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Vacation Mogul HD
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Vacation Mogul HD is a blend of the strategy and simulation genres of games. Over the 38 levels, you'll build a sweeping vacation resort, buying and selling land and constantly upgrading the facility. (You'll also solve a mystery along the way, but that's tangential to the game's real focus.) Each level sets goals, such as build 3 hotels and attract 12 tourists. It's not a hard thing to do, but you'll get a bonus if you complete the tasks quickly, which lets you use a research tree to design more items for your resort, such as a karaoke bar and opulent hotels. A non-HD version of the game called "Vacation Mogul" is also available for the iPhone and iPod Touch - and there's a lite version for players who are unsure about the price.
Is it any good?
Building simulations often run the risk of becoming repetitive, but Vacation Mogul HD avoids this by peppering in a decent story and a pair of mini-games that are woven well into the story. The game holds players' hands through the early stages to make sure you grasp play concepts, but not in an annoying manner. Novice players won't feel any pressure to hurry - and there's no "losing" a round, since there are no time limits. Veteran players of the genre, though, will enjoy the challenge of winning gold cup rewards for finishing within a time limit.