This title is exclusive to PC, and was reviewed as such.
Mango Cart is the latest addition to the turn-based simulation genre. Developed by AkriGames, this is one of those games that really left me scratching my head. Mango Cart is a very detailed game in which you play as a corporation, sourcing and selling mangos. You have a twelve ‘turns’ throughout the year, one for each month. The idea is to create a reputable, successful business – if you go broke, the game ends.
Visually, Mango Cart is basically just a chart that holds all of the information you need to run your company. The interface for Mango Cart is grey (with the odd pop of colour) and the font is simplistic and easy to read. There is a lot of information available on each page, and I think that the simple visual style was a good call on the developer’s part. Anything too fancy would have simply been distracting, and if you’re anything like me you’ll need to actually concentrate to be able to play this game.
Sound is limited to the music in game – it starts out light and rather easy listening, but with any negative random events or a downturn for your company it takes on a more serious, dramatic tone. While the music in-game is decently done, it can become a bit repetitive (as so many tunes used in simulation games can), and it’s honestly not a hugely important part of gameplay. This is one of those games where you can have your favourite playlist going in the background while you play.
Gameplay for Mango Cart was, for me, incredibly confusing to start with. While there is a ‘How to Play’, it is just more information on what each tab within the game is for and information on the mango yearly ‘timeline’. There’s no classic tutorial as such – you’re not ever shown how to play or what decisions will lead to the best outcome. You’re just thrown straight in, and if you’re anything like me you’ll have to go through a lot of trial and error before you start to get anywhere. Once you do start to get the hang of it, you’ll find a balance between making money, getting your reputation up, reacting to random events, etc. and you should find yourself at least managing to keep your company above water – if not conquering the market.
Honestly, this isn’t a game I would touch outside of a review context. I play videogames because they’re fun, and this kind of simulation game has just never appealed to me – it feels too much like homework for me to actively enjoy it. Games like this require the ability to concentrate and an understanding of basic business practices, neither of which I really possess. Despite this, even I can see how much work went into Mango Cart – it’s incredibly detailed, includes a lot of random events that impact your gameplay, and I think it would be a satisfying play for anyone who likes business models, the economy and/or simulation games. It misses the mark with me, but I’m sure there’s a BCOM student or an aged accountant out there that would love this game.