessly to hard drive.

Vulcan Software Ltd.
Vulcan House
72 Queens Road
Buckland
Portsmouth
Hants PO2 7NA