My daughter asked me to check out Shopping City game at HoodaMath.com, and so I did. Well, I became hooked... it's one of those "addictive" types of games. I spent nearly a week playing it every day, until I was able to finish all 9 levels.
I decided to write this blogpost about the gameplay because in the end, to be able to finish the last level, I had to do some serious analyzing of various factors in the game, which definitely reminds me of solving and analyzing math problems.
On each level, you are shown an empty street map, and your task is to build stores and to earn a certain amount of money in a given amount of days. As the levels progress, the street map gets more complex, you have a bigger goal to achieve and more days to do it. In the last level, you need to earn a million dollars in 29 days.
Then once you start the game, people start walking in from various directions, visiting the shops, and spending their money.
For the most part, I played the game kind of randomly, building different kinds of stores randomly here and there - toy stores, boutiques, pet stores, restaurants, jewelry stores, and so on. That strategy seemed to work alright in the beginning... but then the game got harder.
I was not able to finish the last level without thinking about and analyzing several things. I even wrote out how many percent I earned each day, and if I was falling behind my "best play", I would quit and start that level over (which you can do by pressing the "menu" button). I reached 96% or 97% several times before succeeding in reaching 100% in the 9th level.
I'm going to share some tips now for playing the Shopping City game. Warning: if you want to figure out these things yourself, don't read on! Just go play it. Of course, part of the fun IS when you figure out the strategy yourself. In fact, you could even use this game TO teach analyzing skills to youngsters.
Hints for the Shopping City game
The game itself gives you some instructions, such as the fact that the customers won't go to two of the same kind of stores, but they will visit a store and an upgraded version of the same store. Or, that corners are important locations.
- On day 1, no matter what level, your shoppers have only $30 to spend, and they can spend it all in a pet store. On day 2, they have $60 to spend and they can still spend it all in a pet store. A pet store happens to be the best store to start with. On day 3 and 4, having a pet store and boutique is enough for them to spend all their money (as long as all the people can visit a boutique and a pet store on their walking path). If on any particular day, all your customers spend all their money, you get a $1000 bonus. This is important to get for the first few days on level 9.
- The game tells you how much the customers spend in each particular store (before it's upgraded). Some stores are not nearly as cost-effective as others. For example, a restaurant costs $10,000 and a boutique costs $2,500, yet customers spend the same amount of money in both. Study carefully how much people spend in each store. Some stores look like fun to get, but they won't bring you in the most money.
- When you upgrade a store the first time, customers will spend 1.5 times as much money there than before upgrading. When you upgrade a store the second time, customers will spend 2 times as much money there than before upgrading at all.
- For best play, observe carefully the walking paths of the customers. They come from various directions and go off at several different exits. You want to choose the location of the best stores so that most people can visit them. Usually the corners work best for that. In level 9, I found out (eventually) which few locations worked best. If I put a pet store (for example) to two specific locations, I could be sure that everyone would visit one or the other. This is one of the most important things to analyze in the game.
- As the days progress on any particular level, you will need to sell the smaller stores in the best locations in order to build the better-performing stores in those locations. For example, if you put a pet store in the best location at first, later on when you can buy a jewelry store, it should go to one of the best location. Then you can rebuild the pet store somewhere else.
- You won't need the fire station or police station in the early levels.
- When a store needs repaired, if you can upgrade it (if you have enough cash), it gets repaired for the upgrading fee, so that becomes more cost-effective than simply repairing it.
- If a fire comes and you don't have a fire station, you can sell that particular store before it burns down and you lose it.
Hope this helps!