Everyone who ever gets to know me knows that I love these types of game. Grew up with Theme Park and all that, love building just about anything and having the fun of having to micro-manage it and bring it all together.
I was looking at what offers came up this week when I got home last night and just the name “Another Brick in the Mall” fascinated me, when I saw that it was a build your own mall game I brought it right away for £7.99 and then today, my day off of working in a supermarket I might add, I jumped straight into the game and was very happy with the results.
Gonna do this review a little differently as I’m so far behind on editing other blogs and it is a early access game. Bare with me….
Starting with the positives of which there are a lot.
The design is pretty neat, think Prison Architect for what the graphics look like. You have a huge plot of land to build a mall in and whilst its easy to get into building just a giant shop at first you’ll find your imagination going wild on the second or third play through.
For £7.99 which it is right now on steam you get a pretty decent game which can be very addictive if you like this game. After playing it would I pay the full £9.99 for it? Only £2 in difference but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who doesn’t like this kind of “build your own” type games for the full price at the moment but it has a lot of potential for growth.
The sounds are easy to drown out, cash registers, beeping and general muttering. For someone who works at a supermarket I actually found it much more relaxing then I thought I would.
Its very simplistic. The building menus are easy to navigate, everything has its place, it has a nice short tutorial which is easy to follow and you even get the chance to start with unlimited funds to just build whatever the hell you want to build.
THE (FOR LACK OF BETTER WORD) BAD
There isn’t really any negatives as such, its early access so most of what I will say probably will be added in time.
The main thing I think is the lack of decoration and how short the game is. Obviously you can spend hours just building 100s of different malls and managing them all differently, the challenge of three different money levels, whether you want rat infestations and so on will change each game up a lot but its very limited on research options which might be on purpose or might just be because they’ll add more later.
Personally I had researched everything very fast and still found myself craving more from it. There could be many more item options that you have to research, for example Luxury items only come with Jewelry at the moment. I think it could expand quite dramatically without ruining the game or making it over complicated PLUS there is a option to play with all research already opened.
I found the Needs page quite confusing, or at least I think it was that page. The extra info you get wasn’t really helpful so I didn’t bother using them after initially looking at them. I’d much rather have some info neatly explain about what people are buying and what they aren’t buying. I might just need to look at it again properly but I didn’t really find it helpful.
WHAT I WANT
If there was a wish list of things I hope will someday be put in the game its this…
Split up certain groups like Diary, Canned Food and cosmetics.
Again it probably is to save time and space but for people who truly love these kinds of games having to research food chains to get specific things would be great. It would make it feel more of a challenge, specially if we have different types of sweets groups etc…
Add more specialties like Limited Offers, Deli Meats, Fresh Cakes etc…
It’ll just add to it and give you the option for even more single shops to make. There is no cake option at the moment so other then opening a shop and filling it with bread and just imagining it as cakes you couldn’t make a cake store in the game. Again like the first it just adds more individual items and much more to research. Also concession stands, plants and the like…
Add more specialised stores.
At the moment you have Store, Theatre, Fast Food Restaurant and Bowling Alley. It would be nice to have more options so like Barber Shop, Restaurant (with actual waiters needed), Arcade or even just a Beauty Saloon.
Add more decorations.
We have two kinds of counters. A cashier counter and a order counter. That’s it. So if you make a clothes store you’ll have to use a cashier counter which, at least in the UK, you wouldn’t actually see in a clothes store. It would be nice to have different styled counters, also there are only two indoor plants and none of the objects like ATMs or Arcade Machines are usable by customers so seem pointless. It would just be nice to have them interact and have more to decorate with, including more floor tiles.
So it might just tie into the above really but I’d like just small things that add a little bit more to my mall. Like a actual toilet door instead of my poor people having to do their business in toilets with glass doors or maybe more parking options (does America have disabled parking bays? Some of those or Kids parking bays would be good…)
I’m sorry its so rushed but I honestly think this is a great game worth every penny.
If you like this kind of game no matter if you get it at this price or the actual price it will be worth it. Its not quite bare bones but you’ll play it and come up with loads of things you wish you could have. Whilst you can play the game for literally hours without getting bored it’ll always niggle at you that you want this for this store or really wish you could have that for that store.
Its a very simple looking game which makes it so great to play. There isn’t anything too difficult or confusing to do so you can just sit and play it for hours happily.
I’ll probably write a more in depth review when I have time, unfortunately I’m extremely busy at the moment with work and wrestling shows that this is all I really can get out.
Go buy it on Steam, I’m sure you won’t regret it.