Types of Tycoon Games
By D. Wright
Updated September 22, 2017
It’s not uncommon for games to mimic real-world skills, especially in the field of business; look at Monopoly, for example. The Tycoon series consists of business-oriented games, but instead of trying to destroy the finances of your opponents, you are trying to build a successful venue in whatever enterprise you're in, from amusement parks to real estate and everything in between. There are hundreds of games in this series, ranging from the well-known “Rollercoaster Tycoon” to the goofy “Fairy Godmother Tycoon,” where you run a potions shop in the world of fairy tales. This article will list the most popular games, but there are plenty more to choose from.
In “Rollercoaster Tycoon,” not only do you own and run an amusement park, but you design it and its rides as well. As the name implies, this involves designing your own roller coasters, with as many loops and turns as you want, and sometimes even the ability to ride it yourself in first-person view. The first “Rollercoaster Tycoon” was such a hit that it spawned many sequels for the PC, and even one for the Nintendo 3DS.
“Zoo Tycoon” doesn’t have as many sequels to its name as its roller coaster cousin, but the original and its sequel do sport many expansion packs, including those for marine life and endangered animals. As with other Tycoon games, in “Zoo Tycoon” the player has to maintain a successful business -- this time a zoo. There are three different modes to play in: freestyle mode, scenario mode and challenge mode. Both scenario mode and challenge mode feature goals that the player must attain, with the difference being how long each scenario lasts and the funds you can use to accomplish it.
“Railroad Tycoon” is the first of the Tycoon series, though made by a different creator than “Rollercoaster Tycoon” or “Zoo Tycoon.” Unlike the free range of building an amusement park or zoo, the railroad must be built on schedule to win the game, and there are other companies trying to put you out of business by building better railroads. Trains can be built on two continents in an effort to see which railroad pioneer is the best.
Other Tycoon Games
No matter what business you want to run, there is likely a game in the Tycoon series for you. You can start a brewery of your own in “Beer Tycoon” or try your hand at a gambling establishment in “Casino Tycoon.” Some of the games even feature real-life companies such as “National Lampoon’s University Tycoon” and “Carnival Cruise Lines Tycoon,” or you can take on the role of one of the richest men on Earth in “Donald Trump’s Real Estate Tycoon.” There are more Tycoon games than can be named in one article, and there are sure to be more to come.
D. Wright has been covering the video game industry since 2007. Since then, he has written video game guides, editorials, hosted several video game-focused podcasts, interviewed some of the brightest minds in the industry, consulted with indie developers to fine-tune their games and more.