Girls like malls, they really do. Boys like building things, we really do. At times us boys say that we like malls, but that is really all about us liking girls. Girls on the other hand have no reason to like building things. Neither of the sexes like to do paperwork such as doing taxes. When all these general assumptions get crossed, misinterpreted and mistreated you get some strange results. Most of the time it results in an argument about stereotypes, and other times it results in strange products. Something went seriously wrong when Create A Mall was born. A strange offspring combining malls, girly graphics and shopping awards with building things using boring menus. It fails to cater to any specific demographic, and I have yet to understand who it is made for.
Kelly has to build a chain of shopping malls because that is the thing to do just like that. I found it really strange that someone gave me control over shopping malls when I can’t even build a store without going through the tutorial. Controlling a farm, a spa or a hotel I can understand but building a chain of malls as a rookie is weird. Anyway the story is not really important to the gameplay.
Create A Mall is all about building and upgrading stores. You have a limited number of storefront slots, and have to make sure that you mix and match in an attractive manner to the customers. New stores can be bought as building plans, and they later show up in the lease menu where you buy your storefronts. To upgrade a store you need to have resources that can be bought in the resource menu. To speed up building you can also hire extra labor. All of this is done under four tabs: lease, labor, resources and plans. Once a tab is chosen you get the available choices below, with arrows to scroll through them. I have had a hard time seeing all the really small numbers, and the entire interface give me a headache. Everything is tiny, and most of it is text based instead of using icons.
Create A Mall looks old, and there is a definite lack of polish. It reminds me of games I used to play five years ago on my small screen Sony Ericsson phone. Having graphics on par with the games Digital Chocolate churned out five years ago isn’t good enough.(Digital Chocolate still uses the same old graphics today) I like that the graphics are bright and colourful though.
The music isn’t good at all, and got me annoyed right away. Some kind of circus meets elevator music mashup that becomes grating to the nerves. Sound effects are ok, although sparse.
The reward in Create A Mall is that you can do some shopping within the game. Dressing up Kelly with some raunchy clothes can be fun for the younger players, but not really for the age group able to play the main game. Global high scores are available to let you compare yourself against the world of mall builders. Trophies can be earned as you achieve certain goals.
Create A Mall is a strange game combining cuteness with an ugly user-unfriendly interface. Building a mall is an underwhelming experience both to the eyes and ears. Me, my wife and my 10-year-old daughter all agree on this one: pass, and save those four bucks for the next time you go shopping instead.
Create A Mall $3.99
Seller: 99 Games