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Fruit Juice Tycoon 2

For: iPhone

Less sweet, more sour

Product: Fruit Juice Tycoon 2 | Developer: Sonew | Publisher: Minoraxis | Format: iPhone | Genre: Adventure, Puzzle, Strategy | Players: 1 | Networking: wireless (network) | Version: Europe | App version: 1.1.0
Fruit Juice Tycoon 2 iPhone, thumbnail 1
There's something about Fruit Juice Tycoon 2 that suggests developer Minoraxis might have left its fruit out in the sun for a little too long.

So juicy was the first instalment that it's initially hard to fathom just why this ostensibly similar follow-up is nowhere near as sweet.

Perhaps conscious that the time-management formula can only be tweaked so much, Minoraxis has decided to drop the game inside something of a rudimentary role-playing framework, with less than convincing results.

Same old story

Your job remains to save a failing business by making money selling fruit juice from stalls at various locations around the city.

Processing the fruit to turn it into juice is a case of re-ordering the pieces into stacks of three. Matching said fruit results in juice filling the vats at the bottom of the grid, the idea being to ensure each variety is stocked to satisfy the customers.

Patrons shuffle in while this is going on, making Fruit Juice Tycoon 2 a game of two elements: generating fruit juice, and making sure you serve the right drinks to the right customers in time.

Juice diluter

What sets this apart from its the first game is the role-playing elements. In between each game, you have to scroll through reams of dialogue, traversing the city to buy items and unlocking new areas in which to sell your wares.

You also need to take a nap now and then since your character's health runs down the longer you play. This is simply a way of splitting up the days - each possible site for your stand comes with an indicator showing how many customers are waiting for your return, with demand decreasing come nightfall.

By sending you to bed, Fruit Juice Tycoon 2 speeds the hours by in a whisker, making you wonder why the game employed a day/night structure in the first place.

Sticky mess

Frustratingly, there's little consideration given as to how to better integrate the fruit-swapping puzzle play with the rest of the game.

For example, should you forget to stock up on supplies between each stage – sugar, fruit, ice, and glasses – there's no way of halting play in the middle of a level. If you run out, you're left helpless, all while the customers look on and eventually leave disgruntled.

As a package, Fruit Juice Tycoon 2 simply doesn't fit. Almost every new facet of play feels like a token measure. The separate parts don't work together, leaving you with a game that needlessly draws out the bits in between the one element that works – the fruit-swapping puzzles.

In trying to draw together two disparate gameplay types, Fruit Juice Tycoon 2 succeeds in highlighting the accomplishments of the first game. But it doesn't quite succeed on its own terms. 
Fruit Juice Tycoon 2
Reviewer photo
Keith Andrew | 17 March 2011
Planting role-playing elements in the original set up, Fruit Juice Tycoon 2 is a game that never truly works as one package
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