Art Mogul HD – iPad
Publisher: G5 Entertainment
Developer: Funzai!
Release Date: Jan 30, 2013
Genre: Hidden Object, Puzzle, Sim
Reviewed by Mark Smith

Review Score: 4 of 5

Art Mogul HD may just be the most original game I’ve played on my iPad in the past year. Part hidden object, part strategy, and part simulation, this game will have you traveling the world bidding on and hopefully acquiring various pieces of artwork. Visit seven cities like San-Francisco, New York, London, Paris, Saint-Petersburg, Shanghai, and Tokyo in search of 430 pictures that you can use to populate your own art galleries. With more than a thousand objects to find and three Art Museums to buy, creating your own art empire has never been so much fun.

If I had to say anything bad about the game it would be its lack of variety. Not that the game is short on content, but it’s safe to say that once you have an hour or two invested in Art Mogul you have pretty much seen and done everything this game has to offer and now you will be repeating that process until you dominate the art world. This makes the initial free purchase a great way to test the water before you lay down your $5 to unlock the full experience.

Art Mogul is vast, both in its content offer and the relative freedom it allows in how you approach and play the game. You are given set objectives, but how you complete them is surprisingly open. You decide which city to visit and whether you search for art at an official gallery or risk the chance of purchasing a forgery as an Auction House or local Café. Depending on where you choose to shop dictates the next stage of the game.

Art Gallery purchase and sale prices are determined by finding key elements within the specific piece of art. The better you do the better price you can lock in. Café shopping can be even more challenging as two copies of the painting will be displayed and you need to find all the differences to ensure you aren’t purchasing a forgery. The Auction House really gets intense as you are put on a timer and required to find a specific object in order to win the bid.

There is a nice level of strategy and simulation buried within Art Mogul and as buy low and sell high and decide which paintings to keep to populate your own museums and art galleries. There is also a surprisingly bit of tension when you knowingly try to sell a forgery and hope the purchaser doesn’t see through the deception.

Art Mogul HD has a sophisticated art style that fits with the pompous demeanor you would expect from snobby art dealers. The 400+ paintings are spectacular and there is great art for the city locations, menus, and various other interface screens. There is some pleasant background music in some screens but most of the puzzle portions of the game are played in silence.

If you are looking to experience a new take on the hidden object location genre and mix it up with a bit of strategy and business simulation then Art Mogul HD may just be the breath of fresh air you’ve been waiting for. It might get a bit “grindy” a few hours in but if played in short doses, Art Mogul should provide you with plenty of hours of engaging fun and quite possibly give you a new appreciation for the world of art.