Over the Christmas period we got to play several board games together and this is something that I love to do. One of the games we played was new – called Hotel Tycoon – and since we knew mum would enjoy it too, we took it over to her house on New Year’s Day when she had invited us for lunch.
The first thing that’s important to note about Hotel Tycoon is that it’s a lot like Monopoly. It can go on for hours and hours, due to the nature of the game. However it’s not 100% like Monopoly and as such, it makes for an interesting twist. It’s only four players, which I think is enough, and obviously as the game goes on, people get knocked out and its a battle to the death (just kidding, that’s just how I play!).
At first we made the mistake of putting all the hotels on the board but as soon as we started to play we realised the point was to buy the land and build the hotels as you go, so we took them off. The picture above is pretty much what your board should look like when you begin to play. The spaces are really simple, with only four different types. You can buy land, you can build on your land, you can get a free building and you can get a free entrance. There is a “pass 2,000($£?) mark and “buy more entrances” mark too.
Just like Monopoly, you start with a set amount of money from the bank and you move around the board trying to buy land. Unlike Monopoly, you don’t need three of a kind (or two in some cases) to start building hotels, you can do that as soon as you land on the right space. However once you buy a deed (at full price) your land isn’t safe until you can get a hotel up on it. If someone else comes along and lands on the space that allows them to buy your land, they can actually take it off you and for half the price you paid – bummer right?
You can have as many plots of land as you want (each works out different for earning you more money later in the games), but each hotel costs a fair bit of money to build. Depending on how many hotels you have (and even recreational improvements) changes the income you receive from the land. You need to be careful not to spread yourself too thin though as if you run out of money, you’ll be auctioning off your land – hotels and all.
While building up your hotels is great, you can’t earn any money from them at all, unless you have entrances! These are the little red steps you can see on the picture above. You can add as many as you want (providing the space is available) and every time a player lands on these, they pay to stay at your hotel. They roll the dice for the amount of nights and then depending on how developed your land is, they pay the price. Towards the end of the game, it gets pretty cut throat!
Our game did take towards the two hour mark but we cheated a couple of times to make sure Megan could stay in as long as possible (she was third out, after Chris). Lily got bored however and headed off to play on Mum’s laptop half way through. In the end it was just down to me and Mum – I won of course but it was fairly close!
It was a fun game and really nice to play something different from Monopoly, however the extended gameplay can be a bit tiresome. I personally loved the aspect of building hotels and seeing it all pop up in front of your eyes. I’d definitely recommend it for those who love a long-winded game like Monopoly of Game of Life.