I’ll admit it – I like casual gaming and I love time management games. I’m a big fan of Diner Dash, Sally’s Salon, Westward, Wedding Dash, Airport Mania, and many others. And now another title comes to the iPhone – Sally’s Spa – a sequel to Sally’s Salon. It’s currently at the top of the iTunes App Store. Let’s take a look at this “relaxing” sequel.
I know, I know – guys aren’t supposed to like these “chick” themed games, but I’ve never been one to worry about other people’s hang-ups and I have to admit I’m addicted to these kinds of games. I don’t worry nearly as much about the back story as I do the overall game play and I have to say that Sally’s Spa from Games Cafe is a winner!
The game play centers in and around Sally’s foray into the wonderful world of spas. If you played Sally’s Salon, then you know the basic idea is to get your customers through the various services they request as quickly as possible and not lose any customers in the process. In Sally’s Spa, you follow Sally around the world as your spas get bigger, better, and with more upgrades. As before, your primary goal is to complete a set of tasks, keep the customer happy, and not lose any customers. How well you do this and how precisely you match the customers requests determines your score (and your tips) for the session.
As I mentioned, Sally’s Spa is very similar to Sally’s Salon, even in basic appearance, layout, and gameplay, but things have improved in nearly every category. To start with, the tap-the-customer then tap-the location approach of Sally’s Salon took a little getting used to. I Sally’s Spa, however, you drag the customer to the next location – a big improvement in gameplay!
Sally’s Spa is visually very nicely done, with zooms into and out of various game play levels. The music and sound is nicely done as well, with customer’s saying “Thank You Sally” on their way out. The whole feel of the game is smoother than it’s predecessor.
A new element added to the game play is a sub-game where you are selling beauty products for a fried and progressing through that career as well. It adds an interesting new challenge to the overall game.
What I Liked: I like the smoother, more complete, more refined feel of this game over it’s predecessor. A lot of effort clearly went into all aspects of the game – visuals, sound, and playability.
What Could Be Improved: I don’t care for one aspect of the mechanism for moving between levels. When you complete a level, the game automatically moves you to the next level, but what if you want to replay a level to get a better score? Well you simply click on that level and you will play, unless you have moved to the next spa location. In that case yo must back out of the location, into the previous location, then select the level. If you replay multiple times this can be annoying. I’d prefer something that asked me whether I was ready to proceed and gave me the replay opportunity, not after each level of play, but certainly before changing locations. I should point out, however, that, it took a bit to explain, but it’s really only a minor problem.
Overall, this game is excellent, albeit a little too easy in the early stages. The graphics are beautiful and the game play is still addicting. That’s probably why it’s currently on top over at the iTunes App Store! I highly recommend it.