Reviewed: October 16, 2006
Released: April 15, 2005
Coffee Tycoon from Jamopolis Interactive is less than just another tycoon game released for the PC. Coffee Tycoon does have you making a few business decisions like employee positions, menu items or store upgrades but there is not much else to do. And those decisions are usually rendered moot by the random happenings of the game during your business day.
In Coffee Tycoon you get to start your own coffee house franchise in a large city of your choosing and make major decisions as the chief executive officer of the business. Youíll also make a couple of other decisions for the company that will make very little difference to the game but thatís business in Coffee Tycoon.
With little to do other than start and end your business day you can really call Coffee Tycoon a point and click game. During gameplay you point at the Start button or the End Day button and hope to gain cash and customers. There are random events that occur during the day that make all the difference in whether or not you make any money that day. There are supposed to be upgrades you can purchase to your business like company stock opportunities, advertising or better equipment such as new coffee bean grinders or cappuccino makers that increase your sales as well. But these are offset by the random events that add or subtract to your business and wealth.
Coffee Tycoon starts with you choosing your coffee house name, a pre-made company logo and the city of your franchise. These really donít mean anything to the business other than the location which is just what types of coffee are better sellers. You start by selling regular coffee and when you get enough money you can add to your menu with things like decaf, espresso or cappuccino. You have to purchase these additions to your menu with the better coffee drinks being more expensive. You will also be allowed to purchase new equipment and other bonus things like offering employee discounts or buying ads in newspapers.
You automatically add branch stores to your coffee empire with no choice as to location or what they serve. They serve the same thing your first and other stores serve. During gameplay you hit the start the day button and events will occur during the day like random good and bad things. There are also interesting facts displayed on the playing screen as well as sayings from some customers that mean nothing.
The events during the day are either good or bad for you and your business. This is where the random events kind of nullify your business savvy and buying better equipment. When you purchase better coffee equipment you are supposed to get a bonus for that piece of equipment, just like in real life. But the random events that occur can make the days proceeds go down instead of up. They can also be good for you but overall it just seems like the game is pointless with what you actually do. The random events are things like a new coffee house opened across the street so you lose customers or coffee bean prices are up so you lose money.
When the day is done you get to add menu items or other store improvements as long as you can afford them. There is really nothing else to do in this game expect start and end the day and occasionally buy something as well as a little employee management. You get to choose what percent of your employees are clerks, managers and executives during gameplay which affects how well your franchise does. Over time you eventually rise in how many stores you own and how many menu items you have until you reach a million customers and win the game. Thatís it.
With some screens that are for your employee statistics, your menu choices, business upgrades and a useless customer screen you have some pretty basic cartoon looking graphics. The business day screen shows a group of people standing around with their arms going up and down and their heads tilting back to drink coffee while a red bar goes across the End Day button.
I guess this was to make gameplay longer by having your day occur over a longer period of time instead of just popping up your daily events. There is really nothing to this game as far as graphics and the whole thing could have been made so much better with something, anything.
Here there was some thought involved to having something playing in the background as you wait for the day to complete but it gets rather boring quickly as the same tunes play on and on. I hope you like jazz because thatís what you get with Coffee Tycoon, over and over again. There are a few different tunes but not a full song so the same tunes play for awhile and then the game slips into a new tune that repeats for awhile and then slips on to the next one.
Go and buy some coffee and forget Coffee Tycoon. It will be a better value and there are some really good choices at your local super market for some fresh flavored coffees. Your choices for a better business only mean choosing menu items and what upgrades to your store you want to buy when you get enough money.
Thatís all there is to playing this game. You can alter what percentage of your employees are management, executive and barista or clerk but it doesnít make much of a difference to sales except when this is balanced and your not losing money. Your choice of logo and name doesnít matter and the location will just be a matter of what should be chosen for the menu items. One city will do better with the espressos while another will be a regular coffee Mecca.
All you really do in this game is wait for more money to roll in and then buy more menu items, better equipment, ads, company incentives or business helpers like coffee plantations. You can change the percentage of what employees do but it didnít seem to make much of a difference overall except when the percentages are way off. You do nothing else while playing but hit the start and end button, occasionally buy things for your store and manage employees.
Coffee Tycoon has few choices or features other than the choice of things to add to the menu and the equipment or other store improvements you can buy and manage employees. With the customer menu to show who patronizes your stores, over a dozen interesting facts about coffee and a few other things they have tried to add something to the game but it really is bad. There is a wide variety of tycoon games hitting the video game market but Coffee Tycoon is not one that is even worth looking at.