Art Mogul HD is an iPad game by G5 Entertainment that lets you travel the world to trade and collect famous art pieces. You start as an unknown art dealer with little funds, gradually building up your portfolio with masterpieces and advancing in your career.
In Art Mogul HD, most of your time will be spent identifying parts of pictures or comparing pictures and spotting their differences. When you first start the game, a tutorial takes you through the basic gameplay, including buying and selling art pieces from galleries, cafes, and auctions. There are 430 different art pieces, 21 hidden object scenes, 7 cities to travel to, 40 achievements to collect and 3 art museums that you can buy. However, the free version of Art Mogul HD only includes the first few cities and some art pieces. After a certain amount of gameplay, you will be asked to unlock the full game before you can continue.
Buying and Selling in Galleries
Buying and selling art pieces from galleries are the bread and butter in Art Mogul HD. Each time you visit a gallery, there will be at least three different art pieces you can buy and all of these are guaranteed to be authentic. Seven different items obtained from the art pieces on sale can be seen at the bottom of the screen. By identifying and pointing out these items in the art pieces, you can obtain up to a ten percent discount.
The process of selling art pieces is similar -- you get a better price by identifying items in the art piece. However, art pieces can go in and out of fashion at times and you will not be able to get good prices for art that is out of fashion. No worries though, you can always try selling at another city.
If you are stuck trying to find an item in a painting, you can click on the life buoy icon at the side of the screen to highlight the area the item is in. The life buoy can be used again after a short time but it kind of takes the fun out of things if you keep relying on it.
Buying and Selling in Cafes
Buying and selling art pieces in cafes are a little trickier than in galleries. Most art pieces you come across in cafes are counterfeits, and you’ll have to spot the differences between the art piece on sale and a photocopy of the original to check the authenticity of the art piece. The price of the art piece is lowered greatly for each difference you point out, and you also receive stars that improve your rank. Counterfeit art pieces can be purchased and resold at cafes if buyers are available, but galleries will not accept these fakes. You’ll find authentic pieces only very rarely in cafes, but if you do, they are always at heavily discounted prices.
Selling an art piece at a café depends on whether there are buyers available. Often, there are only one or two buyers looking for a specific piece of art in your portfolio. A wheel is spun to determine whether you are able to sell your art successfully. The chance of having a successful deal is lowered the more you are looking to sell your art piece for. Selling at cafes can be useful if your art piece is out of fashion in the galleries or if you’re trying to profit off a counterfeit.
Auctions and Requests
Auctions are where you compete with three other buyers to get an art piece at a discount. To get the best possible price, you have to stun the other buyers out of the bidding as soon as possible. Each time you outbid someone, you will be shown part of the art piece on auction. You stun the competitor out of the auction if you can point out where the part is on the art piece. If you take too long to stun your competitors out of the auction, they’ll bid on the art piece until it’s at an unfavorable price.
Requests are art pieces that the auction house asks you to find. An item is shown and you’ll have to obtain the art piece that contains the item. I found it quite difficult to obtain the art piece using the item but fortunately, the quest log tells you when you have the piece in your possession. A reward of coins and stars is given when you deliver the requested art piece to the auction house.
Owning a Gallery
You’ll be given the option of owning a gallery once you’ve done a bit of buying and selling. A certain amount of coin will be required to purchase the gallery and a theme has to be chosen. Once you’ve picked the theme for your gallery, you will be shown seven items from seven different paintings which you’ll have to collect for your gallery. Once again, I had difficulty looking for the paintings but fortunately, the telephone icon at the bottom of the screen tells you when a painting you’re looking for is available in the city you’re in.
Collecting paintings for my gallery took quite long because the paintings don’t show up all the time, and sometimes, I just didn’t realize a painting was the one I was looking for. Once you’ve finished a collection for your gallery, you’ll be given the option to buy a second gallery and additional cities will also be unlocked.
There are various achievements you can unlock in this game. For example, you can earn badges for delivering a certain number of art pieces to a gallery, saving an amount of gold in your bank, or winning a number of auctions. However, I find these achievements not very well-integrated into the game. At various points of time, I was informed that I had gained such and such achievement but with the exception of the first few times, I didn’t really pay attention to it.
Art Mogul HD is a great casual game for those who enjoy playing spot-the-difference games. The art pieces are visually appealing and the gameplay was not too monotonous. I had many hours of fun with this game. My only gripe is that the free version is too limited. But then again for the hours of entertainment, the full one was absolutely worth getting!
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