A funny thing happened to me last weekend on my way to save the galaxy, chainsaw aliens to death, and beat the living snot out of the world's top martial artists. I painted a stranger's toenails purple--and helped her shape her eyebrows.
That's right. Instead of logging countless hours on Xbox Live, I was taken in by the unstoppable force that is Game Cafe's iPhone game, Sally's Spa. Not only is this the best iPhone game I've played (not saying a lot, since I don't play many, but still), it's one of the most addictive handheld games I've ever played.
If this is your first time hearing about Sally and her addictive qualities, here's the deal in a nutshell. In the game, you play a young entrepreneur (Sally) who starts her own spa business.
Although you'll eventually hire others to help, you take a very hands-on approach to running your business. When patrons enter the shop, an icon over their head hints at their current need. So, if a patron enters with a yellow-chair symbol, it's up to you to drag that customer to the big yellow masking chair. Once a patron is situated, you'll usually have to interact with them in some way, whether it's plucking eyebrows, applying facials, or giving the occasional mani-pedi.
This is all completely addicting thanks to simple mechanics (dragging and tapping), gameplay that keeps you constantly busy, and an upgrade system that gives you long-term goals.
Upgrading your spa equipment directly impacts your customers' comfort level, which makes them less likely to leave before you've served them, thus making them happier (and the happier they are when the check out, the higher your tips). The more money you make, the more you'll have to spend on upgrades.
Also, the side mini-game game of selling supplementary items like shampoo and skin creams earns you promotions if you sell enough. The promotions grant you access to even more expensive ancillary items that make more money when sold.
If this seems like the most capitalistic game ever, you're not far off. Although I guess Mercenaries 2 would give it a run for its money. … Read more