Youda Jewel Shop might not be the flashiest ring in the display case, but it’s totally wearable
What if assembling jeweled rings, cutting diamonds, and engraving silver necklaces was as easy as slapping toppings on a hamburger? Well, you probably wouldn’t want anything to do with a jewelry shop that treats rare gems like fast food, but go ahead and pretend that the world of Youda Jewel Shop is some kind of alternate reality. That way you can enjoy the title’s addictive time-management gameplay without wondering why teenage girls are able to afford diamonds the size of their fists.
You begin Youda Jewel Shop as a young woman who’s getting set to go into the jewelry crafting and selling business with her grandfather. More to the point, you need to assemble your products and dole them out to the customer as quickly as possible. In other words, you need to learn a couple of things about time management.
Customers line up and place orders for trinkets while the “ingredients” putter down a conveyer belt. Making almost anything requires you to combine two or more ingredients. To make a ring, you need to select the ring’s base, then add the number and color of pearls requested by the customer. To make a necklace, you need to select a silver chain, then garnish it with asked-for combinations of emeralds and rubies.
As you progress, your orders get more complicated—and your customers get shorter tempers. You need to print cards, engrave silver medallions, paint bracelets, embed jewels into wooden bases, and lots more. Each piece of advanced jewelry takes a certain amount of time to craft, and you need to keep that in mind when you’re filling customers’ orders.
But Youda Jewel Shop isn’t just about profit, profit, profit. You also need to help out other jewelers with specific problems, including thieves and blackouts. If you’re successful, you’re rewarded with bonus powers that can help get you out of tight spots when you’re ordered back to work.
Youda Jewel Shop is a pretty basic time management game, and its gameplay is solid. It keeps you clicking for quite a while before you surmount the same challenges over and over, and the fun begins to wear off. Fans of time management titles will enjoy themselves as long as they don’t expect anything close to a real jewelry shop sim.
The graphics in Youda Jewel Shop are bright, bold, and colorful. The jewelry you actually produce probably isn’t anything you’d wear outside of your first day at clown college, but at least it makes the shoppers happy. The game’s character portraits are a bit deflated and weird-looking, though, and some of the other characters you meet have features that, er, subscribe to stereotypes (including a Russian dancing man and a demanding “African queen” who’s waited on by a half-naked fan-waver). There is obviously no malice intended with the designs, but they’re not exactly sensitive, either. It’s a little surprising to see them in a game that’s engineered for younger players.
Youda Jewel Shop is a satisfactory entry in the time management genre, but aside from its odd character designs, it probably won’t stick to your memory, either. If you need a fast-paced micromanagement fix, go for it: you da jeweler, after all.