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Radio Tycoon for your Android phone is a game that simulates what it might be like to run your own radio station.
To play, you act as head honcho of a brand new station, making all of the decisions, both potentially exciting and mundane. In the spirit of simulating a real business experience, taking the little money you're given and creating a successful business model from it, Radio Tycoon is very much a strategy game.
The game falls in line with other similar games like Game Dev Story, in which you're in charge of your own video game software company, and Farm Frenzy, where you maintain a farm. These games have concepts that are easy to understand, but because they require constant maintenance, (Radio Tycoon operates in real time, meaning the game progresses even when you aren't playing it), they tend to become tedious. That being said, Radio Tycoon isn't for everyone.
The download is free, but to start up a game of Radio Tycoon, you have to link it up with your Facebook account. After you name your station and place its location on a real life Google map of the U.S., you're ready to start.
It's clear that you have to first go through the motions of buying all of the necessary equipment to broadcast: microphones, a basic mixing desk, music and antennas, but just how you're supposed to buy these wasn't immediately clear to me.
I don't play a whole lot of these kinds of games, so I wasn't familiar with how things worked — and I didn't find the games' "Help" button to be useful, either. To figure things out, (including, how to buy equipment) I spent a lot of time feeling my way around and pushing various buttons until things began to make sense.
Once I got the hang of it, I found that I had the most fun with the game's customization features, in which I got to choose what music my radio station was going to play and design how the interior of my station would look.
The longer you play, the more money you get, and the more options you have to customize and expand.
The game's simple graphics feel similar to classic PC games like the older Sims and Roller Coaster Tycoon, which I enjoyed. Radio Tycoon also seems to fit in well with the Facebook era of gaming.