Anyone who had the pleasure of being a student in the UK during the noughties will know that a sizeable percentage of the average slacker’s afternoon will be taken up watching antique shopping shows Bargain Hunt and Cash In The Attic. The ability to spot a good on-screen bargain may not have helped me achieve a 1st Class Honours (sorry Mum), but it did come in very handy when playing Auction Hunter, the new deal-bagging app from A1 Apps. Every cloud…
The bluesy soundtrack is rolling before the characters appear on screen, getting you in the mood for a bargain boogie; however, you don’t pick one of the four odd-looking, sunglass-wearing dudes that pop up on the home screen, as you are playing as yourself – these are your competitors. Tap on each character to read a summary about his bargaining style, giving you a heads up as to what you’re up against. Once you’ve uploaded a screenshot for your avatar and selected your gender (this is important for later on), it’s time to start bargain hunting!
You start off in Downtown Storage, with a couple of thousand bucks in your pocket; the auctioneer takes you through a selection of lockups and you have a quick countdown to assess the items on screen. Now, you may think that a dusty old chest of drawers or a cracked safe may not be worth much, but once you bust them open, there can be a few surprises lurking within them. It’s up to you as to whether to take the chance on these risky items or play it safe and go for TVs, handguns and jewellery, all of which usually fetch you a decent profit.
The auctioneer speaks at machine gun-speed, “Humminah, hemminah, humminah, do I hear 350, humminah, hemminah, I’ve got 4, humminah, hemminah, going once, going twice, sold to the gentleman at the back, high bidder!” and allocates the lots to the highest bidder. Some of the characters may try to raise the bids simply to make you pay more, so if you feel as if they are doing this, call their bluff and stick them with a turkey of a garage sale.
Once all of the lots have been cleared, it’s checks and balances time; we see who won, lost or didn’t bid as the grand total appears on screen. Once you have enough cash, you can buy your way to the next level; the level of affluence rises with the amount of cash you have, such as in life, and the $25,000 Las Vegas Storage is the holy grail for budding bidders.
It isn’t just about the money, though; if you spot a rare object along the way, then do your best to add it to your collection; not only are they worth a lot of cash, you can brag about them with the in-app links to Twitter and Facebook.
Auction Hunter is a straightforward fairly addictive game, which will deliver a Proustian rush to any of the aforementioned UK students, taking you back to this long, wistful afternoons spent lazing on a smelly couch in a shared house. Ah, youth: the one thing that money can’t buy…although it might be in Lot No.5, you never know!
Get Auction Hunter on iTunes for $0.99.