Corner Shop is silly and fun in the beginning, but the gameplay quickly wears thin.
- Oddly appealing sense of style
- Makes great use of the DS touch screen
- Minigames are fun and entertaining for awhile
- Catchy music.
- The game lacks the challenge and incentive to keep you playing
- The shops are thematically varied, but most of them play exactly the same.
Chances are you or someone you know has a Tamagotchi lying around in a junk drawer or shoebox somewhere. After all, there were about a billion of the little virtual pets sold in the late '90s. But the Tamagotchi phenomenon died as quickly as it started, leaving behind a lot of clunky key chains and a bit of filler for a VH1 clip show. Despite falling way off the radar, Tamagotchi is still around years later, now with a new generation of virtual pets called Tamagotchi Connection and a Nintendo DS game to match.
Tamagotchi Connection: Corner Shop is a quirky collection of minigames starring the cutely bizarre creatures from the Tamagotchi universe. Despite being based on the virtual pet license, Corner Shop is not actually a virtual pet game. When you start, you can choose one of three Tamagotchi to act as your partner, but the only difference between the three characters is the theme music, clothes, and the order in which all the shops are unlocked as you play. You and your partner can then go to work in various shops to earn gotchi points, which you can then use to purchase snacks, clothes, and furniture to "care" for your Tamagotchi. None of that is necessary though, since your Tamagotchi's response to these items has no effect whatsoever on the game. The entire care mode is just a very basic way for you to customize your game.
As implied by the title, this game revolves around small stores that you can run with the help of your Tamagotchi partner. You start out with only two types of stores, but you can upgrade as you work in each one, and in doing so, you'll unlock new types of stores. There are 11 stores in all, and working in each store means playing a minigame over and over to earn gotchi points. The eclectic selection of stores includes a dentist, a beauty shop, a flower shop, a music hall, a bakery, and more. Each shop has an associated task that you must complete for each customer by using the touch screen. Despite the thematic variety, the tasks mostly boil down to repeating the same few processes, ad nauseam.
The cleaner shop has you washing and ironing clothes, mending holes, and removing stains. There's a spa where you have to cater to customers as they soak in a hot spring. Pictures will appear in little thought bubbles above the customers' heads and you simply have to select the corresponding items and give them to the customers. In the beauty shop, a customer will give you a picture of what he or she wants to look like, and you then use makeup and accessories to perform a proper makeover. The bakery has you decorating cakes with icing and toppings according to a pattern given to you by each customer. The patterns are all simple and they tend to repeat often. The florist shop is quite similar, in that you just have to select the right color of flowers, choose a wrapping and a ribbon, and select a card.
You can also create brooches and necklaces in the jewelry shop. A customer will give you a pattern, which you have to copy by placing the right stones and nuts in the right spots and then securing everything using a needle and thread (no complicated patchwork to worry about; scribbling all over works just fine).
The takoyaki shop has you making dumplings for customers. Once you get the process down, there's nothing to this game. The only variable is the number of dumplings in each order, and otherwise all the ingredients and procedures are exactly the same every time. You oil a pan, drop in some dough, sprinkle on the ingredients, use a pick to separate and flip the dumplings, then arrange them on a plate and top with sauce, seaweed, and fish flakes, and that's it.
The music hall is a bit different from the rest of the shops, and it requires you to tap pictures of instruments along with a song. It's simple, but it gets dull quickly because you don't get any immediate feedback on how you're doing. Instead, you have to wait until the end of the song to get a rating between zero and three smiley faces.