Improve your zen with this time management sequel
Jade is back for a new spa experience with Spa Mania 2. In this sequel to Spa Mania, Jade’s former success is threatened by customer complaints in her spas, and it is up to the player to get to the bottom of those shady events. Spa Mania 2 isn’t overly challenging or original, but it’s entertaining and worth a download nevertheless.
The game features 10 different spas in locations around the United States, each of them consisting of 10 levels. Supported by her assistant Isabella Jade is going to visit each of her spas to check herself what might be the root of all the complaints. And who knows, maybe the player will even meet some old acquaintances from the first part again. The story progresses with comic strips between each location, and is well-crafted.
In terms of gameplay. Spa Mania 2 does not really stray from the basics of its prequel. Customers enter you story, and you have to drag them to the desired stations and giving them their preferred treatments. Usually they will start at the changing room, then ask for some treatments such as massages, stone massages, or body wraps, and in the end Jade simply has to cash them out. Some of the stations also include mini tasks which are similar to those of the Sally’s series, but here they are blended into the gameplay way better, because there are no large pop-ups that keep interrupting gameplay constantly.
The money you earn can then be invested into upgrades, such as clothes for Jade that help her to work faster, improved or new stations, and objects that will increase customer-patience, for example a tea set, a radio, or a wind chime. Upgrades also include so-called ecological stations. Green themes definitely seem to be a favorite of developers across all genres, but in this case the addition isn’t very convincing. By adding those “green” stations to your spa you will earn green grades instead of money, but at the end of each level they are converted to money 1:1 anyway, so they feel rather pointless.
Spa Mania 2 also features hilarious customer types, who vary in patience, as well as in their appearance. There are mimes, ballerinas and Goths to name but a few and their facial expressions alone are laugh-out loud funny, especially when they are getting angry. There are also three mini-games between levels to refill your stock of incense, tea, and treatments, which will add even more patience hearts than their regular counterparts. Those mini-games are really funny and surprisingly challenging, each of them unique and serving a purpose. For the incense you have to collect ingredients by flying in a balloon, for the tea you have to direct a truck on a maze, and to earn treatments you have to catch falling ingredients with a basket, influencing their fall by moving belts and other objects.
The overall production values of Spa Mania 2 are highly polished, whether you look at graphics and animations, listen to the music, and even level map and comic strips prove that a lot of work went into the game. Unfortunately, it is really obvious and disappointing after playing through the whole game is that it has been remarkably simplified compared to the first part of the series. Even in later stages it rarely happens that you will have to replay a level to earn a gold star, which diminishes the already short playtime. Since the gameplay and levels to not really change when starting over and due to the lack of achievements or awards the replayability is rather low, too, so that the overall playtime is one of the downsides of Spa Mania 2.
All in all Spa Mania 2 is a decent, yet not overly exciting time management game. Its polished graphics and controls along with the clever and entertaining mini-games cannot hide the fact that changes are few and far between, the potential of green stations has not been exploited, and that the game is rather short and easy. Still, Spa Mania 2 delivers a fully satisfying experience for fans of time management games and particularly newcomers who are looking for game that is not too hectic. Last but not least, the soothing graphics and music could really help to improve your zen.