TYCOON - Reviewed by Mike
Excellent 4-player game in which you represent a businessman flying around the globe, building hotels and factories in any of the 9 major cities. The movement system is by use of flight tickets of 2 distinct types, purchased either in the current round or stored up from previous rounds. Flight tickets can be combined to make mega-moves so a player can get to wherever he wants, IF he has the right combination !!!
Lots of decisions to make regarding WHICH city to fly to and build, then WHAT to build, hotel or factories, as you can only have one build per turn and that must be in the city in which you currently reside. Plenty of player interaction as they fight for a majority holding of hotels in a city, using a clever scoring track mechanism.
You are constantly looking at which flight tickets are available( there's always 8 to choose from) so that you can plan your strategy ahead....only to find that having 'secured' say, Hong Kong, another player flies in unexpectedly and starts to threaten that control...what do you do ?....carry on with your planned moves (you've already invested in the tickets) or get back to Hong Kong (if you can ) and beat off the challenge.....
And as if that is not enough to think about the money to do all these things is very tight initially. You can, as your move, fly off the board and take out ONE loan in one of two fixed amounts. But this is all you can do in your turn and you may decide to stay off for another turn to take out a further loan...meanwhile the other players (you know, those with money) are placing hotels and factories and gaining control of cities...and one final irony, you have to purchase a flight ticket to get BACK ON the Board.
Just to make sure that you don't have too easy a time, a round ends when one player has placed 6 of his/her hotels and when all players have had their turn for the round a 'payday' occurs. Players receive income according to their holdings in the different cities and the number of hotels they have in play on the board. So you have to keep an eye on how many hotels each player has placed and determine if they are about to end a round......do you stay where you are and build another hotel to ensure that you have enough hotels to qualify for some income, or risk flying to somewhere else and to establish a prescence in another city ? ....should you build a factory to generate income ?.......should you try to wrest control from another player by flying into that city and placing a hotel to give you the majority holding ?....all clever stuff and quite taxing.
The game consists of 3 'paydays' with the money escalating on each one and the whole exercise takes about 2 hours to play, the one with the most money being the winner. There is a lot to like about this game. It looks good, it is well-themed and provides plenty of challenging options. We liked it a lot.