Do you ever wish that you were a successful business mogul?
That you ran a string of restaurants, hotels, theme parks, zoos or whatever it is that rich
Well, apparently video game developers think you do, considering just how many tycoon games
exist and continue to be released.
While researching 10 Video Game Movies That Will Never Be Made, we stumbled across
a list of business simulation games and it turns out that there are a lot of them.
Apparently, if you had a company, business,or a well-known IP in the mid-2000s, then someone
somewhere in a boardroom suggested making a video game out of it resulting in some
very bizarre titles including Mall of America Tycoon, Playboy: The Mansion and uh[uncomfortable
cough], and while there have been plenty of good, passable, or downright forgettable business
games over the decades, we want to draw your attention to the strangest and most creativeones
that we could find.
Im Ben from TripleJump and here are 10 Weird Tycoon Games That Make You Rich Beyond
Your Wildest Dreams
Released in 1994 by Cybernetics Corporation, Pizza Tycoon or Pizza Connection is you wanna
get European about this, joins the pantheon of other restaurant management games that
include Diner Dash, Lemonade Tycoon, and the unforgettable Hot Dog Bush.
You start the game off rather casually; after selecting from a baffling array of over 100
different characters, you begin by designing your restaurant, bussing tables, and making
pizza, as you would expect.
However, your city has a number of other rival pizzerias that are all competing with you
to attract customers.
So, what are you to do?
Redecorate your restaurant?
Make better pizza?
I mean you could, but the easier option is of course to go out to your local arms dealer
and sabotage the rival restaurants with stink bombs and rats, thenget protection from the
local meat-face mafia before buying weapons to physically destroy their businesses.
In between handling your destructive tendencies, difficult customers and actually making the
pizza to a decent standard, you also have to keep on top of your debts to the local
loan sharks so that you can keep your business afloat.
With all this going on, who knows what kind of seedy underworld lay under Club Penguins
Eco Tycoon: Project Green
After everyone seemingly ignored all the warnings the 90sand 2000s gave us about destroying
the planet, saving the environment is now more important than ever before the main
culprits, of course, being the massive factories and corporations that are still refusing to
make the right changes to help preserve life on Earth as we know it.
And naturally, someone decided to make a video game about it.
Combining being a Fortune 500 CEO and being a dirty hippy, Eco-Tycoon was released by
Virtual Playgrounds and ValuSoft in 2009 for Windows, and plays about as well as youd
The game puts you in control of a regions factories, with the goal to reduce the amount
of CO2 being pumped into the atmosphere within 50 years; all while still producing enough
money, energy, and resources to keep the country afloat, which is easier said than done.
Despite its good intentions, the graphics make it look like a school computer-room learning
aid, which was probably its goal; with a parental guidance page giving it +3 for positive
messages and +4 for consumerism, and even they say that its too easy.
While saving the planet is vital, I suppose it is kind of hard to make it fun.
Some of these titles really dont make themselves easy to research, do they?
No, not the 1992 Hong Kong action drama film, or the title of the recently deceased Hong-Kongese
billionaire tycoon; the game Casino Tycoon is a 2001 title by Cat Daddy Games which
is now a subsidiary of 2K Play if thats any indication of how well that company went.
With a deafening cacophony of slot machines, gambling tables and the kind of sleazy and
slightly naff entertainment youd normally expect; considering that casinos are basically
gigantic money pits people freely throw their life savings into, setting up a casino and
raking in the cash may seem like an easy thing to do and youd be right; which is probably
why this game only has one playthrough on YouTube.
In the years passed, other casino games have surpassed casino tycoon in scope, with one
involving running the whole of Vegas instead of one casino hall.
The graphics themselves are very basic, and honestly, the cover is worse than anything
our editor could make on MS paint - Wait what!?
Includes an opportunity to win a holiday for 2 to Monte Carlo!?
Sign me the hell up!
Get me to a CEX, Im going to Monaco!
It makes sense that the first 3D simulation game to ever exist aimed, literally, for the
Developed by Legacy Interactive and published by Anarchy Enterprises, upon Moon Tycoons
release in 2001 even the mega popular SimCity games were still only in 2D. Moon Tycoon actually
helped evolve the genre of business management into 21st-century graphics, which is more
than can be said for any of the other entries on this list.
The games storyline is set in the far-flung future of 2021 (a little bit presumptive
of the developers if Im honest with you), and the Earth is facing a global energy crisis
( okay, so maybe not that presumptive).
Your job is to establish a mining colony on the moon to find the precious and rare ore
Helium 3, which can save Earth and prevent the crisis altogether.
Once the mines are established and running, you can then expand into a proper lunar colony;
as well as a sandbox level that allows you the freedom to build whatever the hell you
Of course, like all good business tycoon games, you also have to compete with rival corporations
who have their sights set on creating even better lunar colonies with blackjack
Atlantis Underwater Tycoon / Deep Sea Tycoon
While these are actually two separate games, the internet finds them so difficult to tell
apart they get to share an entry.
With the same underwater gimmick, released in the same year (2003) by the same developers
(Anarchy Enterprises), for the same publisher (Activision)and for the same platform (Windows),
it is very easy to see why Atlantis Underwater Tycoon and Deep Sea Tycoon are so easily confused.
The sequel to Moon Tycoon, Deep Sea Tycoon is unsurprisingly similar with the main
difference being that it is set in the eerie void of the bottom of the ocean rather than
the airless void of space.
Your aim is to build an underwater colony to satisfy the population, while also mining
Atlantis Tycoon is pretty much the same, establishing a colony and keeping the eco-system
balanced and your population happy, while also dealing with budgets, social and natural
issues, pirates yknow, the usual issues with running a city.
Unfortunately, any footage of Atlantis Tycoon has, rather fittingly, been lost to time,
so youll have to imagine the gameplay using these surprisingly high-definition images
Unfortunately the same cannot be said for the front cover, check out those pixels
Carnival Cruise Line Tycoon 2005: Island Hopping
The winner for the most needlessly long title on this list, Carnival Cruise Line Tycoon
2005: Island Hopping was the only tycoon game released by Cruise Line company Carnival
(as far as we can tell) and is another Tycoon game published under Activision.
Building a cruise ship is a lot different to building a theme park, a lunar base, or
a casino, as instead of a vast open areas of land, you are given a couple of hundred
thousand square feet.
That sounds like a lot until you realise that its contained within about fifty meters
in width and a few hundred meters in length, and minus all of the [scoff] safety features
and engineering rooms.
Making the most of the space given to you is both the challenge and the drawback to
the game, battling with putting in enough restaurants, bars, and lifeboats to keep your
passengers happy, entertained, and alive.
And, as anyone who had to study the Titanic in history class knows, its very difficult
to design a ships interior without risking killing everyone if you happen to run into
an errant iceberg because you decided youd rather have a grand staircase instead of a
stupid unsexy, lifesaving bulkhead.
SeaWorld Adventure Parks Tycoon
I tell you what, Activision really had the Tycoon game market sewn up in the 2000s - if
the majority of this list didnt tell you that already.
SeaWorld hasnt really had a good reputation since ever, but that didnt stop them
from trying their hand at bringing all the fun of the fair to your home computer only,
with less animal cruelty.
While it boasts some of the better graphics on this list, the gameplay is very similar
to 2001s Zoo Tycoon.
However, theres a lot less focus on the wellbeing of the sea creatures in your care,
with all the enclosures comingpre-built and having no real focus on the happiness of the
individual animals; which again, considering SeaWorlds reputation, isnt very surprising.
Despite Zoo Tycoon releasing a very similar expansion, Marine Mania, a year before,
SeaWorld Tycoon proved to be very popular, especially with itsridable rollercoasters
(again, beaten to the punch by the more in-depth Rollercoaster Tycoon in 1999).While SeaWorld
Tycoon had a sequel in 2005, it was certainly nothing new to the market; still, you were
able to train dolphins to perform for live shows and we all know that is as uncontroversial
as it comes.
The concept of tabloids coming up with fake or exaggerated headlines isnt anything
new, its been going on basically since newspapers were invented: A reporter embellishing
headlines to sell newspapers, and then spiralling into the entire tabloid being utter fiction
is practically an episode in most kids TV sitcoms, and here it is again back, in
video game form.
While most Tycoon games give you a plot of land to set up your business from scratch,
Tabloid Tycoon instead has you creating juicy and scandalous [mutter] and fake headlines.
With your headquarters already set up in a fittingly seedy-looking office, you instead
have to keep track of your budget, your reporters and photographers, and the stories that you
Using a dropdown menu of options for adverbs, nationalities, political parties, and more,
once you have a lead for a story, you can tailor it to be as scandalous or as provocative
The old-fashioned form of clickbait, you need some questionably accurate stories to get
people to read your newspaper, but also balance it out with actual news to avoid your paper
becoming a known rag-mag.
While all you need nowadays is access to photoshop and a twitter account, there will always be
a certain art to truly ridiculous headlines.
Transport Tycoon ties with Pizza Tycoon for the oldest game on this list, both being published
by MicroProse in 1994 for Windows and MS-DOS, but coming from different developers.
Created by Chris Sawyer Productions, Transport Tycoon followed in the footsteps of Sid Meiers
Railroad Tycoon, but expanded on the concept by not limiting itself to just trains.
Covering 100 years of history from the 1930s to the 2030s, like Isambard Kingdom Brunel
before you, you are given an island and tasked with creating an efficient transport system
to interconnect its cities and factories.
With the game being easily customisable, you can control exactly how it all plays out,
choosing not only the currency and types of units (either metric or imperial) but also
whether the vehicles drive on the left or the right hand-side of the road.
This means you can mix and match and make a version of the United States that drives
on the left side of the road and uses the metric system, like it should.
Using airports, seaports, highways, railways, and what-have-you-ways, to create a conveyor-line
flow of resources, while you arent competing with anyone for supremacy over the transport
industry, if you do not succeed then loans cant be repaid, businesses dont get
their materials and the entire national infrastructure will begin to crumble around you
no pressure then.
Wildlife Tycoon: Venture Africa
For a genre mainly focused on big business, a lot of Tycoon games are strangely obsessed
with animals and their care, and thats completely ignoring the entirely different
kettle of fish that is the expansive genre of veterinarian games.
When you read the title Wildlife Tycoon: Venture Africa, its easy to assume that
you will be building your very own wildlife reserve, protecting the animals from poachers,
educating people on conservation and setting up breeding programs to raise the animal population.
However, Wildlife Tycoon actually gives you a far grander goal of rebooting the entire
African eco-system from scratch.
While the game tells you that you are a fellow African explorer, your ability to not only
manipulate the terrain at will, create animals out of thin air, communicate with them and
also make it rain on command; suggests that you are in fact some kind of benevolent animal-loving
Tycoon games cant be without money however, so the game lets you earn flowers and jewels
that you can exchange for the ability to spontaneously spawn animals and fully grown shrubs and trees
out of thin air, so magic or equivalent exchange alchemy is apparently involved in this process
Cant say fairer than that really.
And thats our list.
Are there any other wells of imaginary video game money weve failed to mine?
Let us know in the comments below
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Im Ben from TripleJump, and thanks for watching.