REVIEW: Mango Cart [PC]

Have you always wanted to run a company but never had it in you to really start one? Do you also happen to like mangoes? AkriGames offers a solution! Mango Cart puts your skills as a self-employed mango trading company to the test. You’re located in the fictional country of Comedia where you trade mangoes with another country. Watch out though, every move that you make and every context-driven event that happens has an impact on your company and will manifest sooner or later. So, do you want to go for a practice round before starting an actual company (I don’t recommend that since this is still a game and not at all the real deal, but you know)? Let’s see what Mango Cart has to offer!

  • Good economical simulation: This is a great economical simulation where everything has an impact on your business. It’s actually great and sucks at the same time because a random event can help you or totally destroy you. But like I said, everything matters and you make all the decisions. Who will I buy from and who will I sell to? And will I be bad and ship through sea pirates to save money? Will I join a bank that allows shady business? Oh my, maybe I can talk shit about my competitors. Or maybe I shouldn’t because that could go wrong… Hm. Anyway, the party that rules the country will also have an impact and what not. ALL macroeconomic and political affect prices, public perception and your business.
  • You really want to be the best: Okay so you compete against four other companies and at the end of the year you get an overview of the past year showing equity, profit and assets of all companies. AND BOY, DO YOU WANT TO BE THE BEST AND BEAT THOSE SUCKERS. Not as easy as it sounds though so making strategic decisions is really important here. This is THE thing that keeps you going.
  • You can try different things: Since so many different things can happen and you can make so many different choices, a lot of scenarios are possible. I tried to be a company that cared about the environment once. Another time I tried being great to my employees. When my business failed time after time, I got frustrated and was no longer a good boss, joined a shady bank, did some tax evasion, and used pirates to help me with the shipping of my mangoes. See, all is possible! You can be the good guy or gal or the bad one. You can even be a little bit of both if you only want to take a little risk.

  • It’s just mangoes: So the whole game is about mangoes (of course, it’s called Mango Cart, duh). But honestly, it would have been nice if there was the possibility of also selling and buying other sorts of fruits. Maybe this could be a nice upgrade after a while, you know, as a way of expanding the gameplay. I mean, I don’t even like mangoes so strawberries or something would be cool.  
  • A tutorial would have been nice: There is no tutorial available. The only explanation you get is under ‘read me’ that you can turn to before playing. I mean, this is useful but since the game isn’t that easy and takes a little getting into, a tutorial would have been nice. I do have to mention that the mandatory tasks you have to complete every month are indicated year after year with an exclamation point. That’s something. But please, let the developers add a small tutorial, not just a ‘read me’ because we all know people enjoy trying out things to get familiar with them a lot more than reading explanations .
  • After playing a while, you’ve seen all the random events: So there are random events that occur throughout the gameplay. These include outcomes of elections which has an impact on corporate tax and import tariffs, employees striking, law issues, and other political events. Very cool of course because it makes the simulation seem more real, but after playing for a while, I didn’t see many new events and they started to feel old a little too fast. Sometimes I’d recognize a certain event and it’d be a little different than the last one I saw but more variation would be nice.
  • Graphics are ok but sometimes boring: I can see that making this make appealing graphically is a tough task. I think the developers wanted to make economics (that often seem boring to people) a little more interesting and colourful. The overall look of the game still looks kind of grey to me though and maybe a little too childish? I mean, it’s a good way for newbies in economics to get into it, but I don’t think the balance between fun and serious was not found yet. I don’t really blame the developers though, it’s a hard task, but I’m sure they’re up to it and improvements are yet to come!
  • No audio whatsoever: It’s oh so quiet, ssshhh, ssshhh, it’s oh so still, ssshhh, ssshhh. Like all the damn time. No background music, no in-game sounds when you for example click something. Just nothing at all. That’s kind of boring now, isn’t it? (Yes, it is). I know it’s an economical turn-based game but just the option to turn on some smooth background tunes would be cool. I know some people prefer to put on their own music during games like this, but they could always do that even if the game offers music. Just turn it off. But you can’t because NO MUSIC. Please give me music.
  • There is no end game: Mango Cart can potentially go on FOREEEEEEEEEEEVER. Like, there is no ultimate goal set in the game. Like I mentioned before, there is the personal drive to be the best amongst your competitors but that’s about it. I’m pretty sure the game is going to get boring afters hours and hours of the same. An ultimate goal, some small goals, achievements,… anything to add a little more challenge and make the game more goal oriented would really benefit Mango Cart.

CONCLUSION

I was both very skeptical and excited to try this game. The concept is interesting for sure, definitely for someone looking for some gaming combined with some deeper thinking. Even though Mango Cart has some good things going but there’s definitely a place for improvement. This is why I was happy to learn about the fact that the developers are working on upcoming releases with more features and new and enhanced game mechanics. I feel like AkriGames has only given us a peak and I’m sure we can expect greater things of them and this game.

Developer: AkriGames Publisher: AkriGames
Played on: PC
Time to beat: could go on endlessly
Perfect for: people who know at least something about economics and like simulation games
Steam Game Store link: click here

Maui

writer for LifeisXbox (PC)

23-year-old muggle born who enjoys writing, gaming, dogs, music and naps. You’ll most likely find me behind my computer or at a concert. Or in my bed sleeping.