Captivating Game September 27, 2005
Over the past week or so I've been playing a game on my cell phone on the bus and train ride into work. It's incredible. It's called "Lemonade Tycoon". Don't laugh. Obviously, all you do is sell lemonade, but, there's lots of twists.
First, you invest $40 of fake money into your venture. You get a stand and apparently the tools to make lemonade. You have 4 things to buy: lemons, ice, sugar, and cups. There are multiple places you can set up shop. The suburbs are free, so that's where you start. The places that cost money are guaranteed to be more populated. Before setting out on your first day of sales, you have to decide a few things. The recipe is first. You pick how many lemons, sugar and ice to add to each pitcher of lemonade. People will not buy bad lemonade. The next thing to consider is your price. This is based off of numerous things like how popular your brand is in a particular location, and of course the weather. Don't charge $1.00 per cup on a 50 degree day! Lower your prices, you'll sell the same amount of cups as a 100 degree day, but you won't make as much, but you'll still cover your costs for that day. People will pay $1.50 for a cup on a hot day.
Repeat this as desired. You'll notice that it takes a long time to make a pitcher, and also a long time to serve someone. Lemons go bad after a few days, and you're always buying ice, always. There are upgrades. To make the time between pitchers go down, buy a "Lemon Juicer 9000". It's now instantaneous. Customers will complain of long waits if they are in a line with too many people in front of them (which I've found you can't control), if they are in line when you have to make a new pitcher, or they are in line and you don't have this upgrade: the cash register. Processing a sale is instant with this thing. You go up from maybe 25 sales at a location to easily breaking 60. They have an ice machine, but I noticed that it only gives you 100 ice cubes (which is nothing, I'm now buying 500 on top of the 100 given with the ice machine), and it will slowly regenerate them during the course of a day. It's useless when you start making 100+ sales in a day. Another thing is a fridge, so you can stock up on lemons and they won't go bad. The last upgrades in the game are pretty convenient. You have all this new technology for speeding up sales, capable of making hundreds of sales in a day, but you might not be able to hold enough supplies to support those kinds of sales. You can buy 2 different types of lemonade stands, which will hold all your stuff and increase your capacity. I now buy hundreds of lemons at a time, and up to 800 cups at a time, along with my 600 ice cubes and 100+ sugar kept in stock at all times, I'm pretty much set. I am using the second most expensive location, the beach, rented at $40 a day (the mall is $50 a day), and selling different amounts of cups a day (sometimes 160, sometimes 50), charging an arm and a leg when the temperature spikes over 80... like $1.20-$1.50. I have all the upgrades. The most expensive one is the Lemon Stand (a stand shaped as a lemon), and it goes for $999.99. The cheapest upgrade, the lemon juicer, is $149.99. This price, $149.99, seemed insurmountable when I was selling 10 cups a day, making $.36 profit on each cup. Now, my cash on hand is $1,500 with plenty of stock, and the market is ripe for the picking.
It makes me want to make a game like it.