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iPhone  header logo

Fruit Juice Tycoon

For: iPhone

Utterly fruitful

Product: Fruit Juice Tycoon | Developer: Minoraxis | Format: iPhone | Genre: Arcade, Simulation | Players: 1 | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0.0
Fruit Juice Tycoon iPhone, thumbnail 1
First it was butter. Then eggs were off, and then back on, the menu. Now the press would have us believe that fruit juices and smoothies – the very things they've spent the last five years desperately trying to get us to consume, all whilst sitting on our Ikea furniture or driving our hybrid cars – are actually worse for us than a can of cola.

There's more to the fruit juice industry than just a simple health kick, however. Yes, there's pounds to stack and dollars to draw in. Fruit Juice Tycoon's styling might suggest that it's nothing but a plain ol' match-three puzzler, but under the surface, the game formerly known as Blue Mango Twist is firmly focused on making money out of everyone's favourite fad.

In terms of pure actions, you'll spend most of your time tapping the screen, swapping pieces of fruit around – strawberry, lemons or blueberries – so they link up in a vertical line of three. The fruit is then squeezed into juice, each group of three providing enough refreshment to fill one cup. Given your job is running a juice stall, that's an essential part of your trade.

Serving customers makes up the other half of play. It's balancing these two actions – the sorting of the fruit and the pouring of drinks to match customer orders (again, achieved by tapping the juice you wish to pour and then tapping the glass to fill it) – that makes each day behind the counter fairly hectic.

It's the kind of play that has much in common with Cake Mania or Diner Dash, but Fruit Juice Tycoon takes the idea of running your own business and pushes it on one step further.

While coping with customers, making enough money to upgrade your utensils, take on staff and generally improving your stall's efficiency is key, there's a plot that deals with shady corporations buying stakes in your business and generally trying to run you out of town.

It's a marriage that works well and actually adds further pressure points to proceedings. Such is the strength of your competition that meeting targets (earning a set amount of customer approval by a certain date, or turning over a specific profit per day) pushes the game forward, ensuring that even a torrent of upgrades that supposedly make your life easier doesn't distill the challenge.

Managing your finances so you can keep going is actually a key part of play, with ordering stock and materials left entirely up to you. Early on, it can prove fruitful to keep orders low, but once your stall gains notoriety it won't go down well with your clientèle if you're juice-less halfway through the day.

Your realm of responsibility doesn't stop there, either. Along with managing your own outlet, delivering stock to other local franchises falls under your jurisdiction. In practice, this involves taking charge of a simple road network in another tap-happy mini-game. Stalls along the route flash the colour of the fruit they require. Your job is to send off the corresponding van, placing arrows along the path to ensure they deliver the order to the right location.

It's another test of your reactions that counters the game's management elements, suitably different from the main action. If nothing else, Fruit Juice Tycoon is the perfect example of how to marry a simple test of speed with an engaging plot. Being one of the first to successfully push the genre on, this is arguably an essential purchase and will more than likely remain so, at least until someone else manages to squeeze a bit more juice out of such rich fruit.
Fruit Juice Tycoon
Reviewer photo
Keith Andrew | 7 April 2009
Fruit Juice Tycoon is a rare pick: a quick-fire puzzler meets management sim that goes the extra mile, tying in an absorbing story of blank to serve up one of the iPhone's unique gems
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