Review – Lemonade Tycoon for Palm OS from Hexacto

by Reads (7,376)

Lemonade Tycoon is one half Business simulation one third puzzle/strategy and the rest ice cubes. Hexacto has taken another of their popular Pocket PC games and brought it to the Palm OS gamer.

The premise of Lemonade Tycoon is simple. Create the proper lemonade formula (lemons, sugar and ice cubes), select a location and market your product. You begin as a fledgling business with limited cash and a stand on your local neighborhood corner. If all goes well though, you ll have the upgraded lemon stand, selling glasses of liquid cash at the mall. Baby steps though

There are two modes of game play career and challenge. Career mode is open-ended where the only goal is to acquire as much money as possible over a few years. Challenge mode is much more condensed, giving you 30 days to prove your concept. At the end of either track, you may upload your score to the Hexacto Web site to brag or hang your head in shame.

At the beginning of each day you ll be presented with a weather forecast that should give you a solid idea of what to expect. Obviously hotter days will call for more business but may also require you to change the formula to accommodate the masses. The big trick of this game is to iron out a few formulas that make customers happy, but are also profitable for you. There are points in the game where business will exceed your ability to make drinks, so knowing a few tricks, like how to water down the mix to increase quantity, will be critical.

The main screen will also give you a little insight about where to be or not to be for the day. You have the ability to set up your stand in a few places: The Suburbs, The Park, Downtown, The Beach and The Mall. With the exception of the suburbs, each location has a rent associated with it. To make the mall work for instance, you have to be able to cover the $50/day rent that goes along with it. Over time you also develop a popularity and satisfaction ranking for each location. In conjunction with your marketing budget, these two meters have a dramatic impact on business.

After reviewing your daily dashboard, it s time to finalize the lemonade mix, order supplies and set your cost. The mix is a combination of lemons, sugar and ice cubes. I could give you a few hints now, but I won t. Toying with the mix is the most important factor of the game, and is also the most time consuming. Make sure to order enough supplies so you don t run out of something like cups throughout the day. The size of your stand will dictate how many things you can store, but remember lemons go bad after a while and ice cubes have a tendency to melt.

Lastly, before heading out for the day, set the ever important price and advertising budget. As you move the price around, the interface lets you know how much of a profit you ll make for each cup. Do you go with a low price and make money like Wal-Mart on quantity? Or do you go with a high price and a quality mix? You can always change your strategy, but it s important to have one!

Once you start the day, just sit back and watch as passerby s come up to the stand or continue on their way. You ll see by the faces that are made whether or not they like your mix and they ll complain if prices are too high or waits are too long. You can make the day move more quickly or you may skip it altogether. After playing for a while, you ll be glad these options exist.

At the end of the day you ll get a profit and loss statement along with a balance sheet. The P&L gives you a clue as to the satisfaction of your customers and what you can improve on. The balance sheet provides in-depth detail on income and expenses ending with the bottom line. From these two reports you should have enough data to know you re on the right track or if you still need adjustments.

As you make money you have the ability to purchase a number of upgrades to make you faster or to let you house more supplies. They are quite expensive, so think hard before splurging for your first purchase. Just remember speed is a major factor customers will bail if they have to wait too long.

Conclusion

Lemonade Tycoon is a very nice looking game that ran very well on a memory stick. I played it for two hours without stopping, so the addictive factor is definitely there. I think the business person in you will have a lot of fun with this one. It s a bit rough to get started, but what business isn t. My only problem with the game is that after you get into a rhythm, the game gets a little slow. I would like to see Hexacto work in some new challenges in the next version akin to SimCity. Perhaps they could throw in fluctuating commodity prices and an occasional disaster like a vandalized lemon stand. I do give Hexacto credit though for trying to drive people back to the Website to post scores. Maybe attempting to become number one on the site will be enough to drive you to try harder. Anyway, I think this game is definitely worth trying out. It s professionally done and well thought out, but what else would you expect form Hexacto?

Pick up a trial version or purchase for $19.95 from Handango.

Brian

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