Review: Lemonade Tycoon
Version Reviewed: 1.0.24
Making lemonade and selling it on street corners is definitely an American thing. I've been racking my brains trying to come up with a British equivalent, and all I can think of is the early morning Paper Round, and the Blue Peter Bring and Buy Jumble Sales.
Lemonade Tycoon is your typical management simulator. You start off with a tiny table outside your house and a few dollars in your pocket. With this you can buy cups, lemonade, sugar, ice cubes and advertising to try and make a profit selling lemonade. That's once you've made it. The first problem (of many) is how many lemons should be mixed with how much sugar to make sweet lemonade (as opposed to as sour as Budweiser Lite)? This is complicated becasue everybody's tastes change depending on how hot the weather is, so you've got to balance the mix of sugar and lemons together with the number of ice cubes, which keep the drinks cool but makes the lemonade weaker.
The secret is to focus on one variable at a time and change this to get the best value, then look at the next value. So you might keep your recipe constant and only change the price until you find one that works, then fix that and look at the recipe. It's a slow process, but this is the key to the game. The longer this process can be dragged out (while keeping the player amused), the longer the game will last. Jamdat are to be prasied that they can keep this process going on so long (without frustration in this reviewer). This more than anything contributes to the longevity of the game.
So once you've cracked the recipe, and found a good price (don't forget if it's hot, people will pay much more for a nice cool drink!), it's time to build up your customer base and expand away from your table in the front garden. If you want to move to other locations (the Park, Downtown, the Shopping Mall or the Beach) you'll be guaranteed a lot more people passing your stall, but they'll have never heard of you, so you'll need to advertise and rely on word of mouth. Plus it'll cost you to hire a spot that you don't leech from your parents.
All these variables can be changed from the well laid out screens, using just the cursor and a click-in. The number pad can be used as shortcut keys, but frankly I never used them. The interface is fast to move through, and easy to change. Which is good because in a game like this (and a mobile one at that) you need to change things quickly and see the results without really worrying about how to change the number of lemons in the recipe.
You do see your results - an almost security-camera view of the area around your Lemonade Stand, with people walking past, dropping $'s into the air as you earn some money, and their reactions as they walk away and taste the drink. You've an option to speed this view up, which you'll end up using after the first or second long day where you leave it alone to run at normal speed.
The main game is open ended, which means you can keep on playing and attempt to crack the more lucrative markets of the Shopping Mall ($50 a day to rent) and the Beach ($100). Of course you might prefer to spend your money on buying the perfect accessories for your Lemonade Stand (like a new stand altogether, that can replace your Mum's kitchen table), fast cash registers, juicer, ice cube machines, and so on. If you like that sort of thing.
But the open ended game isn't for everyone. So Jamdat have produced a 'Limited Time' game, where you get 30 days to make as much money as possible. This is good for a short game, but you need to be proficient at the main game and know how the population enjoys their lemonade. And this is probably the key to the whole game. Work out those variables (it should take a good amount of gameplay) and you've cracked the game. Once you've cracked the game, it's not the sort of thing you'll come back to. It can also be pretty frustrating when you first start and you can't make any headway with all the settings.
Get over this initial hump, though, and you've got a nice game to while away 5-10 minutes at a time over a month or so. A nice solid 71% from this reviewer.
Reviewed by Ewan Spence at