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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Shopping Street - Game of the Day


What is it?Shopping Street is a fun strategy game where you build your own empire of stores, and attempt to bilk as much cash from daily passers-by as possible.

Who made it? – The game was developed by Flonga.com.

How does it play?Shopping Street is comprised of 16 levels that take place across 4 different cities. You begin each level with a pittance of cash and an empty city block, and must accrue a certain amount of money in a set number of days. To do this, you’ll need to add new stores to your collection, upgrade the ones you already own (for more money and customer capacity), and add accouterments for your patrons like benches and newspaper kiosks.

You can build and upgrade at any time, provided they’re not occupied by customers. There’s a green bar above each customer, indicating how much cash they have left. A truly satisfied customer (depleted of cash) will display a smiley-face above his head. Customers denied access to a store because it’s full, will briefly display a frowny-face.

Presentation – The game has an upbeat look and feel. The stores are bright and colorful, clouds drift peacefully in the background, and small cars cruise down the street. There isn’t any in-game music, but the slot-machine sound when your customers pay out, accompanied by coins that float above the active businesses, is strangely rewarding.

Positives – Building an empty street into a thriving outdoor mall is visually rewarding, and deciding which building to upgrade next is fun. There’s also a lot of gameplay here, and playing from start to finish will keep you busy for quite a while.

Negatives – While the game is split into 4 different cities, you’ll be hard-pressed to tell a visual difference between them. The goals are progressive, meaning that your malls will get bigger and bigger, but there’s no location-specific gameplay. The first few “days” of each level are also slow going, and it’ll take some time before your store-scape really grows.

Why you should play itShopping Street is surprisingly addictive and fun, considering its simple premise and gameplay. The reason the game is compelling isn’t due to any singular element, and the game seems more fun than the sum of its parts. It’s a fun way to unleash your inner capitalist.

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