Welcome to Ennui Tycoon, the isometric, city-building simulator for the under-stimulated and over-hyphenated industrialist in us all! Now don’t die of boredom just yet! All that ennui might just come in handy.

The foundational resource of Ennui Tycoon is ennui, the game currency with which you will build and upgrade your city. There are three ways of generating ennui: harvesting it from the ennui mines, syphoning it off of your torporous citizenry, and using the malaise-o-meter to convert your own real-life weariness into an in-game resource.

For now, let's deal with the first method. Using the toolbar on your left, select “parents’ basement.” Parents’ basements produce twentysomethings; these languorous dullards will be the core of your passive populace, at least until you unlock other types of workers. Twentysomethings are near worthless. However, they're marvelous at gathering ennui!

Build six parents' basements in proximity to the ennui mines. These are the gray, smoldering crevices you seen on your screen. Left-click on a parents’ basement and then right-click the nearest ennui mine. This will send your twentysomethings to work. Sullenly, they will harvest ennui for you, bringing it back to their parents’ basements where it will then be uploaded automatically to your bank of acedia.

Simple, right? Well, let's not get greedy just yet. Twentysomethings are notoriously fickle and rebellious. They certainly won't be starting a revolution, but they may become so dissatisfied they'll consider moving. Keep an eye on the might-I-gentrify gauge in the bottom right hand quarter of your screen. The closer the meter gets to full, the more likely your citizens will be to move to Brooklyn. Being the silent, faceless dictator that you are, it’s time to nip this very un-serf-like insurgency in the bud. Go over to your toolbar and select “local shit bar.” Build a couple near the parents’ basements.

Local shit bars decrease the urge of twentysomethings to gentrify by filling their bellies with craft beer. Additionally, they generate a small amount of ennui themselves, though this alone will not sustain your economy of tedium. Return to your toolbar and choose either the “internship obelisk” or the “graduate school gym.” Both of these buildings provide unfulfilling outlets for your depressed denizens, increasing their personal ennui. In their free time, twentysomethings will congregate at these institutions to reflect on their failures. Becoming attached to a particular peon? Have her or him pray at the internship obelisk for the divine opportunity to land an unpaid position with a lunch stipend!

As your melancholic municipality begins to grow you may start to see the middle-aged appear. Compelled by the scent of disappointment, the middle-aged will flock to your town and begin to lecture your twentysomethings on the merits of bootstrapping. This will swell their personal ennui like never before. Preserve this symbiotic relationship by strategically placing Delphic kiosks around your town. The middle-aged will trundle from one to the other, perpetually adrift in a sea of brochures.

When your citizens begin to glow a sickly orange color that means they are reaching a fever pitch of boredom. Click the “syphon” icon on your toolbar to change your pointer into a red hose. Right-click and drag the hose over your glowing citizens. If done properly, you will absorb their weltschmerz and deposit its essence directly into your ennui bank. Don't hover too long, though. The hose can prove fatal to your subjects, sucking them up and bringing ignominious death to them. It's a reprieve from their listless lives to be sure but no way to run a civic body.

Or maybe it is! Ennui Tycoon is an open-ended game, so experiment and find the play style that best suits your autocratic fancy.

Hints and Tips:

  • Make sure the infrastructure of your city is unintuitive and inadequate. Traffic will increase the ennui of your citizens.
  • Take advantage of in-game purchases to receive bonuses that enhance your playing experience. We swear it's worth it!
  • Beware children! They produce no ennui and will reduce the dissatisfaction of your residents. If you see any, immediately build a “school-to-prison pipeline” to funnel these slap-happy cherubs out of your town!
  • Feeling bored with Ennui Tycoon or maybe life itself? Great! Simply plug in the malaise-o-meter that came with your copy of Ennui Tycoon to a USB port on your computer. Wave the meter over your person and it will convert your excess ennui into in-game currency!