Tamagotchi Connection: Corner Shop 2 Impressions
Burgers, pastries, and car repair. We check them all out in this adorable DS game from the makers of PaRappa the Rapper 2.
The recent success of Cooking Mama for the Nintendo DS is proof that, yes, service-industry-related games do work on the dual-screen handheld. Enter Tamagotchi Connection: Corner Shop 2, a DS game that will showcase your stylus skills in a number of cute minigames. To play these minigames, you build a number of shops that you run and operate yourself. We got a chance to see a number of the shops in action during a brief demo of the game with the good folks at Namco yesterday and came away charmed by its cute look and addictive gameplay.
The idea of Corner Shop 2 is to earn Gotchi points, which you can use to clothe, feed, and house your Tamagotchi. To earn points, you'll open up any number of local shops and then be responsible for taking orders from your clientele and fulfilling those orders accurately. We saw three shops in action during the demo: burger stand, cake shop, and gas station--and each of the games associated with a particular shop varied slightly.
First up on the list is the burger shop. Here, the idea is to build a burger to the exact specifications of your customer. A small picture appears on the screen to show you exactly how you should prepare the burger; then ingredients start cascading down on the lower screen. Your job is to move the hamburger bun with the stylus, catching only the ingredients you need and making sure the ingredients are in the correct order, according to the picture you saw at the beginning. If you manage to get the order out correctly, your customer will be pleased, and you'll have the benefit of earning the Gotchi points to spend as you like. If you fail to get the order right, you might just lose that customer for a while.
The next stop on the list was the gas station. Here, customers will usually bring in cars that look like they need some serious attention. The first customer we saw required new tires, a fill-up, and a car wash. To fill up the tank, you drag a gas hose to the tank (being careful to match the color of the gas nozzle to that of the gas tank itself). Washing the car is simply a matter of vigorously rubbing a squeegee across the car with the stylus, similar to how you might wash your dog in Nintendogs. To change the tires, you have to replace the old tires with the same color and shape rubbers that were previously on the car. Finally, no good car wash is complete without a waxing. Although waxing the car works similarly to washing the car, you have to be sure to match the color of your wax to the color of the car.
The final stop in the demo was the cake shop. The idea here is similar to the burger joint, in that you have to build a cake to the customer's order. Once the customer has ordered the cake, a picture of what the final product should look like appears on the screen. From there, it's up to you to choose from a number of different cake bases, icings, and decorations (all applied with the stylus) to make the cake look as close to the picture as you can. In the demo, the idea was to start with a waffle base, a dollop of icing in each of the four corners, and a blue centerpiece topped with an orange flower. This is one of the more intricate minigames we saw because many of the decorations look similar to one another--so a discerning pastry eye will likely be required.
As you make your way through the game, you'll be able to open even more shops with a similar array of minigames to play. Happy customers will show off their membership cards, looking for a stamp from the particular shop they visited that day. As you progress through the game, you should expect to see customers show up at your newer shops as well--all looking for more of your trademark excellent service. An added bonus to piling up the Gotchi points is that you'll be able to deck out your Tamagotchi with all sorts of cool stuff, such as hats and clothing, as well as tons of furniture and accessories for your house.
The developers of the game, NanaOn-Sha, have games like PaRappa the Rapper 2 and vib-ribbon on their resume, so it's no surprise that Corner Shop 2 has its own distinct look and feel. The brightly colored gameworld and adorable characters are straight out of PaRappa, and the peppy music will have you humming along and tapping your feet to the beat in no time. As you might expect from its minigame-centric approach, Corner Shop 2 is designed to be played for short bursts of 15 to 20 minutes at a time. Its incredibly cute characters and addictive gameplay have charmed us so far, and if the rest of the minigames are similarly compelling, Namco will have a winner on its hands with Corner Shop 2. Expect a full review of the game when it's released in November.
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