Sally's Spa
Reviewed by Minna Kim Mazza
Review Date Platform Genre Rating Production
2009-06-30 iPhone Time Management E (Everyone) Games Cafe

I noticed this game was on sale via iPhone, for $0.99 it was definitely a steal. I have not played the other "Sally" game (Sally's Salon) but I was immediately drawn to the soothing music and pretty water wave background upon entering this game.

The story so far is that Sally, having taken a break from her salon duties, is on vacation. A nearby spa is having some business trouble, so Sally and her friend Nell come to the rescue.

The spa consists of 4 (and eventually 5) spa service stations: sauna, facial, massage, whirlpool, and manicure/pedicures. Customers enter and sit in the waiting area, a bubble over their heads indicating the station from which they request services. They also have heart meters that show how happy they are. If they run out of hearts, they run out of the spa, so make sure you keep them happy!

You use your finger to hold and drag customers to their respective stations. Some require just a tap to turn on the sauna or tub. Others open up a screen that has you making a choice of what type of that particular service to perform - such as what kind of bath fizzy or facial mask to use. The customer's facial expression will determine which will give the customer more hearts in their heart meters. After each service is performed, the customer will either have another bubble over their heads requesting a new service, or they will go to the checkout counter to check out. Customers also come in all varieties, ranging in patience and how much they tip. Some also only come in pairs so you have to place them sitting next to each other.

Another layer to the game is the spa products counter, which Sally's friend Nell is helping run. Depending on the conditions of the day, particular products will be more in demand. You stock your counter with products most in demand, and your customers that are waiting in the waiting chairs will walk over and pick up some products to purchase upon checkout, as long as they stay happy of course. Each sale will add up to your money total, so it's important to stock the most appropriate products!

As the game progresses through each spa, you'll be able to purchase upgrades to your spa amenities. These include more service stations, more counter space for more products, and extra spa employees to help with some of the more menial tasks (turning on the sauna, doing the massages). Also, your customers will start requesting additional services per station, adding to the growing daunting task of keeping them happy. Thankfully there are also more upgrades to keep them happy, like a tea station (as well as a tea attendant) and scented candles.

Now if you have played any of the Diner Dash games, you will find that this is strikingly similar in concept, going along with all the "time management" games that are out there now. While the concept isn't completely original, it's still a fun find. It's also available for PC and Mac if the mobile platform isn't your thing.