Review Happy Mall Story: Shopping Sim
Dolled up mall simulator game
Author: Kevin Vadala
Date: tested on 19 Sep 2014 on
Many things to do, creative game redesign
Music is campy, common free to play gimmicks
Happy Mall Story: Shopping Sim for Android is another entry into the popular Farmville genre. In this version of Farmville, you own a mall where you can place shops to serve customers. There is the usual fare like collecting coins from shops by tapping coins, expanding your business (aka Farm), diamonds (currency you can pay real money with or wait for), challenges to earn said diamonds, and of course many items to keep you busy playing the game.
I’m certain that the graphic style of this game will be very efficient in alienating a lot of mobile gamers. It looks straight pulled out of some 7 year old's doll game. After playing the game, I can’t really say that I was a fan of the graphics, but I can say that they didn’t bother me as much as I had expected. The graphics work as they are, and make things fairly easy to see and understand within the game which is a good thing. If I were to describe the graphics in two words, it would be happily accessible.
While Happy Mall Story doesn’t innovate amazingly on its popular formula that so many other games emulate on the appstore, I think it can stand out on its own. The game works within a mall, which feels very suited to this sort of time management, and money management game system.
While I was playing the game I developed connections to certain shops and I liked how I could upgrade them, place items to increase their success, and by doing so make more money to make more shops. In the beginning of the game you are shown the helper’s mall which is bustling with people. The game handled so many sprites inside the mall very well, and it was fun to watch all of the little people going about their mall business. This sort of element is something I haven’t seen before in other games and actually makes the mall businesses feel lively and active.
The game also feels very easy in some ways. There are small blue stars that you can collect and when you collect a certain amount there is a period where your mall generates a very large amount of money. This little time period is fun and satisfying.
Happy Mall Story: Shopping Sim does a lot of things right. There are tours you can set up, many versatile shops with items to place inside their businesses, mall layouts to explore for cosmetic reasons, and generally generous mechanics to make things feel less of a grind. With that said, I can’t really deny that this is another money grubbing game with the application’s developer games placed in obvious signs all around the mall and even incentives inside the game to try out other games. You even get 1000 coins to share a picture of the game on Facebook. Well, that’s one way to advertise isn’t it?