Mass Commerce Makes Money When You Play Magic Mall
Magic Mall is a take on the “mall management” sub-genre of the “business” sub-genre of the “management sim” sub-genre. If you have ever specifically wanted to design your own mall, this is definitely a game for you. While Magic Mall is still early in its development cycle, it offers a clear gameplay progression where you begin with a drab, grey mall and slowly develop it into a lively, brightly-colored mall full of decorations. Magic Mall is a low-stress game where failure is nearly impossible, making it something ideally played to relax.
As in most games that emphasize relaxation, the gameplay in Magic Mall couldn’t be simpler. You’re given a starting mall area and then allowed to invest your starting cash in stores. Various stores earn money on a timer, so you earn the most money if you check back frequently. How many stores you can have is limited by your experience level, as is how many decorations you can have. Adding decorations to your mall attracts more people, so your money timers will fill up faster. You earn experience when you gather money and your mall will slowly grow.
Magic Mall is an early game, so there are clearly some features missing. Some decoration categories only have four or five options available. The restrictions on how many decorations you can have keep you from burning through the available stock too quickly. Various mall stores you can purchase are all intricately designed and animated, full of people going about their business, wild decorations, and little spinning attractions. Otherwise the game’s only animated portion is the customers who visit your mall and the little coins that flip into the air as they buy things.
The main feature for developing your stores is the ability to upgrade them. To upgrade them, you have to gather lots of the right type of widget by visiting your friends’ malls and begging them directly from friends if need be. You can also spend real money to obtain them instantly. It takes tons of widgets and a bit of money to successfully upgrade a store, so expect to pay for the privilege if you don’t have a lot of friends playing the game with you. You can progress just fine without upgraded stores if you have to, but the upgraded stores are nice to have.
Magic Mall is very basic right now but there’s some potential for the game to blossom later on. More decorations and more choices in shops to buy would add a lot to it, as would some more dimensions to the gameplay. While there are other games that let you develop a mall on Facebook, there’s no one breakout game that defines the genre, so there’s plenty of room for Magic Mall to find its own identity. For now, it’s simple to a fault.