Even if your favourite artwork is Dogs Playing Poker you can enjoy, and excel in Art Mogul.
Every once in a while a game comes along that invents a completely new gaming experience. Or at least for me, but seeing that I have played thousands of games ever since the Vic20 to the Wii U that is still quite a remarkable feat. Initially I thought Art Mogul would be yet another hidden object game with murky graphics, and a romantic setting. There are hidden object aspects to the game, but they serve more as a diversion to the core game. To me Art Mogul is a business simulation, a progressive economic journey and a complex combination of casual gaming and structured decisions.
You are an art dealer starting up with just a couple of bucks, and a painting. The goal is to travel the world, build galleries and become an art mogul. To reach those goals you have to buy art cheap, and sell it making a profit. To do so you have to indulge in finding hidden objects in paintings. You get three painting that you can browse between, and a number of objects, or rather details to find. Once found the price of the painting goes down giving you a discount. Find all details to maximise discounts. Selling paintings is also about finding the details again to maximize profit. You can also opt to sell the paintings at auctions. The higher price you set, the less likely it is that the spinning wheel will stop at a sale.
Slowly you accumulate more money, and depending on how risk-taking you are in your endeavours you can speed the process up. Personally I tend to take the risk-free road buying, and selling art from galleries that are guaranteed not to be forgeries. You can of course go to other less serious markets such as cafés, but then you risk purchasing forgeries.
The game hooked me quite fast, and I found myself frantically looking for new paintings to explore and buy. Getting the first gallery fuelled my human nature to progress, and collect more items. This is where the game excels, and given the rather large world at hand you can spend several hours just browsing art. Objectives letting you chose what kind of motives to go for further enhances the explorative nature as well.
The presentation is all dark, gold and murky colours to give a rather exclusive artsy feel. The artworks are more classic in nature than modern, albeit the variation is quite wide. Overall the graphics, and music are pleasant and never get in the way of me becoming a wealthy art mogul.
Art Mogul is an interesting fresh mixture of risk-reward, hidden object game and business building. The slow pace might be off-putting to some, but if you bear with it and get hooked you will find a brand new kind of game.