Salon Street is pretty, but shallow
Running a salon in real life isn’t easy. You have to deal with everything from screaming babies in for their first haircut to annoying teenagers in for their dozenth piercing. But thankfully you don’t have to deal with any of that in Salon Street. The sleek and charming sim puts you in charge of a salon, but doesn’t force you to get into any of the real nitty gritty. And while this makes for a more approachable, and often fun, experience, it also means there isn’t always a whole lot to do.
Not only do you run the salon, but you also work in it, too. So this means you get to dress up an avatar. You can pick a male or female and gussy them up with all kinds of clothing and, of course, hairstyles. The options are a little lacking, and it’s kind of hard to make your avatar look like anything other than the stereotypical person who works in a salon. But maybe that’s the point.
Once you have an avatar set it’s time to get to work. Customers will come in and you and your team of stylists will tend to their every need. Each stylist has a chair, and in order for them to work you’ll need to order supplies. You can only have one type of supply per chair at a time, so you’re essentially creating stations for different types of procedures. One for cutting hair, one for doing nails, etc. These supplies run out eventually, but they also take time to arrive, so you’ll have to plan accordingly.
In addition to just plain old regular customers, you’ll also have people from your Facebook friends list coming in for a little work. And these are the customers that you have to serve personally, otherwise they’ll leave. Problem is, they almost never look remotely similar to their profile image. While that’s understandable, the game rarely even gets the gender right, which can make for some unintentionally hilarious situations. Gamezebo’s iPhone editor Jim Squires is certainly a handsome man, but seeing him come into your salon represented by a young blonde woman is definitely disconcerting.
Your other workers are all temps, but you can hire friends to forgo having to pay any wages. Because friends work for free, apparently. And of course you can also visit your friends’ salons, restock their towels, and for some reason help yourself to their tips.
Since a lot of your time is spent simply waiting for things to happen it’s a good thing Salon Street is a good looking game. Though the characters move somewhat awkwardly, they look appropriately glamorous. The salons can be a little on the drab side, but once you start earning those big bucks there are lots of options for decorating. The art style is unique and colorful and really suits the theme of the game.
But looks can only go so far, and in a lot of ways Salon Street is as shallow as its theme. Once you order your supplies and load up your chairs there is very little to do. Maybe some unruly toddlers would make things a little more interesting.