The game showcases a modern-day Fairy Godmother, who has gone into the potions business in the land of Onceuponia. As the popularity of Fairy Godmother's potions stores grew with the peasants, unscrupulous rivals arrived to squeeze her out. In an attempt to reclaim her turf, Fairy Godmother hires you to expand her fledgling Potions stores into megastore monopolies. But it isn't all "happily ever after." Your rivals are shrewd and unprincipled, so you need to be at the top of your game and have a few tricks up your sleeve.
As with most business simulation "tycoon" games, you play through a series of progressively harder scenarios. This game starts off in the quaint town of Tutorialville where your goal is simply to expand Fairy Godmother's store to make $1000 in cash. By the time you reach the ninth village, you will be trying to force competitors out of business.
Gameplay is broken into two stages: the buying phase where you purchase your ingredients for potions, and decide your marketing plan; and the selling phase where you watch the peasants come to your store, and see how much they spend.
Before you start buying, it's wise to check the news and "weather" for the day. The news consists of funny tidbits about the fairy tale world which may reveal the peasants' overall mood for spending. The "weather" is a forecast of what curses might appear that day. The latter is important to you because peasants buy potions to counteract curses. Armed with this knowledge, you can better predict which ingredients to stockpile and what prices to charge for your potions.
Marketing in this fairytale world is a tongue-in-cheek endeavor. While you can purchase flyers and junk mail, you can also hire flying monkeys and brainwashing. Unique to this world are marketing goons, wonderfully gifted and persuasive characters. Some will intimidate or trick the peasants into entering your store, while others are just cute and convincing. For example, you can hire a magic carpet that will place itself on your competitor's doorstep and deliver the peasants who are trying to walk into your competitor's store to your doorstep instead. Marketing freelancers also randomly appear including Pandora, whose help may hurt you more than it assists you.
After you have finished your buying phase, you push the "Start Day" button and you watch as peasants come out of their homes. They shop for cures to curses, talk with other peasants, and go window-shopping. The game creates an obvious graphic when a peasant has been hit by a curse, so it isn't uncommon to see peasants with giant heads or flames around their necks.
Peasants will come into your store if they have heard about it, you have a good reputation, and if you are offering a good deal. They also pay attention to how long they have to wait and whether you have enough ingredients to make their requested potion. Thought bubbles over their heads reveal what they're thinking. The game provides ways to increase traffic to your store.
At first, it seems easy to sell potions; but, as you progress to other villages, you will encounter cutthroat competitors. They will place their goons in front of your stores, and do things to steal your customers. To counteract your competition, you need to invest in spells such as the "Freeze the Goon", which literally puts a block of ice around a competitor's goon so that he is ineffective.
In addition to the supply and demand mechanics of making and selling potions, the game is filled with "Forked Fables." These occur when famous fairy tale characters show up in your store asking for help or advice. Depending on how you respond, the fable will fork out in many different directions. If you choose the right thing to say, you may be rewarded with more money. If you offend your visitor, it might cost you.
While children as young as age 10 can play this simulation, much of the sophisticated humor will be lost on them. Similarly, they will likely misunderstand the outlandish, unethical business practices employed by the goons, which teens and adults will find so amusing.
Fairy Godmother Tycoon earns its high rating because it sets an effective business simulation inside a highly creative world. The fairy tale characters that populate this world are familiar, but they rivet our attention with their wildly unpredictable behavior. You will find that building a potions empire is a highly entertaining business.
All tech products are judged on a five star scale by looking at the following factors: fun, education, ease of use, value, and technical.