Time management games tend to follow one formula, and whenever I get a new game featuring a young woman who has to make a business run better I get cautious. Jet Set Go follows the formula quite closely when it comes to setting up the scene, and it is easy to understand why. Some of the developers have been involved <in creating one of the forerunners of girlie time management games: Sally´s Spa and Sally´s Salon. Needless to say this team knows how to create these kinds of games. Still there are aspects of Jet Set Go that are truly new and fresh, and others that to me limits the appeal of the game quite a lot.
Jet Set Go follows the career of April who is a young entrepreneur in the travel business. The controls of the main game are all touch based, and follow the formula precisely. Drag customers to stations, tap them to help them and then on to the next one. Some actions demands you to make a choice where the mood of the customer show you the correct alternative. What I do like is the fact that the game allows you to queue actions, and hence it is a proper time management game where you have to get a good flow going.
The level structure is new to the genre, and is divided into agencies. For each of the three available agencies you have five stars to get. To get a star you have to make sure your customers are excited and happy with your service. This is done by completing the time management main game inside the agency. Secondly you have to upgrade your shop to keep them happy. Finally you get to follow them to their destinations, and pamper them into loving your agency. All three steps have to be completed numerous times to fill a gauge for each completely. To me this is both innovative, and almost game breaking. It gives a new flow to the formula, but at the same time it limits the difficulty level significantly. There are no perfect scores to go for, and you can always replay to get a better score. On top of that the game is quite easy, and hence I get the feeling that it is a chore.
There are two different levels of difficulty, casual and veteran. To me casual is suitable to kids, or for those who look for some time to just idle the mind while playing. Veteran poses some challenge in keeping customers happy, but as there is no pressure to really perform perfect this isn’t such a problem.
The gameplay for the different minigames for the destinations help giving the game variation. Some are duds though, and especially the scenic view at the Niagara Falls falls short. As does the restaurant in New York where you serve to order with only a minor sense of time management. Serving coconut drinks at the beach is ok. Overall these minigames are fun the first time around, but having to replay them really got me bored out of my mind. Especially the rhythm game dancing with elders on a yacht lacks challenge, and personality. Kudos for trying something new though.
The presentation follows the same old formula with cute bright graphics. It looks quite nice when playing in the agency, but there is a wide variation in quality between the minigames. New York looks great while the yacht looks poor. Overall it is still a coherent package. The music is your average time management collection of loops that generally just annoy the crap our of me. Nobody listens to this kind of stuff, at least I hope not. You can play your own music instead.
Jet Set Go tried to incorporate social interaction through Crystal to allow for new staff to be hired for the agency in an earlier version. This is no longer the case, and you can use the ordinary in game currency to buy extra helpers. Game Center, Crystal, Facebook Connect and Twitter are available to brag about your agency.
Jet Set Go takes the classic formula, and adds some twists to it. Sadly the core gameplay is let down by the twists, and at times the game feels like it is slightly lost in the world. It is still a competent time management game worth getting if you have already played the Sally games to death, and Supermarket Mania 2 of course.
Jet Set Go $2.99 Universal for iPhone and iPad
Seller: Chillingo Ltd