Review: Smartphone Tycoon

If you follow the reviews here on Kabir News you know I love industry/business simulators. Music sims, wrestling booking sims, game develop sims–I love them all. There was one missing, however. Where’s the smartphone manufacturer sims? I know, that’s very specific but after some time of playing management sims on mobile, we finally have one: Smartphone Tycoon by Roastery Games!

Review: Smartphone Tycoon

Yes, I know. It’s not the best title for a game but it does tell you what you’re getting into. The game plays like a few other management sims. You build a product, manage your budget, sell the product, bring in money, and do it all again. Sounds simple, right? You would be 90 percent correct!

The game follows even the graphical simplicity of other simulator games: you have one faceless employee in a room to start and they’re tasked with developing your first smartphone with a budget of $50 million.

This employee has some of the worst stats in the beginning but as your phone family makes money you’ll be able to expand operations and develop future phones and operating systems much faster.

That second part is key: don’t try to do anything with an OS with one low stat team member. Smartphone Tycoon will basically slow to a crawl. I don’t mean this technically as in the game lags but gameplay-wise things just slow down while you wait on this guy to get the task done. Consider this a hint.

Review: Smartphone Tycoon

Missing from the game seems to be the ability to train employees, something you saw in Game Dev Tycoon and other tycoon/simulator titles. Other things such as advertising, fanbase, industry share, and industry product ratings are all here in a manageable degree.

As far as difficulty, Smartphone Tycoon comes off as pretty easy. All you really have to do is keep an eye on your money, make a phone with the most recently released parts, price it fairly, pick the right amount to manufacture, apply research points to phone upgrades, and do it all over again. If you this–especially the pricing part–you’re playing the game well. Another hint.

I bring up difficulty because it seems like the phone rating can be extremely hot and cold with nothing in the middle. Either you put your money towards the latest chips and the biggest RAM and space size or you’re getting those low scores. This makes it hard to fail if you’re not watching your phone. Also, there’s nothing else to work on. You release your phone, it sells and you either start work on an OS or work on a new phone with no significant gap of time between the phones.

Review: Smartphone Tycoon

There are no trade shows, the development time is very steady and if you have a larger team then that phone will be done shortly. Perhaps it’s best to just let the team work on the phone after the bugs have been removed to eat up time. A feature to just set the phone down until release or even assign a release date would possibly work here if not for the constant news that a new processor has been released or ended.

VERDICT

Smartphone Tycoon has a lot of potential to be a great tycoon/simulation game because it’s the only one to focus on smartphones. I guess that would mean it’s the best smartphone simulation game but considering the issues with the game and that there is no competition in miles, it’s not something I’d write home about.

A few more features and doing something with the logic would go a long way in making this game a tycoon game worth downloading and keeping. As it is right now, it simply got to a niche first and is enjoyable for a few days before the issues start to get to you.

RATING: D+


Starting with Kabir News in 2013, James has focused on tech, gaming, and entertainment. When not writing, he enjoys catching up on sci-fi and horror shows and comics. He can be followed on Twitter @MetalSwift.

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