I just played the demo of Aqua Park Tycoon. First of all, it appears that the demo is the full version of the game but with only sixty minutes of game time. I initially thought this was too short a time to get a good idea of the game but I learnt quite a lot quickly within this time period and in a way it has left me wanting me - which Im sure is the point of the sixty minute trial. However, by the end of sixty minutes I was already getting frustrated at a few things which got in the way of the gameplay. I will install this on my Macbook Pro another time and play it again for an hour with what I already know.
First of all, I was avoiding the tactic of being too cheap on ticket sales into my aqua park, and I set all prices to average, and used regular advertising.
The point of being a Tycoon is to delegate and expand your empire. It got really annoying having to constantly feed the animals, they give you an option for the assistant to do a feed all, clean all and repair all. On my demo game I press all three and quickly went into debt. I think it will be better if I try it again and just use the feed all command.
I felt that it was quite tricky to keep track of the numbers - perhaps at the end of each month the game should stop momentarily and show you the results of that month compared to later months.
I also felt that the inclusion of an assistant who you would give specific orders to would be good. You want to be able to automate tasks but without making the game too easy. My suggestion would be to be able to pick staff with differing levels of quality i.e. capability, and then for each level you can give a specific command. For instance, I should be able to click on Oscar the penguin and say as soon as he gets at 3/5 hunger he gets fed one bit of food. Then after a month of training, this staff member can extend it to automating feeding for two penguins. In fact, you would train this person up to be an Animal Feeder or send them on an intensive course - which would allow a maximum number of animals to be looked after and also, purchasing of food when stocks get too low. In all cases, you specific a trigger i.e. food stocks hit 0 or 5 levels / and then you specify an amount i.e. +5.
You can then apply the same to a mechanic or a cleaner or a vet.
Allowing these tasks to be fully automated to your standard means you are free to expand your empire as you see fit.
If you feel that your animals always need to be fully fed i.e. 100% then you can do so, but if you feel that they can be maintained at a certain level like 80% then you can do this as well to keep lower costs.
Obviously even with automation, you are the boss so you can always override commands and feed the animals when you want.
The whole point of management is to ensure that any frantic elements of gameplay where you are repeatedly doing the same things is removed. Of course, once you do this, you have to provide the user with a new level of gameplay.
Overall, Aqua Tycoon, in the 60 minutes I tested seemed highly original, had fun graphics and quite fun gameplay, but it didnt do enough to persuade me to buy. This leads me to presume that the actual longevity of the game is short, and the publishers have cleverly chosen this 60 minute amount quite cynically.