"School Tycoon" has a simple premise. The player takes over the management and building of a school. The management is limited to hiring and firing teachers, sending kids to detention, and deciding which buildings the school should have. The gameplay doesn't stray from the simple description I just gave, and there lies the downfall of "School Tycoon."
Scenarios & Staff
In the start of playing "School Tycoon" it is a refreshing change from other tycoon games. You have the choice of starting off with the scenarios or playing the free play mode. The scenarios are divided up into 3 levels of difficulty. The beginner scenarios are basically tutorials on how to play the game, and won't take much time to beat. The intermediate and advanced scenarios range in how long they take to play, it depends on your style of play which you may have to change in order to beat the scenario. The scenarios goals usually involve a combination of earning money, number of students, and getting a specific grade on athletics, academics, and morale The free play mode starts you off with some cash and nothing else. You must build the school from ground up. If you hire good teachers and have a range of classrooms, getting started is not hard.
The staff you will need to hire include cooks, teachers, and gym teachers. You are given a rating of the skill and the pay they desire. You'll also need to hire landscapers and mechanics, both have their own buildings and require upgrading once in awhile.
"School Tycoon" Buildings
The classrooms you build start out as portables and while your school grows, you'll need to build better buildings. The classrooms are subject specific and include: biology, chemistry, math, art, computers, English, and more. It's not all work and no play though, you'll need to build entertainment buildings, ranging from an arcade to a mini-golf course. The entertainment buildings are outrageous. A mini-golf course and a rollercoaster? Nothing like what I had at school. The kids will work up an appetite with all that hard play, luckily you can build a cafe or a pizza place.
The school grounds of "School Tycoon" can be seen from many angles and views, an excellent touch for what many would consider a budget game. The graphics continue to excel when you view instead a classroom. You will see students causing problems for a teacher, sleeping in class, studying, and doing jumping jacks in gym class.
Don't expect to add "School Tycoon" to your list of regularly played games for more than a couple of weeks. "School Tycoon" is a fun game when you first start playing, when the gameplay is completely new. I started to get bored of the game half way through the scenarios. The gameplay lacks depth that would keep most gamers interested. Features like budget management (after all we don't even know how income is calculate) would add more depth.