Price: FREE with $4.99 in-app purchase
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2
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There's precious little out there quite like Art Mogul, an unusual thing to say about any game that offers so many Hidden Object gaming elements. Crucially, there's no quest to rescue a lost soul trapped in a mystical world. There's not even a hint of the supernatural here. Instead, Art Mogul is all about becoming the most successful art dealer out there by buying and selling paintings.
It's a fun concept, despite its inability to grow particularly substantially away from what is seen in the first hour. Players are tasked with a series of objectives but, for the most part, Art Mogul is a pretty open ended game to play. Given a sense of freedom through the ability to explore different cities and locations, players can choose how they build their empire.
Guaranteed famous works of art are available through an Art Gallery, while risk takers can try their luck at the Auction House or through a local Cafe, providing they don't stumble upon a forgery.
In each case, minor Hidden Object gaming elements emerge and play a vital role in the player's success. To get the best deal in an Art Gallery, players must point out various elements within the piece of art, with the same true for buying or selling. Cafes requite spotting the difference between two paintings to ensure that it is the genuine article and not just a well made counterfeit. Unusually, it's still possible to buy such forgeries but it's a risky manoeuvre given that others can also spot a fake.
The Auction House invokes a kind of bidding war through 'stunning' the opposition, by pointing out a relevant object within a very tight time limit.
In each case, it's a nice variety while also offering more of a purpose to such traditional gaming components. Requests and deliveries further add to the money making potential, as well as the structure of the game. It's not quite perfect as there are ways of manipulating the system, but it's a neat move.
Art Mogul might not expand hugely upon its initial opening gambit, instead building upon that and rewarding the player with arbitrary rank boosts, but it's a fun mix of simulation and Hidden Object gaming, nonetheless. It makes a great change from the usual routine.