While the shipping business might not seem like the most interesting premise on which to base a game, Hero Mind has released a new freemium iPhone game based on just that. Shipping Tycoon gives you a single port to start and then asks you to purchase new ships only to send those ships to your friends' games, where you'll earn different amounts of profit, depending on how far the ship traveled (different ports are set in various worldwide locations).
Your ships will take time to arrive, and you must wait for the ships to both make it to their destinations and for them to come back home before you can send them back out again. Furthermore, you'll need to refuel your ships in their destination ports, forcing you to interact with your friends' games (you can add strangers as friends via the in-game community menu).
As you level up, you'll unlock new ships, and can also build a few businesses on the land next to your port in order to increase your profits over time. Each new docking location can be unlocked with some cash, but you'll need to wait for the docks to actually be built before you create a new shipping route.
All told, Shipping Tycoon is a sometimes tedious experience that deserves credit for trying something new. There are some localization issues with the game's English, and even the shortest routes take quite a while to complete, but if you're willing to push through this acclimation period, you will soon find yourself at the helm of a massive fleet of ships, each making more money than the last.
Interestingly, Hero Mind has released the game for free, but the game's description says that it will only remain so for a limited time (then, the price will supposedly jump to $5). Needless to say, it's a bit odd to see a game require a charge upfront and then also offer premium currency within the game, so hopefully this is all just a marketing ploy to boost interest, rather than a true promise of a price increase. If it's the latter, make sure to download the game now while it's still free if you're at all interested.
Click here to download Shipping Tycoon on iPhone --->
What do you think of Shipping Tycoon? Would you pay money to download an app if it also expected you to purchase in-game currency afterwards? Sound off in the comments.