10 for that, you must be mad!
Well, here's a new one. I was expecting some sort of hidden object game, but G5 have certainly surprised me with Art Mogul, a full on strategy title which revolves around buying and selling pieces of art around the world.
From the start it's clear that this game means business. A tutorial level, which takes a fair amount of time to play through in itself, takes you through the basics of choosing a piece of art, finding a real painting from a fake and then selling it on for a profit before going off around the world to try and find another painting.
There are several ways to buy a painting, the safest being through an Art Gallery, though you end up paying near full price so won't make much profit. The second, and seemingly best, way is at an Auction House. Buying here sends you off into a mini-game where you'll need to stun opponents with your art skills by finding a small item, which flashes up on screen, inside the painting. This can be a vase, flower or any number of objects which form part of the painting itself. There's a time limit here, too, so you'll need to be quick to get a low price.
Thirdly, you can go to a cafe and risk getting a fake. You do get the chance to examine the picture first, using a form of 'spot the difference' between the original and the version you're trying to buy. If it does turn out to be a fake then you can still buy it for a knock-down price, but selling it on again can be a gamble. Selling fakes involves being lucky with a spinning needle, which will determine if the interested party buys it or rats you out.
As you progress you'll obviously gain more money, but it's reputation that becomes important, represented by stars. Build up your cash and reputation and you will soon be able to buy your own gallery. The game then becomes a mix of buying and selling to increase your profit and finding the elusive paintings that fit with the theme of your gallery.
New countries are opened up as you get further in to the game, giving you more paintings and more options to buy, sell and own more galleries yourself. Travel costs money, though, so you'll need to watch those air miles! The only downside is that there are no big additions to the gameplay once you've seen a few more cities and opened a gallery or two.
Art Mogul is beautifully presented and radiates a sort of old world feel that really makes you feel like a world class art trader. Though pretty much everything is static, the artwork is fantastic and there's very little need for any sort of dynamic movement, making this title rather unique.
The focus on strategy and unique nature of buying and selling pieces of art to become the ultimate gallery owner and trader allows Art Mogul to stand out from the crowd. If you've ever been interested in owning famous paintings or think you could make it as an art dealer, Art Mogul comes highly recommended.
- Sound: 7
- Graphics: 8
- Gameplay: 8
- Longevity: 7
Page 1 of 1