Turmoil is a delightful management game that takes players to the oil rush in 19th century North America. Look for that black gold as you compete with rivals over the best piece of land and maximize your profits!

As you slowly become more efficient and successful in the oil business, the town will grow offering new upgrades and ways to get an edge over your competitors. If you have the cash to spare and willing to pay. *wink nudge nudge*

Turmoil will have players begin with a small start-up fund to get their oil selling business off the ground. They will need to manage their finances over the following actions: bidding land in the land auction where rivals may try to out-bid you for your land, buying various upgrades to maximize the efficiency of your operations (stables, factory and workshop).

Humble beginnings
Humble beginnings

Turmoil will have players managing their funds over the following: buying land at the land auction which may or may not out bidding rivals over the best piece of land, buying upgrades to improve the efficiency of your oil drilling operations and finally at the saloon where they can…bribe certain people to make things go bit more favorably for them. Oh and make sure to keep some cash to make sure you can actually go on your expedition….and pay any potential spillage fines. Those fines are evil I tell you.

Turmoil has a simple goal; sell oil and get that money till you can buy the shares needed to become the town’s new mayor. You need at least 50% of the shares to win. If no one has 50% of the shares by the time all the land available in the game is mined out, the one with the lowest shares will be booted out and the remaining three rivals have another chance to win the remaining stocks in the stock auction till someone get 50%.

While the game focuses heavily on your ability to find and sell oil; the subsequent maps after the first one will introduce few new elements. Natural gas pockets can be used to either push the oil out of the ground quicker or send it to one of the two corporations who buy oil from you, which will heavily boost the buying prices for that corporation. Rocks in the ground will prevent players from reaching oils normally unless they have a drill to break through it. There are also diamonds which can only be retrieved by using the mole and upgrading it to be able to collect diamonds. Diamonds can either be sold at the bank for cash or keep it to give it to a certain someone in the saloon who will show you a good oil rich spot in the map.


In the town which acts as a hub for the game, you will be visiting three locations often for upgrades which are:

  • Stables – As the name suggests, it focuses on the horses that you heavily depend on your operations. Upgrades include: increasing herd size (MORE HORSES), faster movement speed, larger wagons and more
  • Workshop – Harder to describe but you can say the workshop focuses a bit more on finding that oil quicker. Some of the upgrades you can expect to find are: faster dowsers, increased search depth for dowsers, moles (who can be upgraded to find natural gas and diamonds).
  • Factory – Focuses heavily on increasing the efficiency of your oil drilling such as bigger pipes & silos. Including your future best friend: the drill.

In all honesty, I have never bought all the upgrades. Until the one time I decided I wanted to unlock the three achievements for buying them all. That was the only time in the 15 hours of Turmoil I have played where I bought them all. You really do not need them all. In fact, I never used or bought any of the upgrades for the natural gas and never bought the mole either. Or bigger herd size or size counter from the stables. I tried using natural gas in my first or second session playing the game, it did not go well at all for me. It is possible to win the game without those upgrades however.

Although admittedly, I did struggle keeping up with the AI controlled rivals in my first attempt at beating the game because I simply could not keep up with the sheer amount of money they were earning, especially when they got the natural gas upgrades. Once I learned the game a little more, I began earning more money than they could despite their advantage of using natural gas. Those profits they earned were insane though. Seriously insane.

awww yis, dem profits I made
awww yis, dem profits I made

I found the game to be oddly relaxing in a way. Once I beaten the game twice over, before that, I can assure you was not a relaxing time at all. Lots of panic and stress over oil spills, bad money management, struggling to keep up with the rivals and all that. Yeah, not a good time. Once you beaten the game and gotten the mechanics down, it becomes charming and relaxing in its own way.

The expert mode that you unlock when you beaten the main campaign however, not so much. I think I spent most of those 15 hours just trying to beat expert mode. Once I beaten it once (and only once), promptly quit the game in celebration.

Turmoil is an ideal game for people who just want to play a quick casual game with its cartoon graphics and fitting saloon/cowboy frontier music. It is addictive as well although the replay value can be debated upon as once you beat the main campaign, there is not much to draw you back to the game. With the exception of trying to beat expert mode. I was just disappointed you did not have to deal with more obstacles besides the natural gas pockets, rock and your rivals. Although I am not sure what I would suggest to add into the game either. Still Turmoil is a good game that is easy to master and I know I will return to playing Turmoil in the future for more casual games.


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