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Posted on Oct 3, 2014

Toy Tattle Tests Hotel Tycoon: Sons Become Money Hungry Megaolmaniacs

Toy Tattle Tests Hotel Tycoon: Sons Become Money Hungry Megaolmaniacs

OK, that may be a slight exaggeration. But they loved playing with the toy money, transacting with each other, and acting out the roles of hotelier and guest.

Hotel Tycoon, £24.99. Ages 8+. 2-4 players.

Hotel Tycoon, £24.99. Ages 8+. 2-4 players.

Esdevium sent us Hotel Tycoon for a hands on review.

Son#1 is 9 and Son#2 is 7 and 1/2.

Here’s how we got on.

All views are my own, or my sons’.

My husband doesn’t have any views.

Day In The Life Of A Hotel Tycoon – Champagne & Cigars Not Included

My name is Laura, and I’m a Hotel Tycoon.

Each hotel resort has a card stating construction costs.

Each hotel resort has a card stating construction costs.

After a leisurely breakfast of smoked salmon and scrambled egg washed down with a glass of Bucks Fizz, I make my way around the board in search of an opportunity to buy land.

After land purchase comes the usual wranglings over planning permission.

Happily construction of my holiday resorts is swift.

After handing over paper money to the bank a pre-fabricated building is helicoptered into place.

When guests come to stay at my resort I consult the rate card for the fee.

I’m a multi-tasking tycoon, so while all this is going on, I carry on my travels, occasionally stopping in a rival tycoon’s resort, handing over some of my money for the privilege.

This is the board about 30 minutes into the game.

This is the board about 30 minutes into the game.


The last player to go bust is the winner.

No Government bail-outs are permitted.

There’s a demo video at the end of this post.

But stay with me for now – I’m just warming up.

Warning: Significant Self Assembly Required

The hotels must be put together the first time you play.

The hotels must be put together the first time you play.

Here’s a photo of three pieces showing the various stages of construction.

Most pieces involved taping thick card or plastic cut-outs into a building shape then adding a plastic top and bottom.

It took at least 20 minutes to get this ready, so you might want to sort this out before gathering the family together for a game.

Once constructed, miraculously all the pieces fit back into the box (photographic evidence below), so this set up time is a one-off.

After all the pieces are made, they still fit back in the box. #tidy

After all the pieces are made, they still fit back in the box. #tidy


Gameplay – Quick Slow Quick Quick Slow

At the beginning, when each player is desperately hoping for the opportunity to land on a property buying opportunity, the game works best with just two or three players, as it can be reeeeealllllly boring waiting for your turn.

Later in the game when players almost always land on a hotel entrance, meaning they must pay a fee to the land owner there is always something happening to be interested in whether it’s your turn or not (because you may be the hotel owner getting paid).

So (especially if you have younger children) play for the first time with just one adult and one child to teach them the ropes.

Fun Factor – Hotel Tycoon Turned Hotel Inspector

Yep, it was fun. It was actually pretty hilarious.

Sons#1 and #2 really got into character as hotel tycoons and hotel inspectors. When anyone landed on their hotel, they rubbed their hands with glee and declared ‘welcome to my hotel, how many nights will you be staying?’. The paying customer good naturedly thanked the tycoon for a lovely stay and often passed comment on the swimming pool or quality of the room decor.

Son#1: “I hope you enjoyed your stay. Did you like the swimming pool?”

Son#2: “Yes, it was really warm, and I liked the beach too. And the bed was very comfortable. Here is your money.”

Son#1: “Thank you. Please stay again soon.”

This game was played three times in one weekend.

Husband #1 played with Son#1 on Friday night.

By Saturday Son#2 was desperate for a game, so the three of them played for around an hour.

Then on Sunday all four of us played.

This game lasted over two hours – all fun and giggles. The game time on the box says 40 minutes. Given the highly distractible nature of my children this was optimistic. Your’s may focus a little better.

Love To Learn – Maths More Fun With Money

This is one of the most educational games we have ever played.

My children who are usually totally foxed by their times tables and bamboozled by subtraction were easily able to cope with the hotel fee grids, counting out money and calculating change.

Once maths is put into physical form it seems a whole lot more manageable for them.

Hotel Tycoon Demo Video

I didn’t bother recording the game on video as Esdevium have made this rather slick looking film:

Find out more on the Hotel Tycoon Facebook page and on the Hotel Tycoon Game website.

Tell Me Your Favourite Game

Husband#1 had kittens when this game arrived because he loved it as a child.

Head over to my Twitter or Facebook page tell me what was your favourite board game when you were growing up and why.

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Cheers, ta, and thank you very muchly.