GPS Tycoon – new addictive location-based game for Android

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Over the years I’ve been testing several location-based mobile games but somehow zombie-themed apps like Please Stay Calm or QONQR were never my thing. I was pretty sure that my attitude towards these kind of gaming will always stay ambivalent. On the other hand I was always coming back with pleasure to old computer games from my childhood. They were never graphically impressive but they had a terrific gameplay experience.

GPS Tycoon MapAnd that is the case of GPS Tycoon – the location-based game for Android which I came across few weeks ago. The game is not really beautiful, the interface is rough, some functions doesn’t work properly and sometimes the servers are down but somehow once you start to play it you can’t stop it. It’s a combination of Warcraft, Civilization, and Risk but on a real-world map of your neighbourhood.

WHAT IS IT ALL ABOUT?

The rules are quite simple. Once you log in to the game (what’s amazing you don’t need to do it via Facebook;) you’ll see Google Map with your location. The map has been divided into a grid of around 400×400 meters. Once your position is fixed on a grid cell you can buy it (you get $100 as a starting package). The land you own generates money, which you can reinvest in buying a new land, improving it or protecting your land from other players who may want to claim your territory. More cash and money you have the better. To buy land you need to physically be in a location (or your phone needs to think that you are at the location), so it means that in order to win you should buy a land wherever you go.

GPS Tycoon Geoawesomeness 2ACT LOCALLY, WIN GLOBALLY

What’s cool is that there is a leaderboard where you can check what’s the status of all players globally, so in a way you fight locally to buy as much land and possible but at the same time you compete globally for the best score. And this is where we come to the key point of the game. It gives most fun when you start to interact with other players. When you claim their land, when you leave them messages. Today there are a few hundreds of active users world-wide, so it’s not that easy meet the land of other people. But once you do. It’s a real fun:).

COOL OR NOT COOL?

After playing GPS Tycoon for some time I must say that it’s really addictive. It can be also really annoying, especially when some features don’t work, or when you’re in a new location you would like to claim but there is a server error and you can’t log in. Definitely the game requires a lot of polishing. The user interface needs significant improvements, some rules on building and buying extra inventory are not clear and the servers must stop crushing. But at the end, these issues will be fixed with time and the project is simply cool and we will definitely support it. Keep good work GPS Tycoon team!

 

Aleks Buczkowski
I'm a professional always thinking outside the box and a self-confessed gadget addict. As a son of a professor of cartography I was surrounded by maps all my life and as a result spatial way of thinking and seeing reality is naturally embedded in who I am.
  • Pau Yanez

    Thanks for the article!
    As Tycoon games lover, this one seems to be a great GPS mobile version! I’m pretty sure that kind of games will make the difference in the future of mobile gaming.
    Sadly I’m using iOS device.. 🙁

    • maxime thomas

      Go and play city domination ! 😉

      • Guest

        2 comments in your profile: 2 SPAM… Lol! 😉

        • maxime thomas

          Sry thought the first one failed ^^ !

      • Well! I prefer play City Nostra!

  • maxime thomas

    Thousands of players on city domination ! Gangs fighting all around the world 🙂

  • TomC

    Interesting app! We recently created a simpler version, for iOS only (for now) called Squack. We divide into larger grids of 1km x 1km (approximately), so there are 500 million squares in the world. When you visit one, you have ‘collected’ that square and it’s part of your inventory. A simple count of how many squares you’ve visited makes up your score, and you can compare to your Facebook friends or the world at large. We just released in mid-December 2014 and are up to over a hundred users within a couple of weeks, so we’re seeing great interest. Hope this might be of interest to a few more of you out there as well! Here’s the link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/squack/id942307077?mt=8

  • FranchisePlayer

    I just learned of this game less than a week ago and while I like the concept, it still has a ways to go. The interface still needs work and it’s hard to read what requirements are needed for buildings and other items. Right now I seem to be the only player in my city (which is good for now).

    However, one major drawback I see is that there is no teamwork involved. It would be nice to be able to play *with* my friends and not against *everyone* that plays. I’ve been playing Ingress for over a year now and I love the teamwork aspect of that game.

    The other drawback I see is that some resources are really hard to find. As I understand it, you have to periodically drive through your tiles to make sure they don’t go back to their default value (although I don’t know how long they are still yours until they go away – another fault). I guess if I can drive hours to reach a portal I could drive a few extra minutes to reclaim my tiles several miles away.

    I’m still scouring my city to buy as many tiles as I can and hopefully dominate any new players and hope the server and other glitches get fixed.

    • Aleks Buczkowski

      Indeed. Teamwork would add a lot too this game!

  • Chris Watson

    Needs root 🙁 i understand that, not judging or rating. Maybe one of those “hide root” apps would help. Ingress works with root!

    Looks like a great game, anyway

    • Aleks Buczkowski

      I was playing it on Galaxy S4 without routing.

      • Chris Watson

        DOH.
        Yeah I meant to say that it will only work WITHOUT root. But apparently it was opposite day yesterday.

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