Like other games of the genre, you start with a large tangerine that you can click on to generate more tangerines. After earning enough tangerines, you can purchase a bush that slowly but automatically generates more tangerines over time. You can buy more bushes to increase the speed at which you gain tangerines, or you can save up to buy a more expensive tree, which generates tangerines faster than bushes. You then unlock the ability to buy farms, which unlock tangerine machines, and so on.
In addition to the main shop screen, there are eight other screens: an achievements screen which allows you to enter a new universe after certain conditions are met, a perks screen that make subsequent playthroughs faster, a statistics screen that keeps track of your milestones, a gambling screen that either doubles your amount of tangerines or takes them all away, a stock market where you can invest your tangerines into different products which you can sell for a profit or a loss, an ad screen, a visualization screen that allows you to see just how many tangerines you've produced, and a blank screen which does absolutely nothing.
Tropes found in Tangerine Tycoon (may contain spoilers):
- Animalistic Abomination: Tangerine Cats defy science as known and spontaneously generate tangerines from thin air. Thought Box considers them Uncanny Valley.
- Fantastic Racism: Thought Box hates the extra terresterines.
- New Game+: Buying the 5-D Tangerine will allow you to perform a multiverse breach. You lose all your tangerines and buildings, but get some uCoins that allow you to unlock perks.
- Not-Actually-Cosmetic Award: Each achievement increases your TpS by 1%. This can make your production much more efficient once you unlock enough of them.
- Serial Escalation: As is standard for this type of game:
- Each building costs ten times more than the previous one but generates tangerines much faster too.
- After you leave the first universe, you can buy the UpGod perk which multiplies the output of the 5-D Tangerine by a huge amount: at level 1, it's 100X faster, at level 2 it's 100 000 000X faster, at level 3 it's 100 000 000 00X faster, and so on. Upgrading this perk could very well make a single 5-D Tangerine generate more tangerines by itself than what you made during all the previous universes combined.
- The Greys: Extra Terresterines; they have orange eyes instead of black, though.
- Video Game Caring Potential: Not putting the Tangerine Cat into the tangerine machine will force you to skip an upgrade, but the Cat will show up with its friends in the next universe to give you some extra tangerines to help you get started.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: After you buy the tangerine machine, a cat will appear, which you can put inside the machine if you want to. Doing so will unlock the tangerine cat upgrade (otherwise, you'll have to skip the 100 000 upgrades and go directly from 10 000 to 1 000 000)
- Zombie Apocalypse: The mutant tangerine will start killing humans once it's unlocked, and duplicates itself automatically at an increasingly fast rate. After enough time, you can kill off the entire population of Earth. Buying the next upgrade, heroic tangerines, will allow you to either slow down or reverse the growth of the mutant population.