Start small, and focus on the fundamentals. Lemonade Tycoon is a business simulation for our uncertain times. Beginning with just a tiny stand on a suburban street corner, you buy supplies, mix up a batch of lemonade, and hustle your drinks on the street. If your price is too high, the line is too long, or your recipe stinks, you'll be stuck with melted ice and spoiled lemons. With finely honed marketing skills, a canny grasp of what customers want, and a double-squeezing of luck, you can work your way into bigger stands, better equipment, and big-time venues, like the beach or a mall.
The animations for customers who amble by and issue thought balloons as they go is quite hypnotic, although you'll probably want to turn off the sound after a few turns. As mobile games go, this sim is quite deep. Not only must you set the right price and buy appropriate supplies, but you've also got issues of weather, market awareness, demographics, and advertising. Stripped to the essentials, the dynamic and interconnected nature of business is represented here in a fun and clever manner.
Lemonade Tycoon was originally developed for bigger PDA platforms--specifically the Pocket PC and Palm OS (PC, MS Smartphone, and Symbian versions are available as well). The biggest problem with Lemonade Tycoon on BREW is the limited space for explanatory screens and helpful tips. Once you've found your way around, the beginning phase of the game is easy to navigate, and for the first hour or two of gameplay, you'll have a pretty good feel for what you can do and how you can identify a good strategy. At that point, though, you'll be playing with so many variables that it can be easy to get lost in the game's depth. It's hard to determine, without being told, how the different environments are affected by weather, price, and so on. The PDA versions offer more assistance in this regard, so if you get hooked, you might want to try one of those (which is sort of like getting a midcareer MBA).
Lemonade Tycoon is a fun and challenging sim with colorful but pleasingly simple graphics and an elegant interface. There's even LSX, the Lemonade Stock eXchange, which is a network-based high-scores board for the most successful Tycoons. The sim is deep and complex, with hours of gameplay for the dedicated sidewalk lemonade hustler.