Turbo FiestaRebecca and Robert return in Turbo Fiesta taking their high energy and crazy-paced business out of space selling Mexican food. This time management game never feels too slow, not even at the beginning. In fact, it doesn’t take long before I fail to meet the level’s goals.

I cruised — with lots of bumps along the way — in Turbo Pizza and Turbo Subs. But hit a brick wall (or space station in this case) early on with Turbo Fiesta. This is a good and bad thing. It’s good because those who complain they never feel challenged by time management games should meet their match here.

It’s bad because Turbo Fiesta goes from 0 to 100 too soon. I can’t be too bad if I finished its predecessors’ games. Novices to time management might want to skip this one unless they’re patient and ready to jump in head first.

When I say “out of space,” that’s what I mean. Location, location, location matters in the restaurant business. I suppose this game fast forwards to the future to a time when there are plenty of customers in the sky. The customers’ attitudes (their moods drop as fast as ever) remain the same despite being way up high in the atmosphere.

Turbo FiestaRobert does the cookin’ while Rebecca does the runnin’ to pass out menus, pick up orders, nuke food, and collect change. Robert has it easy since he has robot arms that help with the food. Although the game remains similar to the previous two, it adds a turbo meter that rewards combo actions. When making enough combo steps, the turbo meter cooks in and Rebecca becomes Wonder Waitress, moving as fast as a speeding bullet. I love this.

After turning on turbo mode three times in a level, you’ll reach Fiesta mode and have a ball. Unfortunately, the two times I reach Fiesta mode… it’s the end of the level so I hardly enjoy my siesta. The dark space scene brightens up with Mexican decor that comes with a piñata and Mariachi music. Ah, that’s the best part since everyone is happy and you don’t have to rush anymore. Alas, it takes work to get there.

The mini-game offers a fresh perspective of the Pipes game. Turn the pipes and parts until everything connects — except in this case, it’s to restore power. Clever way to blend the mini-game with the story as the restaurant loses power.

Turbo FiestaPlenty of upgrades await including one that lets Rebecca carry three items at once. Only a couple of games have this feature, so I keep forgetting she can carry a third item. Upgrades up the price of food items, add color to the restaurant, help Rebecca and Robert work faster, and more. The superb graphics still impress and the music lifts.

Turbo Fiesta needs to offer an easier mode even for us experienced time management players. It stinks to get stuck early in the game or else the game is no fiesta. While the latest in the Turbo series introduces only a couple of new features, it remains as hyper and colorful as ever.

Download Turbo Fiesta.

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Farm Frenzy 2When Farm Frenzy 2 hit the download stands, I couldn’t wait to install it and start running my farm. Ohh… big mistake. I can’t stop playing the game and I have games lining up by the day waiting for my eyes and hands.

Like Farm Frenzy, the sequel has me taking care of animals, producing goods, storing them, and selling them so I can buy more animals to make more products. The circle of life on a farm. The original contains sheep, ducks, cows, dogs, and cats. This one brings back the cows, dogs and cats. It uses chickens for eggs instead of ducks, and the expensive ostrich for producing feathers.

The first paragraph of my original review applies to this one: Its fun, colorful, and cartoon-style graphics easily catches my youngest child’s attention. For me, the game keeps me up late as I’m keen on earning at least a silver star in every spot as I work my way around town. Of course, I love the graphics style, too.

Instead of cupcakes and wool, this one cooks up cakes, meat dish (at least, the game doesn’t sacrifice the animals), cheese, fans, hats, and an atelier. An atelier is a workshop and I suppose we’re making dolls or doll clothes.

Farm Frenzy 2I wish the game would offer hints for the very difficult levels. Getting gold rarely happens. Just reaching silver feels like a huge accomplishment. I’ve played all the levels and still have some levels to replay because I haven’t earned the silver medal. One level gives gold for those who complete it in three minutes and ten seconds. I don’t even come close. Hints, please!

As I work around paths, houses and fences improve with every level completion. I guess not only do we work to accomplish tasks, but also improve the little country side. Not clear, but it’s rewarding to see improvements.

This comes with awards, but some of the trophies don’t come when you think you’ve accomplished them. I replay an easier level and add cats and dogs so they would pick up all the products and cage all of the bears. But I still don’t earn the trophy. Some trophies need more explanation. For example, “For expedient production.” OK, what counts as fast enough to earn the trophy?

One trophy — that I don’t figure out right away — comes when you find all the gags. On occasion, a bear will peak out from the top. Click them and you’ve found a gag. Well, gee, I don’t want to replay all the levels until I find all the gags. The game never says to click these gags, so I miss them early on not knowing I’m supposed to click them.

Players must unlock unlimited mode by playing career mode. The trophy room describes some trophies as getting X things in “Survival.” Not everyone will figure out Survival = Endless mode.

Farm Frenzy 2Farm Frenzy 2 has a few kinks. Every now and then, the game freaks out and spews out an error message. It may take a couple of reloads, but the game eventually works again. Its loading speed isn’t as good as it should be. Waiting for the game to load takes longer than expected of today’s games.

Gotta run. Farm Frenzy 2 teases me with the few remaining blue spots (where I didn’t earn a silver). Obviously, it’s addiction and a joy to play.

Download it from BigFishGames.

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And she cooks, too! When Cookie the Chef leaves Flo’s Diner to pursue a career on a popular cooking reality TV show, he creates a shortage of chefs in DinerTown by inviting them all to appear as guest stars. It’s up to Flo to pick up the slack with a whole new set of food service skills! Help Flo and Grandma Florence keep five DinerTown restaurants up and running…if you can stand the heat!

  • Over 50 levels of game play
  • Master the art of perfectly prepared meals in five different restaurants
  • 3D rendered characters add dimension to the animation

Play Cooking Dash.

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PC Game Review: Spa Mania

Spa ManiaProtesters stand outside of Dubois Cosmetic Labs protesting product testing with animals. Jade leads the charge and has an eventful meeting with snooty Madame DuBois. There, Jade meets the owner of a five-star spa and asks if she could work there. Jade begins her spiritual journey in learning therapy and treatment secrets from faraway places in hopes of opening an Earth-friendly spa.

I don’t get off to a good start with Spa Mania. The game feels like torture because it runs slowly and sometimes froze on a computer that more than meets the minimum requirements. The first few levels dragged, but I couldn’t do a review without giving it a chance. As upgrades came in and mini-games appeared, the game turned around. I contacted tech support and made changes to my video settings, which improved the performance but not 100%.

Players start with a couple of stations and a valet. The valet cleans up the dressing room and fills the hot tub. We do the rest of the work — mostly. That includes increasing customers’ happiness while lowering their stress levels, guiding them from one station to the next, making and serving green tea, and checking them out. The green tea adds another heart to a customer’s happiness meter.

Spa Mania looks like an ordinary time management game with no new formulas. Then I complete five levels of play in the first locale and met the first mini-game there. Jade learns spa treatment secrets during these mini-games and they tie in with the action. In the first one, she mixes formulas using her (yours) knowledge of color theory. The number of formulas players complete will provide her with special treatment to use on customers in the game.

Spa ManiaThe next time you play this color mini-game, it changes slightly adding another color to the mix to create a new treatment. But first, you need to play two other mini-games before playing one a second time. In the dream mini-game, players do a “Whac-a-mole” on red and mean-looking faces while leaving the sunny happy faces alone. Jade, sitting in a Zen pose, floats higher as players smash nightmares and let the happy dreams fly around. This mini-game assigns a dollar value to massages.

In the third game, you create incense to use for boosting the customers’ happy meters. Here, Jade runs left and right with a bowl in hand catching incense ingredients. The mix uses flowers, leaves, and fruits. That’s right! No find a pair mini-game or any of those common ones you see in every other time management game. After finishing a mini-game, you travel to a new country and enter a new spa with design reflecting the country.

Spa Mania lets players change Jade’s outfit and unlock new colors and designs. Her outfits don’t change drastically — mostly in color and with a pattern. You can skip this part of the game. Players can also replay mini-games between levels to produce more incense and treatments as needed.

The customers don’t have much personality and their main difference is their happiness level upon their arrival. You’ll help emos, business people, hippies, pregnant women, and seniors. Two employees become available as upgrades — when you have enough cash to afford them.

Spa Mania takes place in 10 locations with 50 levels of game play. The last level takes much patience and experimenting to beat. The intriguing story complete with a spy comes together nicely and with the right amount of dialogue between locales.

Spa ManiaThe great graphics, bright scenes, and creative and integrated mini-games should attract some fans. The patrons don’t annoy as much as they do in other time management games. They’re just there, but you have enough to do without worrying about their attitudes. While the places Jade manages are five-star spas, Spa Mania falls right in the middle of its genre.

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PC Game Review: Ranch Rush

Ranch RushForget everything you’ve seen and heard about farm-style time management games. Sure, the time management genre has seen enough of this theme, but Ranch Rush will change your mind. You just feel like yippee-yi-oing while you work feeding the cows and sheep, making cheese and ketchup, collecting honey, and gathering up corn, tomaters ‘n other crops.

I may be a native Texan, but I’m far from wearing 10-gallon hats and cowboy boots. Once in a while I’ll see horses, cows, and longhorns while driving around my lovely city. I don’t even like country music and don’t envy my daughter’s recent month-long trip stop to the Country Music Hall of Fame (she couldn’t care less about it either). So if anyone shouldn’t like a ranchin’ game — it’s me.

Ranch Rush and its star prove me wrong. Sara loves working in a nursery where she experiments with new flowers. Boss Jim reports that he’ll have to sell the store to the developers in eight weeks unless things change for the better.

Rather than giving up on her home away from home, she remembers they have three acres of land and decides to open a farmer’s market to raise money for the nursery. With shovel in hand and a bag of seeds, she has eight weeks to succeed in fulfilling customer orders. Each week consists of multiple customer orders and she takes care of one customer at a time.

Instead of seeing a path of your progress, we see a chart showing eight weeks with an update at the end of each week. A skill meter that looks like a grain silo tower also appears on the progress report page. This identifies your rank.

Ranch RushThe game’s built-in tutorial guides you in your first steps. Every time you create a new player, the tutorial appears again. It would be helpful to have a skip option as well as a back option while reading the story in case you want to re-read it again. At first glance, the game looks like an ornery farm time management game. But wait. It has surprises waiting.

You start with clovers, corn, and tomatoes. Then add a cow for milk (hey, animal rights folks — it’s all pixels — no animals get hurt in the game). Feed clovers to the cow to produce milk. Next come the bees that hang out at their hives and digging in the clovers. Make your move while they hover the clover or else get stung and no honey. Eventually, you’ll get a machine like the cheese maker. It takes two jugs of milk to make cheese.

The week begins on Monday with a customer’s order. Once you finish that, you move through the week until Saturday, Farmer’s Market Day. Here you race to turn in as many products as you can for a chunk of cash. Sunday is a day of rest as you’ve earned it. New crops, animals, machines, gear, and other useful tools pop up at a nice pace throughout the game.

After playing the whole game, you may want to play it again with a new ranch. It doesn’t matter if you have $100K and all the upgrades available, you only have so much space to store it all. That’s the beauty of the game — there’s no way to have two of everything (not counting crops) so you have to decide what you need and how many. Arrange your crops and objects in any way you desire and take a snapshot. Playing it again with a new ranch gives you an opportunity to play with different layouts and discover most efficient way to run your ranch.

Ranch RushI have a couple of bones to pick. Clicking ahead works great, but canceling actions doesn’t. Ranch Rush isn’t consistent here. You can click the crates three times and pick up three crops, but you can’t click water three times and click three crops in need of water. Also, the story doesn’t give you a way to pause or go back to a missed part. The last level (Friday in week eight) takes the game from challenging to impossible in casual mode (expert mode is available, but requires unlocking first). I try different tricks and can’t conquer the level.

Nontheless, Ranch Rush has roped me in with its charm, unpredictability, constant introduction of new features, and super whoopin’ production values. Yee haw! Ya gotta try Ranch Rush.

Get it from your favorite site:

Big Fish Games

Reflexive

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Wedding Dash 2Quinn returns in all new wedding planning adventures in which she competes against other wedding planners. Wedding Dash 2: Rings around the World sees Quinn planning weddings in five countries. Photographer Joe Wright joins Quinn’s crew and captures memories for the bride and groom.

This one retains much of the original Wedding Dash features including most of the guests, Bridezilla, funky dancing guests, and fires for Quinn to put out. The action remains the same: You seat the guests based on their preferences whether it be at a specific table or with (or NOT) someone. Take their gifts and put them on the bride and groom’s table then serve them a three-course meal.

New in this one is Groom-Kong who comes out when he sees his bride not happy puts an end to the level. We also meet a couple of new guests including two pairs that must always have two seats together. Social butterfly Chloe and her daughter, Kathleen make a pair. Chloe isn’t as popular as she used to be since becoming a mom. We also have twins who don’t have much patience and don’t act very social.

Forgetful Grandpa won’t order anything unless you wait too long to serve him. So you must keep track of what he has eaten and what to serve next. The Conan O’Brien look-alike who might be a hot dog eating champion returns as do Diane, Derek, and Uncle Ernie (the drunk). We have another uncle — a handsome one and everyone wants to sit next to him.

We also have to tell Joe when to snap a picture. At the end of the level, you can view captured snapshots — but it’s really just head shots of the guests. Still, adding Joe works well.

Wedding Dash 2Wedding Dash 2: Rings around the World doesn’t treat us to many new features, which might disappoint some folks. However, those who just want more of Quinn and company will be happy except for one thing: This one is miles harder than the original. It takes me at least 20 tries to finally beat level 4.6.

The planning stage also returns with decorations, food choices, and bride and groom transportation. Sometimes the bride’s request doesn’t provide enough information to make a decision. Nonetheless, we receive more varied options from brides with stomach problems and actors to nature lovers and lovers of ’50s movies. Even when you pick a wrong item, you’ll see your incorrect selection appear in the level. So it’s nice to see we have control over customization — right or wrong.

The top notch graphics and swinging music compel you to keep trying no matter how many times it takes. Plus, the game brings about lots of smiles in watching the comedy while you frantically meet guest requests and stop disasters.

Wedding Dash 2: Rings around the World comes with two modes: story and endless. I never bother with endless as it doesn’t appeal to me. With five locales at 10 levels each, we get 50 fun-filled levels of battling and keeping brides and guests happy.

Wedding Dash 2I have a confession: I prefer Wedding Dash to Diner Dash series. The wedding guests provide more entertainment than the customers in Diner Dash. Boy, oh boy… this one takes a lot of patience as you’ll have to try various approaches to reach the goal score. If you haven’t played the first one, you can skip it and go right to this one as it has more. Considering the new scenarios, locales, and guest types, Wedding Dash fans will be happy to help Quinn again.

Download Wedding Dash 2: Rings around the World.

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PC Game Review Dairy Dash

Dairy DashPlayfirst has a hit with its Dash series, so it makes sense for the company to capitalize on more Dashes. This time the action occurs on a farm. Even Diner Dash‘s Flo appears in Dairy Dash, but that doesn’t help Dairy Dash win me over.

Oh, Dairy Dash still entertains and adds a component few have: multiple characters. We’ll get to that later. In the meantime, we meet the Smith family consisting of Mom, Dad, Emily and Ethan. They’re not quite the farming family. In fact, they’re the opposite and enjoy technology as much as any other modern day family.

One night, they go out for a family dinner at — where else — Diner Dash Flo’s place. Dad hears from Uncle Bill who reports his farm could go under if he doesn’t get more help or buyers. After talking to Uncle Bill, Flo tells the family she knows restaurants in need of good organic produce. Being the supportive family they are, the Smiths leave city life behind for the quiet and hard-working farm life.

Dad Smith starts feeding the animals, milking them, gathering eggs, making cheese, and growing crops. Mrs. Smith joins him and the two work in sync. The action feels frenzied from the get go and chaining feels unnatural. A little practice helps, but chaining doesn’t work as well as the other games. Furthermore, the game won’t let you cancel an action. At least, you can click a few actions ahead.

They call Emily to help when they discover Uncle Bill has another farm, but she refuses. Mom and Dad continue working on their own. Eventually, Emily and Ethan join them. The later farms don’t change much — things shift a little, but not drastic. In fact, drastic describes the fourth farm, which looks like something from 2010. Oh wait, that’s less than two years away.

A mini-game enters every few levels for a break from running around. One uses match three to sell produce, another involves picking good apples before they fall, and another catching fruit in a basket. Nothing spectacular, but not boring as some mini-games can be.

Dairy DashStory mode works as expected — hearing a story and making your way around four different farms for 52 levels. To move to the next level, you need to reach the goal score before the rooster crows. You can also challenge yourself to surpass the goal score and aim for the expert score.

Also, Flo calls from time to time with a request, so you never know when the phone rings. Mr. Smith occasionally has to stop farming to fix the truck so they can deliver the goods. These factors keep the game from becoming predictable and repetitive.

Endless mode provides three levels of difficulty. This one’s endless mode should please plenty as it begins with a goal score. When you hit the goal, a new goal appears along with more elements to increase the challenge. I’ve never been a fan of endless mode, but this one has a good set up instead of having players play until they falter.

The Smiths can fill up on lemonade for a boost of energy to move faster. Unlike most time management games, you can’t bribe the animals to make them happier. The game requires little strategy as the best thing to do is click and act as requests come. Because of this, Dairy Dash might be an easier game for the youngsters than other Dash games.

Dairy DashThe animals look pitiful when they’re hungry or thirsty and not much else. In other Dash games, the characters ooze personality. Dairy Dash doesn’t have the charm or personality that we’ve come to expect of a typical Dash game. Moreover, farm-themed games have been milked to death, so Dairy Dash feels ordinary by time management standards. Nonetheless, time management fans will find it a joy to play thanks to its multi-characters and variety.

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First Class FuryWhen you play as many time management games as I have (and many more exist that I haven’t tried), you wonder if it’s possible for a developer to come up with more undiscovered surprises. First Class Flurry answers, “Yes!” And, no it’s not an Airport Mania copy.

I don’t dream of becoming a pilot or traveling the world free as a paid flight attendant. Sure, I want to see the world, but I’ll have to do it the traditional way — shell out the bucks. Nonetheless, First Class Flurry satisfies — and way more than a Snickers bar.

Like the old airline, Braniff Airways, Starlink files for bankruptcy. But wait a minute. Like Braniff (as Braniff International Airlines, Inc.), Starlink comes back to life under a new owner. Claire, the flight attendant, happens to know the right people including the owner. The owner hires Claire as the lead flight attendant to ensure passengers are as happy as larks.

Not so fast — not as easy as you might think. You deal with sick, whiny, demanding, and honeymooning passengers of all ages. In typical time management fashion, players must reach the minimum score to move on to the next level. Time management kings and queens, challenge yourself and shoot for the expert score every time.

Claire starts working on a diddly economy flight, but play well — and she can move up to business class, first class, and finally royal first class. Her job involves making meals, fetching drinks, finding lost handheld devices and diamond rings, and handing out other comforts of the plane like headphones, pillows, and sleeping masks.

Claire tracks orders, recycles the trash, and somehow has to watch for annoying kids who cry because they can’t find mommy or they want to pester other passengers. After you earn enough points, you can buy a tray to carry three items and even four. Not often a game lets you carry more than two things and I like it!

First Class FuryTravelers also come with hearts for your monitoring their happiness levels. When the levels dip below unacceptable levels, you lose points. Quickly giving them what they want will keep them smiling. You also have the opportunity to simultaneously boost everyone’s happiness by spraying air freshener — can only use once per flight.

Another way — and you’re stuck with a captain who thinks too much of himself — is to quickly serve the captain whatever he (yes, “he” while the flight attendant is a “she”– don’t blame the messenger) wants. Once he’s happy, the whole flight smiles in adoration right back at the captain. The guy has an ego, but I love my job anyway.

The flights can fly in one of four locations: North America, Asia, Europe, and Africa. Pick any to start and fly for the duration of the economy flight. Finish that and you select another spot for business class. As you travel to new locations, you’ll notice some culture in the air. Plus, learn or refresh your knowledge of flags for different countries in the flight map.

Turbulence? Of course, there’s turbulence and it interrupts your work. Forget whatever you’re doing and make a run for the phone to warn passengers of impending bumpiness. Then help the lazy ones buckle their belts and get to your seat all within seconds or else enjoy a nice headache.

The game works beautifully with the mouse and its two buttons. Right-click anytime to cancel an action. Click ahead to get Claire hopping in doing a bunch of tasks in a row. It’s a lovely thing to have almost complete control over future actions. Although, the game occasionally gets me by having a passenger cancel his order and I keep trucking along unaware.

Upgrades and tasks can make or break a game. First Class Flurry aces the test. Upgrades change the look and color of the airplane, add features and décor to relax the passengers (hint: make them happier and more patient), and speed Claire’s movements. Some upgrades come with a few color options. With each flight class, you start over on the upgrades. You may or might not be able to buy all of them before the end of the flight class — just depends on how well you play.

Way past the game’s halfway point, the game continues to surprise with new dishes and features. So the tasks don’t feel repetitive especially in food preparation. On one flight, Claire makes burgers and fries. On another, she makes salmon (takes three steps) and sandwiches (also three steps). The station locations — such as the emergency kit and the magazine rack — also change around so you can’t get comfy.

First Class FuryFirst Class Flurry is almost perfect. Its wonderful all-around production values overshadow the few scrapes. For some, the pace can get frantic a little sooner than they would like. Some dishes are hard to distinguish especially the noodle family. That nuisance goes away after a little practice. Aptly named First Class Flurry is indeed a first class game. Take off and go play it!

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Supermarket ManiaWith the price of groceries going up by the minute, Supermarket Mania offers a great deal in keeping you busy for hours avoiding a trip to the grocery store. Like the coffee shop on every corner, Torg has supermarkets all over town giving Nikki little choice but to go work there as a stocker.

Nikki doesn’t like the looks of Torg when scary-looking robots greet her on her first day of work. After four days of excellent work, Mr. Torg fires her and her cashier friend. He activates the robots to run his stores. The girls find a better place in a run down pop store (well, there’s no mom as far as we can see) run by Mr. Clarence. He trusts the girls to run the store alone.

The girls deal with different types of customers who have different styles of shopping. Granny takes her time and has plenty of patience while teens have zero patience and move quickly. Kids tear up the place until you have your security guard friend, Mr. Barefist (I wonder how they came up with that), blow the whistle to stop their antics. Barefist also comes in handy in stopping brazen thieves.

You have two ways to catch a thief. Notify Barefist while the thief has a circle over his head to stop the thief who moves on to the next attempt or leaves the store. Or be patient and let the circle over the thief’s head fill and shake — alert Barefist at that time and you earn a cash bonus. However, the shaky thing doesn’t happen every time so waiting for a full circle could lead to thief getting away with … well, theft.

Supermarket ManiaUpgrades are present ranging from better products that sell for more money and a gumball machine for more tips to a faster loading stockroom and the most expensive one, a bigger cart. As you advance levels more upgrades show up to help keep customer patience from spiraling when so many require your time in stocking the shelves.

Occasionally, a celebrity shops at the store catching the attention of all shoppers who stand by snapping pictures. While the celeb works around the store, Nikki must keep shelves stocked for celebrities as they don’t wait long. Another unique feature in Supermarket Mania is Super Shop. Click the thumbs up symbol at the right time (when you have as many shoppers as possible and as few thieves as possible) so that everyone buys a bunch at once. This drives up sales and Nikki’s carting work as she races around refilling the fast emptying shelves.

The action spreads across five shopping stores including Torg’s for 50 levels. That’s right, Mr. Clarence somehow comes up with the cash for more stores. Nothing illegal mind you. He’s good people.

The game lasts a couple of sittings and gets nutty at times. I’ve yet to beat a Diner Dash (but I made it through Wedding Dash), and I finished Supermarket Mania. It meant repeating a few levels, but all in a game reviewer’s work. So I think the difficulty is on target for the average casual gamer.

Animation and cartoon-style graphics are bright and attractive. The music upbeat with good effects. Decent variety of upgrades and a nice even pace. Animation and cartoon-style graphics are bright and attractive. The music upbeat with good effects. Decent variety of upgrades and a nice even pace.

Supermarket ManiaSupermarket Mania probably falls in the middle of the time management games. Far better than those at the bottom, but not quite as good the best. You’ll spend less money on the game than in a five minute trip to the grocery store and have loads more fun.

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PC Game Review Bloom Busters

Another gardening game blooms that expects players to do more than just plant and grow crops. Bloom Busters mashes SIM and business management together to create a little garden of horrors. Monsters sprout from underground and garden produces ginormous crops.

Sharing hobbies can bring two people closer together as gardeners Jimmy and Jessie are in love and live happily in Bloomland. Players get to choose one or the other as their character, but each one has strengths and weaknesses. You can always switch players without losing your progress for a little change of pace. Jessie takes after Speedy Gonzales while Jimmy resembles Paul Bunyan in size and strength.

Loner Mr. Zorg — like Greta Garbo — vants to be left alone — is behind all the weird things happening in Bloomtown. He conducts experiments in hopes of keeping people away from him. He concocts Compound-X and dumps it into Bloomland’s water source without testing to see what it would do.

In managing the garden, Jimmy and Jessie patrol find objects to pick up, looking for monsters to slap ‘n slime, and doing the usual gardening work. Using the slime machine takes practice to make its effects more powerful.

The goals for the levels change as do the elements. A level could call for feeding the animals, another for watering flowers and keeping monsters out, and another for herding the animals.

The different levels keep the game interesting, but moving around the large scene turns tedious especially when a level goes beyond the screen. Not all do, but it isn’t always clear. A small map sits in the corner of the screen to show the monsters’ locations. However, the map isn’t always available and it should be.

By level 17, I’ve had it with the game — and in easy mode! Players must move pigs from one pen to another and battle monsters. Level 17 barely reaches the halfway point of the game containing 40 levels. Easy mode is not kid-friendly as the game claims.

On one hand, Bloom Busters will challenge experienced players. On the other hand, an experienced casual gamer can’t get pass level 17. The game wears me out with all the work it takes to move around the screen and fight off monsters.

The text has some typos and you can’t easily tell which profile is active. Bloom Busters has good music and an interesting storyline. Only, it may be difficult to get far enough to find out what happens. Despite the higher learning curve, some players might find themselves absorbed in the challenge and mystery while others will feel busted by the end of the trial period.

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