The “Tycoon” genre of construction/management games already covers hundreds of different industries and businesses, from theme parks to restaurants. But, one industry many might have not even considered to make in video game form is the illegal narcotics industry.
Many except for Game development studio Moon Mouse and publisher tinyBuild. Together, they have created Cartel Tycoon, one of the only games available that simulates the narco trade as it existed in the 80s and 90s.
If you’ve ever wanted to try out being a drug lord but are afraid of being locked away in jail for the rest of your life, then Cartel Tycoon is the game for you. It is full of complex systems and gameplay, but it is not impossible to become a kingpin with time. If you need a helping hand, then you’ll find some advanced tips & tricks in this ultimate guide that will get you to the top of the drug food chain in no time. With that, gather up the people you trust, and let’s dive in.
Selecting Your Capos and Lieutenants
When you begin Cartel Tycoon, you’ll need to select a number of personnel to take care of various duties throughout your controlled territories. You’ll pick a Capo (captain) to oversee everything at the highest level, as well as lieutenants to handle things on a more local level.
Pay careful attention to the attributes of each candidate, as they will determine what jobs they are best suited for.
Once you have your Capo and lieutenants, you should start to think about setting up your farms so you can begin production as soon as possible. But, you shouldn’t just drop a farm in any old location. Before you commit to a site for a farm, you should bring up your map and turn on the yields overlay.
This simple step will be the difference between a low and a high-performing farm. Areas that are more conducive to higher crop yields will be outlined in green, and these are the locations you should single out for your farms.
The next step after you get your crops going is to consider how they will get where they need to go. There are a couple of ways to get your goods exported: either by aerodrome or by seaport. Both methods will accomplish that goal, but one is more efficient than the other, but it will depend on the layout of your region and the location of your storage.
If you have an aerodrome available to you, you don’t need to take any extra steps. You can simply exhort directly from your warehouse, and you’re done. However, if you only have a seaport at your disposal, you’ll need to first process your goods at a workshop. Workshops are not available by default, so you’ll also need to place a research lab somewhere in your region and complete that research before you can go any further.
Now, with a steady flow of goods leaving your hands and money coming back to you, you’ll find your pockets full of dirty money. These illegal dollars can get you into a heap of trouble, so you’ll need a way to also process this money, to clean or “launder” it. Just like in real life, the most efficient way to do this will be by building and running a casino.
Once you place and build your casino, your money will be constantly laundered, giving you one less thing to worry about. The casinos have an extra perk to them in the form of building loyalty with certain characters who frequent your establishment.
Transitioning to New Crops
At the beginning of your playthrough, you’re going to be working with opium as your primary drug crop. As long as your farms, methods of export and casinos are being maintained, this will give you a steady income that you can use to further expand and upgrade your empire.
Soon after this, you will gain access to cannabis as a new drug crop. You might be tempted to switch crops immediately or to plant a mix of both, but stick with the opium for a while. Cannabis is certainly an upgrade, but the tradeoff is that you will have a huge increase of dirty money to deal with. So, until your facilities have been upgraded to deal with the next level of business, you’ll want to hold off on planting and exporting cannabis crops.