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Lemonade Tycoon Print E-mail
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Written by Angelo M. D'Argenio   
Thursday, 02 August 2007

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past ten years, you are probably familiar with the Tycoon series of videogames.  Railroad Tycoon, Airport Tycoon, and last but not least Rollercoaster Tycoon have made a name for themselves in the pages of the book of simulation gaming.  So their little cousin Lemonade Tycoon must be more of the same right? 

”Screenshot”

Wrong.  Lemonade Tycoon is actually quite the departure from other Tycoon games.  Normally, Tycoon games give you a vast expanse of land to build your empire, laying down building after building or ride after ride on a massive scale.  Lemonade Tycoon is a little bit different.  In fact, in Lemonade Tycoon, you barely have any land at all.  In fact the only thing you are in charge of is one little lemonade stand.

So at this point you are probably asking yourself what the point is right?  If you had any sort of childhood whatsoever, you probably ran a lemonade stand or something similar before.  So you know how much work it is, and how little customers actually show up, and how low you actually have to sell your lemonade.  In fact, lemonade stands were one of those things that were great ideas until you got bored of them and realized you could have a lot more fun on a 90 degree weather day by running through your parents sprinkler.

So why is Lemonade Tycoon a game worth playing?  Well first of all, you don’t really have to brave the stand or the people or the heat.  Everything is decided through menu options, and boy are there menu options.  This is where the fun of Lemonade Tycoon really shines.  You have absolute control over everything your stand does, from the price of Lemonade, to the recipe you are using, to even money spent for marketing and swanky electronic juicers.  You get to choose where to set up your lemonade stand, and watch the customers come in, and you don’t have to go through the bother of mixing even one glass of lemonade, proving that lemonade stands are much more fun, when you don’t have to do any of the work.

The game is very simple.  First, every day you get statistics for the day, including weather and heat.  The weather and the temperature will effect peoples buying preferences.  When it is raining, or cold, people will be less likely to buy that icy cold super sweet lemonade you mixed, and might go for a more subdued beverage.  When it is hot out, pour in the ice because just about everyone is going to want a glass and want it fast.  You also get a headline, which also effects the way people act in the game.  Example headlines are, “Child finds syringe in park” or “Mosquitoes attack downtown”.  The headlines basically effect peoples preferences in whatever location they apply to.  Headlines that cause an annoyance like mosquitoes might make people that much more eager to visit your stand for some relief, but serious headlines, like crime or zoo animal escapes may turn people off all together.

So now that you have this information, you get to planning.  Planning the day takes place in a series of menus.  The menus are rather simple and self explanatory.  The first menu is the statistics menu.  This keeps track of your total sales, and you can refer to it to figure out what policies and recopies work best and which don’t work at all.  The next menu is the rent menu, where you get to pay money to upgrade your venue.  You can freely travel between venues as long as you have the money to do so.  Any venue other than the suburbs costs rent daily to continue selling there.  The menu after that is the upgrades menu.  Upgrades are one of the best things you can spend your money on.  They are all one time expenses, that help you turn a profit in some way, such as attracting more people with a sign, keeping them cool with a canopy, or buying an electric juicer to make production faster.  The menu after that is the staff menu.  Staff members are like upgrades in that they produce a positive benefit to your lemonade empire.  However, staff members have a daily wage you need to pay.  After that, there is the marketing menu, which is rather simple.  There are only two options in the marketing menu, which are the amount of money you will spend daily on advertising, and the amount of money you will charge for a glass of lemonade.  The last two menus are some of the most important menus in the game.  First there is the recipe menu.  This is where you figure out just which recipe to use for your lemonade.  Crappy lemonade dosen’t sell.  The menu after that is the supplies menu where you can purchase Cups, Ice, Lemons, and Sugar.

Lemonade Tycoon has two different play modes to speak of.  There is career mode, which is just an open simulation, allowing you to keep a stand for as long as you like.  There is also challenge mode, which sets several goals for you to meet within a certain number of days.  High scores are kept and tallied on the developers website “The Lemonade Stock Exchange.”

The interface of this game is clean and very easy to use.  The menus work with simply point and click action, plus and minus buttons either adding or subtracting to numerical values, with checkboxes and prompts doing the job for buying, selling, renting, or hiring.  There is also a visual representation of your stand and the traffic you are getting.  The graphics aren’t anything too spectacular and are barely Super Nintendo quality but that is not really the point.  The game is a draw due to its simulation value, and not due to the sparkly visuals. 

By far the weakest part of the game is its sound.  The most you will get out of Lemonade Tycoon is a repetitive beeping soundtrack and a digitized cash register sound.  Luckily, it gives the game a sort of a retro charm, that won’t really ruin the play experience for you.  All in all, Lemonade Tycoon is a pretty fun game to play.  It’s an easy going game that has a simple learning curve that just about anyone can enjoy.  It is a very efficient time waster, and great to play on work, on your cell phone, on your PDA, or on a computer when you have nothing better to do.

”Screenshot” ”Screenshot” ”Screenshot” ”Screenshot”
Related: Lemonade Tycoon 2: New York Edition, Roller Coaster Tycoon
Developer: Hexacto
Website for Game: N/A
Publisher: N/A
O/S: Windows 95/98/ME/2000/XP
Year of Release: 2003

Requirements:
Pentium II 266 MHz, 64 MB RAM
Tested on:
Intel Core2Duo 1,86 GHz, 1 GB RAM, Windows Vista


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