We give the casual game industry credit for not going flower crazy. Flower Stand Tycoon doesn’t have the distinction of being the first flower-themed game, but it won’t be the last. At least, we don’t see flower-theme games come out left and right like other themes. Players and reviewers appreciate it when the themes don’t come out in droves.
Anyway, Flower Stand Tycoon reminds me of Fairy Godmother Tycoon without the wacky and quirky characters and comedy. Don’t let the fact Flower Stand Tycoon doesn’t quite measure up with Fairy Godmother Tycoon stop you from smelling the roses. Fairy Godmother Tycoon stands out from the tycoon crowd, so I don’t expect to see one come close to matching or surpassing the game.
In typical casual game fashion, the game starts off with the story of Uncle Potts who wants to grow a flower business. However, he has no business acumen as he specializes in bioengineering and would rather discover new flowers. He hands off what little he has of his business and lets you take over beginning with picking your avatar.
As you begin, the game guides you through the features and how to manage the business. Figuring out the game its controls involves a learning curve, but the competition doesn’t enter the game for a bit giving players time to feel comfortable. While you can build up to buy more stands, it’ll take time to get to that point as you need to upgrade, discover new flowers, and take over several areas of the city.
Stock up your inventory, set the prices, and let the day play it out. You can speed up the day (as you don’t do anything except watch customers, their reactions, and the profit numbers climb (you hope). So often, I just end the day and not bother waiting around. Is the game still playable when I do this? Yes. There are lots to do — I have to figure out which upgrades to buy, study reports, determine how much cash to invest in research and marketing.
I also study the areas to see where I want to sell next. The game provides population, demand, and popular item information. Reviewing this information makes an impact on your sales, one big plus about Flower Stand Tycoon. Make decisions do matter and you see the results of those decisions. News and reports also aid decision-making.
You have a say in how many of each product you want to sell. However, the numbers jump as they get larger beginning with 20, 40, 60, 100 and then 200. No 75 or even 150. At one point, I had customers buying an average of 70 to 80 of a flower, but 100 is a waste. Whatever they don’t buy doesn’t always carry over — a big problem in the game. While it makes sense for flowers to do before we can sell them, the game isn’t consistent in its handling of leftover inventory.
When competitors come to play, the neighborhoods receive different colors based on the company that holds the leading share of the market. Between competitors and all the information available, players have plenty to think about and decisions to make. The game’s strength is its ability to let you go in almost any direction. The only thing you can’t jump around on is buying certain items. Some items call for buying something else first.
Unlike many business games, you don’t deal with goals for every level. In fact, sometimes I’m not sure where I am going except to overtake the competitors and earn lots of profits so I can upgrade everything and discover new flowers.
Flower Stand Tycoon runs for a long time and offers many upgrades and other options. While it doesn’t win gold medals or green thumb awards, the journey of managing a business complete with marketing and reporting makes the game a worthy play.