As the little white bird poops on command onto the heads of unsuspecting villagers, and causing others to slip over, I have to ask myself; how did this happen? I’m a thirty something experienced gamer and yet I am collecting water, throwing fiestas and celebrating the birthdays of my little animal villagers with a new set of threads.
It all started about three months ago whilst looking for a iPad game for my two year old daughter Lucy. Happy street looked harmless enough and had plenty to look at. The graphics are lush using a combination of simplistic stylized characters and an array of more detailed shops, houses, accessories and extras. The player starts with one house and one shop and only two villagers but through building additional houses as shops you earn money, increase the number of villagers, and when there is enough love in the air from happy visitors you can throw a fiesta. This loved up street party gives your shops a boost whilst elevating the general happiness around the village. Add to that a forest area that you can nip over to for wood, fish, plants and rare gemstones and you have a happy little Eco system.
This was supposed to be for my daughter so every so often we would dip into the game, restock the shops, chop down some trees and set the next timer to go. Like other town sims, players must wait for objects and building to be built. You can pay to have the buildings created instantly but as you can probably guess this costs a lot of virtual money (coins and flooze?). You do earn money throughout the game but for this kind if action you would need to purchase a ‘top up’ pack which costs real money.
Lucy and I would dip into the game and slowly but surely our village grew. I should have known I had a problem when I started checking it without her, and humming the happy little tunes that are the soundtrack to the game. Before I knew it, I was checking it daily and I had more a thriving town that a street that the name suggests. The game is great at drip feeding different houses and shops and add extras such as bus stops, arcade machine, park equipment and its regular updates means it changes with seasonsal celebrations. I have seen various themes come and go such as Chinese New Year and even St. Patrick’s day. All of which have their own ‘collectors items’ which you can add to your village.
This is a fantastic game which doesn’t push in app purchases on you all the time. Instead it lays out everything clearly so you can see what can be bought with virtual money and what needs real cash.
I think the game is slightly to old for my two year old but give it another year and she’ll be taking over my town or perhaps deleting and starting over. Either way this is a great game for both children and adults and I’m sure there is a few lessons about saving up and caring for other people in there. Which is never a bad thing.