Sally’s Spa

Sally’s Spa is on sale for $2.99 until April 30th.
Regular price is $4.99

I AM NOT A MAN! I don’t chug beer, I don’t light my farts, and I don’t scratch myself in full view of the entire world… at least not while I’m frantically giving manicures and facials in this strangely addicting casual game called Sally’s Spa.

As Sally, your job is to pull your friend’s struggling spa business out of the crapper and build it into a little empire, and to do this you need to be in 20 places at once as customers make their way through the various treatment stations the spa offers. Games Cafe, Inc. categorizes Sally’s Spa as a “time management” game which is a lot more fun than it sounds, but this game is also about knowing your customers, just like a real business. Some customers are big tippers who are short on patience, and the longer they have to wait for attention the smaller their tip gets. Others are lousy tippers who don’t mind waiting, and remembering who’s who can get a little nerve-wracking when you’ve got a full house.

Each spa station’s treatments are easy enough to administer, but the challenge is in doing them fast and not making mistakes. Whether you’re administering a facial, a hot stone treatment, a bath bomb, or a manicure, there’s a right way to do it and a wrong way. The easiest things by far are the stones and manicures/pedicures because all it takes is a quick swipe of the finger to move the correct stone onto someone’s back or paint all the fingernails on a hand. Facials and bath bombs, though, take a little more thought because you need to cycle through the various options until you find one that makes the customer smile. If you apply a treatment the customer hates, she’ll get her revenge at the cash register.

As you progress through the game, customers will start demanding additional treatments, new spa equipment will become available for purchase, new spa products are added to your store inventory, and the whole thing turns into a trip around the world as you operate spas in different parts of the globe. You can also buy powerups in the form of scented candles, most of which are patience-inducing which come in very handy when you’ve got a spa full of bitchy primadonnas (men included!!) looking to be pampered.

There are 10 cities in all and each city has 5 levels to complete, so with 50 levels there’s a ton of gameplay to be had here. Even when you finish the levels you can continue playing and the game will compare your previous score to your new one so you can gauge how your spa-running skills have improved.

Graphics and sound are both very pro and overall Sally’s Spa is definitely top-shelf quality. Two disappointments, however, are that it doesn’t defer to iPod music and there’s no global scoreboard.

At the current sale price of $2.99 this game is definitely worth buying even if you happen to be a dude (just don’t let your buddies catch you playing!). I think it would still be a good buy at $4.99, but at that price I think the global scoreboard is a must and it wouldn’t hurt to add in some kind of social element or spa-customizer to justify the higher pricetag.

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