Sep 22, 2010

Review: Spa Mania

Type: Time Management
Platform: PC and Mac
Price: USD 6.99 from Big Fish Games for PC and Mac

Jade is against the use of animals in the cosmetics industry. After being challenged by Madame Dubois, the owner of such a cosmetic factory, Jade decided to start her own earth friendly spa. With the help of her friend, Jake, she starts first by learning the ropes.

Jade's journey will take her through ten different spas. There are five stages in each spa so altogether there are 50 stages for you to win. You start with three stations in the first spa. You have to drag customers to the correct station of their choice. At some stations, you will have to perform an addition action, maybe choose the correct facial mask, before it can be considered complete. After each stage, you have to option to spend your hard-earned money on upgrading the spa.

As you progress through the stages, you will unlock mini games. These mini games will have an impact on the spa, whether it is the replenishing of products the spa offer or enabling Jade to perform her actions better. You will also unlock new colors and designs for Jade's outfit.

The difficulty increases gradually and it isn't overwhelming for a new player. I do wish that the customers would move on to the next station automatically instead of having me to drag them. The variety of mini games keep it interesting. As far as I can tell, the mini games are optional and there is no need to play them after every stage. My main complain is that you have to tell the assistant every time you need him to do something; click on the changing room to get him to clean it, click on the tub to get him to refill it. The most help he'll give on his own is by waving his hand in the air to alert you. What's the point of having an assistant then? Fire him, I say!

The graphics are cartoony and cute and will appeal to the young and old. It is nice to have a storyline and a villain. I am more motivated to continue playing the game because I want to see how it turns out. By simply having a brief write-up when a new customer type appears ensures that they are not faceless and generic. If you look closely, you may see a figure looking suspiciously like Madame Dubois pacing outside the spa and taking notes.

Verdict ★★★★
Store page (PC and Mac)

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