App of the Week / Game of the Week: Mega Mall Story

I had written about the first game from Japanese developer Kairosoft to be released on iOS back in January and I really liked ‘Game Dev Story’.

After that Kairosoft released ‘Hot Springs Story’ (which I think was a nice game but not as great as ‘Game Dev Story’) and ‘Pocket Academy’ (which I enjoyed immensely but never found time to blog about).
I have become a huge fan of Kairosoft and always look forward to new releases.
Last week ‘Mega Mall Story’ was released and I immediately bought it.

The goal of the game is to build and manage a mall and grow it to ‘5-star status’ within 15 years of game time.
You start with a small mall and a limited selection of shops but as you develop your mall, you add more and more different shops and restaurants.
You can get special bonuses (called combos) by placing certain shops next to each other, e.g. a butcher, a greengrocer and a seafood store.

Although it’s not a universal app, it works fine on the iPad in 2x mode. The 8-bit graphics does not suffer from blowing it up and I found it easier to play on the bigger screen.

My Verdict

10 out of 10.

I spend more or less a whole weekend playing Mega Mall Story.
Although I am not certain how much replay value it has, you will not be able to try every shop with just one play through. I had about 20 hours of fun so far.

There is a wonderful 8-bit sim feeling with cute graphics and a lot of charming little characters running around, shopping in your mall.

The only negative point is that there is not really a tutorial. You need to read through a bit of text that explains the most important aspects. It’s not too difficult to pick up but there is not as much hand holding as in most current iOS games.

When I wrote this post, I was looking at version 1.0 for iPhone and iPod Touch (also works on iPad). Requires iOS 3.1 or later. Available for less then 3 EURO in the AppStore. There is also a free version to try it first.

Tried with iOS 4.3.5 on an iPhone 3GS and an iPad.

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