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Like with the majority of tycoon games in the marketplace, Carnival Cruise Lines Tycoon looks promising, but leaves a lot to be desired. This AcTiVision Value game is better than other cruise ship efforts (i.e. Luxury Liner Tycoon), but it doesn't deliver enough gameplay "fun" factor to make the grade.
In Carnival Cruise Lines Tycoon: 2005: Island Hopping, you are tasked with running your own cruise ship. From the main menu, you have three main options: Instant Action, Start Career, and Challenges. You'll want to begin with Start Career as it contains a tutorial to help you learn the game.
At first play, Carnival Cruise Lines Tycoon looks like it's going to be a fun tycoon game. The graphics are nice. You have two modes of play (at port and on sea) and you have lots of decks to work with. The problem is that after you've played the game for a bit, it starts to quickly become repetitive. You find many elements vital to a tycoon game are missing.
In addition, the income graph in the game is broke, showing no income. The creators acknowledge the problem, but didn't release a patch to fix it. Therefore you have no way of seeing where all of your income is coming from.
There are some nice things about the game. For one, there are three modes to play in. Instant Action is like sandbox mode where you can select the type of ship you want, your home port, then play away. With Career Mode you start at the bottom of the totem pole with a very small cruise ship. As you succeed in managing the cruise ship, you are upgraded to a nicer ship and can assign a captain to manage the ship you left behind. Finally, Challenges presents you with 10 different challenges, each a little more difficult than the previous. You only see one challenge at a time and as you conquer it, a new challenge appears.
Another nice thing about the game is that it tries to incorporate two elements of play - one when you're in port (better fix problems fast and get all the rooms filled or your reputation might suffer) and one on sea (please the guests and hire maintenance men to help you expand your services while on the high sea). If the game had included more to do in each mode of gameplay (along with many more options of stores, etc.) then AcTiVision Value would have a real winner on their hands (something rare for them).
The good news is that since Carnival Cruise Lines Tycoon is a licensed game (like SeaWorld Adventure Parks Tycoon), future versions may show a vast improvement. SeaWorld Adventure Parks Tycoon 2 is much improved over the first version and a fun game to play. Likewise, look for future versions of Carnival Cruise Lines Tycoon to really capitalize on improvements. In this case, some of the best improvements they could make are:
I'm actually excited about the future possibilities of Carnival Cruise Lines Tycoon. While this effort was lacking, the promise of what may come is truly there.
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