Monopoly Tycoon is not Monopoly in any capacity other than flavor. Monopoly Tycoon is a corporation simulator that pits you against other striving upstarts to achieve goals ranging from daily profit margins to approval ratings. You achieve these goals by creating retail shops and residences that sell their stock in Atlantic City. You can also buy property blocks to prevent others from building on certain lots as well as collect rental fees from any existing businesses on the block. The game progresses through time from the 1920's to the 1990's, expanding the selection of available shops with each decade to accommodate newer products and fashions. You can also engage in monopolization of blocks, hostile takeovers, landscaping, and other such deeds to achieve your goals.
At its heart, Monopoly Tycoon is a business simulator that models the supply and demand structure of a city. Your job is make as much money as you can by exploiting this structure while shutting down your competition.
Retail Stores have stock of a specific item that they want to sell to somebody for money. The larger the store, the more stock they have. Your objective with retail store construction is to make sure that consumer demand is being met by your shops in order to generate profit margins. The game gives you many ways to monitor this supply-demand chain. If a poll says that a lot of people really want ice cream, putting up ice cream parlors will probably be a good idea. These demands change over time and difficult decisions must be reached about selling off unprofitable stores as time goes on and possibly buying out competitor's stores that look like they might do better soon. The wealth of citizens also varies from place to place and three levels of shop quality can be built depending on what class of society you are trying to cater to. You are also given complete authority over the price of every product you sell in real time. If your competitor is offering similar services to yours and your sales are being cannibalized by his shops, you canm attempt to undercut his prices and steer customers away from buying his stock.
The customers to your stores all live within the limits of Atlantic City. Therefore, they shop where they live and where they live is in apartments. Apartments are the only residential space you are allowed to construct and their completion (along with semi-reasonable pricing) will cause people to move in. Alternately, the city may already have apartments where people may live. Most scenarios in the game's campaign already have some level of infrastructure built when you get there.
The time of day and the year plays a large role in the proceedings of Monopoly Tycoon. For example, all bills for stock and utilities get paid at 6:00 AM. Retail stores can have either daytime or nighttime hours, which one being totally dependent on the product they sell (bars are open at night, toy stores during the day). Daytime stores open at 9:00 AM and close at 5:00 PM. One hour of inactivity passes and the nighttime venues open 6:00 PM to 12:00 PM. 12:00 PM is also when cash level evaluations go through; if you are in the red for money two nights in a row you go bankrupt and lose. From 12:00 PM to 6:00 AM, players can do anything they want and this time is generally used to adjust retail pricing and reorganize businesses.
Each new year brings with it new inventions and mainstream products to sell and Monopoly Tycoon reflects this. Every 24 hour day/night cycle that passes moves the date up 5 years. On each decade marker, new products come into the market as well as retail stores that house these products. In addition, newer kinds of stores arrive that sell combinations of items instead of just one, such as the supermarket which sells all of the foods instead of having a separate butcher, vegetable stand, and baker. Occasionally newer structures will still only sell one product but they will do so in a smaller space or will sell more units in the same space. All of these things happen inevitably over time unless the game mode is explicitly set to a specific decade.
Nearly every block in Atlantic City is up for sale to the highest bidder in Monopoly Tycoon. If you have your eyes in a particular block, simply nominate it for auction. After a period of time, all players will be called in to bid on the property in a round robin auction. The winner gets exclusive building rights on the property for a period of time and collects rent from all businesses on the square (or doesn't pay rent if the building is their own). Owning a property also gives you the option to buy out businesses on that property for a nominal fee. If you get all the properties of a specific color, you have a monopoly, which does two things. The first is it drops the statute value of every business on the monopoly to drop to zero (normally this number steadily declines with age) allowing for very inexpensive buyouts. The second is that it allows you to build the hotel, a residential structure that costs nearly nothing to maintain but generates a huge amount of revenue. You do not have to own a property for the hotel to remain yours.
Approximately every 32 hours, the game will give each player a chance card. As the name suggests, these cards have a certain level of risk involved in drawing them (which you are not required to do) but they can also have some very cool effects as well. These effects range from hostile takeovers to free money to giving away money to anything in between. The cards tend to be better more often than worse and some of the cards may not end up affecting you at all like the card that forces the richest player to give money to the poorest player. These cards tend to have more dynamic effects than they do in the original Monopoly board game, mostly due to the greater depth of this game.
Why is it called Monopoly Tycoon?
When you start playing the game, it quickly becomes apparent that Monopoly Tycoon borrows almost nothing whatsoever from its namesake mechanically. Listed here are all prevalent similarities between Monopoly Tycoon and the original Monopoly boardgame.
- Uncle Pennybags has a statue in the middle of the city
- The blocks are all named after Atlantic City blocks
- You can get hotels (not houses)
- Electric Company, Waterworks, and the four railroads are there (expanded to also include Telecoms and Gasworks)
- The characters are all designed to represent tokens from the boardgame
- Getting a monopoly lets you build a hotel
- There are chance cards
- Both games have money
Why this game is licensed under the Monopoly trademark is anyone's guess, though chances are the game was initially closer in style to its namesake and simply evolved to a great degree.