Game: AdVenture Capitalist
Platform on which it was played: Playstation 4
Score: 5/10 – AVC is a parody-filled ‘idle’ game which pretends to be nothing and makes very little promises. An All round fun experience which couldn’t really BE any better due to the genre which it has inserted itself into.
Price Paid:Free-to-play (in-app purchases are available, these generally boost your in-game finances) but are entirely optional and irrelevant)
AdVenture Capitalist is the latest game from Hyper Hippo and is what one could call a ‘free-game’, however it could only be classified as such if we don’t put any worth into the time we spend in a game. AVC is a complete satire and parody of modern ‘free-to-play’ games, it’s soulless, vacuous and monopolistic – and I love it.
I hate myself more than I have ever hated anyone for loving anything.
This unbelievably ground-breaking financial management game was not something that I ever intended to play, however, one rainy Monday I found myself perusing through the PSN store and fell head-over-heels in love with the art style – that was the day I lost my soul. It mocks high-finance and profiteering by encouraging both of these things, for this, I pressed ‘download’ and readied myself for anything, what I was presented with, would go on to chill me down to my very core, while tickling every funny bone I possess.
At the time of writing, I am a Quadrillion-aire, I have accrued this money by ‘playing’ the game off-and-on in-between my ‘no detection, no kills’ play-through of MGSV:Phantom Pain. I used the term playing VERY lightly, as, when it comes to game-play, AVC is not exactly rich in features. The main gameplay for AVC is, watch numbers increase and press a button when the option becomes available – that’s the core at least. Once money has been acquired, it is then spent on buying more things, which include franchises, businesses and investments. The min principle of the game is the infinite ‘snowball’ effect – purchase small industry, invest, use profits to increase investment, buy larger investment and rinse-repeat. This starts as a few measly dollars but by the time you have been playing for a considerable amount of time, you will be earning billions.
Click a button to buy/invest/found a new company once you have the cash available. Your prospective empire begins with you owning just one Lemonade stand, the profits which it earns are then invested into opening another until you reach certain milestones. Once the milestones are reached, you are awarded a bonus of ‘profit speed increasing’, this begins at 25 investments and continues X2 of every previous milestone. If you decide you would like to own a different type of business – and have the funds available – you can use the Lemonade stand profits to open a newspaper delivery round, pizza delivery, donut restaurants, this continues all the way up to major investments like banks and oil companies.
Once you earn enough profit, you able to hire managers, managers remove the requirement of you ‘clicking’ each investment and effectively transforms the game from a ‘click and collect’ game to a ‘idle’ game which can be progressed and played without being IN-GAME. Once you return to the game from a period of being idle, you are greeted with profit amount which has been calculated according to the amount which you WOULD have earned if you had been in-game.
The game can be played partially-idly, however I didn’t choose to play this way. Instead, I sat waiting, hungry for an orange-tint to overlay the button which allows me to earn more money – I am ravenous for the green. As we speak, I am watching and waiting for the profits to roll in, which would then allow me to purchase MORE movie studios and increase my profits three-fold across the board. Everything is refilling at various speeds and this is proving to be irksome and annoying from a time-keeping standpoint.
At some point in the future, I will exchange my whole profit margin for Angel investment. Angel investors are investors who can be earned according to the overall worth of your empire. In order to earn the investments, you need to exchange your entire empire which then resets the game and forces you to start over, from the very beginning. Each numerical increment of ‘Angels’ offers a reward which can increase overall worth and profit speed.
Once I have invested in these angels, they will help me earn more money which will then allow me to purchase more Angels and this will go on, and on, AND on. I would be 100% fine with me, but I CANNOT avert my eyes from the screen – if only there was another way.
If looked at objectively, it is just a case of numerical increments getting larger and larger – it is essentially the main vampirical ethos at the centre of EVERY SINGLE Free-to-play game, however AdVenture Capitalist offers no illusions about this. AdVenture Capitalist combines the empty Monopoly-isms of many ‘free-to-play’ games with the parody-filled referential atmosphere of game like Fable and Fallout. Any attempt at ‘widening the gap’ between parody and factual is just an empty gesture which offers no chance of change – it’s just a facade. It’s a perfect example of how corruptible the human race can be given the chance and offers a satirical viewpoint on global consumerism and capitalism.
Video games are, by definition, generally empty of any amount of meaning or real-world representation, however I feel that AdVenture Capitalism combines parody, satire and nonchalance to deliver a ‘free-to-play- experience which bridges the gap between consumerism and comedic relief by offering almost no illusions about the type of game which it is. It does this without ever attempting to impress, while also mocking EVERY single Free-to-Play game on the market today with optional in-app purchases that have no bearing on progress and are completely redundant unless the player happens to be exceptionally impatient or greedy.
In conclusion, AdVenture Capitalism is one of the smartest, funniest and most surprising games on the market, it mocks the state of the FTP market while delivering a fun – if terribly addicting – experience that will make you start worrying and caring if you ever happen to invest in the wrong business at the wrong time. Even though the business avatars are completely generic and vague, you will most definitely become extremely attached to the profiteering margin and overall success of your empire.
I started 4 days ago with one lemonade stand, bought a newspaper round and now I have an empire that’s worth TRILLIONS – welcome to Capitalism kid, it’ll grow with or without you.
PS. here’s a trailer for you 🙂