Friday, January 7, 2011

Free/Indie Game Review: Shopping Street - Hypnotizing

Title: Shopping Street
Platform: Flash - Plays in browser
Release Date: November 18, 2010
Sponsor: Flonga
My Rating: 8. Strangely addicting, yet it does
not offer a lot of gameplay.

   Shopping Street is a very small tycoon type game in which the players setup a strip mall to earn the cash of all the passersby. The game is quick to learn and will have you instantly thinking of how to better your tactics in order to gain more of the customers' hard-earned cash.
   The point of each stage is to masterfully place the eight stores available to gain the most profits from the customers. You begin each level with only enough money to buy a boutique or a pet shop and several sidewalk advertisements. After you place your building and ads, you press the "Next Day" button to start the customers coming. There is a "Fast Mode" button if you get tired of waiting on the customers. I could see where playing in the regular mode could help strategy, but I really wanted my customers running. You get an increasing amount of days to complete each level. The days play out the same from level to level, so you really just look for a dominant strategy to get the money and continue building upon it as you get more and more waves of customers.
   The balance in this game is what makes it really fun. Looking for a dominant strategy is the obvious choice; however, finding it is not quite so easy. I personally only have the first few days of customers figured out. After that, you really have to start making choices about whether to save money for a particular store or upgrade the ones you already have. On one hand, you can make more money from more stores. On the other hand, you need to maximize your profits by being able to have so many customers in a store-type while the price is at its highest. The pricing scale of the different buildings and their level-ups is just perfect to where you are constantly asking yourself which is the better choice. It seems there should be some way to break it, but I have not found it yet.
   The sounds and graphics will not knock your socks off. They are appropriate for a Flash game. A very basic strum-line for the soundtrack and something that sounds like dropping coins for getting the money from the customers. The background is always the same; no matter which of the four cities you play in. The stores are different enough to know which is what. One thing that did bother me though is the misspelling of electronics as "Electonics." Always check your spelling people.
   All in all, I see this game as being a great time-killer with a load of potential for the future. The basic gameplay is great, but I think in the sequel, we could see more randomized customer behavior and sidewalk distractions that matter. I definitely recommend getting over to Flonga and checking it out!

No comments:

Post a Comment