Trump Tycoon in Review: A Raw Deal

With various tycoon games left and right making a killing on the App Store, it’s about time the iconic Donald Trump lent his name to a popular genre which he himself represents. Enter Trump Tycoon.

Trump Tycoon puts you, the player, in the coveted position of apprentice to Donald Trump himself. You are tasked primarily with the buying and selling of real estate, as well as completing other missions Donald Trump requires. There is a given set of traits and characteristics  which you can improve by gaining experience and closing deals.

The job has its perks – an able assistant at your beck and call, a private suite, and office space, as well as bragging rights for working inside the fabled Trump office. You can interact with the staff and clients, and find your way around the office with the use of two buttons – move and look. You can take the elevator to get to the different rooms in the building to look around and interact with other people. There are surprises in store with a bit of exploration.

The main aspect of gameplay is in the buying and selling of real estate. You can inspect the property to guide your buying decision and you can also improve your chances of selling high by investing in repairs and renovations. At the same time, gameplay is realistic enough to take in factors such as the number of days a property is on the market, mortgage payments, down payments and deterioration of properties while they are leased and waiting to be sold.

While I imagine the day to day inside the Trump Towers to be crackling with energy, the rooms in Trump Tycoon are eerily quiet and largely empty. Interaction with the characters in each room is quite flat and feel for the most part, unnecessary.

The game is rendered mostly in dull shades of grey and silver, with some colour here and there, making the game feel static and lifeless.  Although in 3D, the 3D graphics look and feel part of some prehistoric computing era, but the animation is even clunkier. The move and look buttons are tedious to use and sorely limited in movement. There’s no background music to fill in the void and there are minimal sound effects as well.

I was hoping the buying and selling part, the heart of the game, would compensate for poor graphics and sounds. Surprisingly, Trump Tycoon lacks in depth and nuanced gameplay – and it’s simply ironic, considering that the name capitalizes on the fact that it’s a Trump-inspired game. To its credit, buying and selling and completing missions is engaging enough to sit through.

There is also an odd bug that’s come up. I’ve gotten a zero offer (and a potential huge loss, of course) on some properties I’m selling, and there seems to be no way of going around it since the usual option of making a counter offer is absent. Rejecting the offer continuously doesn’t work either. I tried accepting the offer one time just to see if the bug goes away but now it shows up even more often.

The pricetag of $2.99 is undeserved and one has a wide selection of far superior games to spend their money on.

That said, I wonder if Mr. Trump checked out the competition and more importantly, gave his own game a test drive before giving the go-signal. It comes as a disappointment that Donald Trump, an icon in the industry himself lent his name and image to a game that falls short of any gamer’s standards and very likely – his own as well.

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App Summary
Title: Trump TycoonDeveloper: Hands-On Mobile
Reviewed Ver:1.0.1Min OS Req:2.2.1
Price:$2.99App Size:12.1 MB
  • A fairly realistic approach to the real estate business in the gameplay that’s easy to understand
  • Interesting quests and missions to complete
  • Poor controls
  • Poor graphics and animation
  • Possible major bug that needs to be fixed
  • Lack of depth and nuance in the gameplay
  • Undeserved price tag for the quality

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