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First started in late 2007, Kasey's Mobile Game Review (then just a regular feature of Kasey's Korner) started as a simul-post between here and IGN. Later I realized there's no reason to post it twice, when I can use the traffic on my own site. so, here we are, in 2010, and the mobile game industry has grown a bit. What do you think?

Mobile Game Review of "Monopoly Tycoon (mobile)"

Monopoly Tycoon is an adaptation of the existing PC game. There are still four players, and they use the old play pieces: locomotive, ship, shoe, and so on. Each turn has four phases: auction phase, build phase, manage phase, and resolution phase. Instead of moving each player's avatar around a board, one randomly chosen piece of property (or utility, or railroad) is auctioned off per turn, until the victory condition is reached. Victory condition can be one of the four: first to 100K, first to 1 million, most monopolies (up to all properties auctioned), or simply most money when last property auctioned.

Auction phase is similar to "Price is Right" is played: order is random, but it's a single pass ONLY. In other words, the later you are in the queue, the more advantage you have, as you can outbid the earlier guy by just $1, and he'd have no chance. So overbidding pressure is enormous, even against AI. Assuming you have enough $$$, of course.

In the build phase, you can build on the properties you own, or if there's an existing building, either raze it (and leave it empty) or remodel it into some OTHER type of business, and there are quite a few to choose from. Restaurant, cafe, movie theater, toy store, department store, night club, and more. The monopoly city has needs, and you have to fulfill them. You must study the supply and demand chart, to see which market segment is growing (or shrinking), and redo your current investments if needed. You also have to decide how big of a business (small, medium, or large), and what grade of a business (1 star, 2 stars, or 3 stars) to fit the neighborhood. You wouldn't put a dime store in Hollywood, right?

In the manage phase, you set prices on those businesses that you have. If you have monopoly in the segment, you can pretty much set the price to maximum ($99) and rake in the money. If you don't, then you better see what the other folks are doing and perhaps, undercut them in price in order to draw in more business...

In the resolution phase, you see if you have made the right decision, and you have made a net gain, or a net loss (money spent during building and auction phases are counted as well in the cash movement).

Railroads and utilities automatically generate money. The more of one type you own, the more money they generate (geometrically). They don't need to be managed.

Just as Monopoly (tm), you do get random events, such as "all theaters generate oly 50% revenue this turn" or such.

As the supply and demand situation changes from turn to turn the situation is very fluid, and you can't expect to bid for a property every turn and still have enough money to build something. It's really up to you to manage the businesses to generate enough cash for you to expand, and that's why it's more of a tycoon game than just Monopoly.

Unfortunately, you can't "trade" properties in this game, which means you HAVE to outbid other people when it comes to creating monopolies. However, when you DO get a monopoly, you get to build hotels on those properties, and that generates a LOT of revenue, esp. on 3-star properties.

The graphics are good though not as nicely animated as Monopoly Here and Now (also reviewed here earlier), but that's because there's an actual game board. The actual stores and such are animated when zoomed in with mothers pushing strollers, businessmen in suits, and occasional cars going by. Different grade of business look different. And so on. Graphics are good without being overly ornamental. The main problem is it's very hard to spot similar businesses on the board when the individual business squares are so small, and alwasy "color coded" by owner, not type. You have to go by their actual shrunken pictures, and they cover each other in the isometric view.

Other than that, the game is a hoot, esp. in the earlier phases when the AI is actually competitive. However, even a pretty lousy player should be able to trounce the AI in the longer games, as computer can't seem to consistently make good decisions.

All in all, Monopoly Tycoon is a successful update of the old classic, and a good port. You'll be playing it again, and again, and again, as every game will be somewhat different. I give this game an 8 as I wish for better music and animations.

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