Gamers who clicked through Little Shop of Treasures, which debuted in March from GameHouse, will immediately have a deja vu moment when playing this sequel, Little Shop of Treasures 2.
In fact, it’s virtually the same game (hence the super quick development time, perhaps?). The only thing different with this sequel is the new story, which isn’t anything to write home about.
In case you haven’t played the original game, or other “seek-and-find” games, the game-play works as follows: you’re presented with a scene, such as a storefront, which is cluttered with items. At the bottom of the screen you’re given a list of items to find hidden in this scene, and you must do so within a predetermined amount of time. For example, you might be asked to find a cork, nunchuk, flower necklace, cassette tape, Easter egg, hula girl, funny glasses, Buddha, and so on. Think of it as a “Where’s Waldo”-like exercise, if you’ve ever seen those books or posters.
In the Little Shop of Treasures games, the items you find are tied to customers; in order to complete the level you need to successfully help 10 customers to advance to the next day, while helping all 15 customers earns you a gold star. If you need some help, you can click on the Hint button and the word, “Sneaker,” for example, will turn into a picture of it, so you can better find it on the screen. Players can replenish these Hints by finding and clicking on question marks in these busy scenes.
In Little Shop of Treasures 2, you learn your store (earned in the first game) is doing well, but you’ve now inherited a gas station from your uncle Roy, which needs some serious fixing up. And so to raise the money to whip the gas station into shape, you’ll be approached by members of the community who you can help sell items to customers, including locations such as a beach shop, craft fair, estate sale, import shop, and my personal favorite, an electronics store. As with the first game, items are tied to the theme of the store so the electronics shop will have modems, video game joysticks, Ethernet cables, MP3 player earbuds and computer components.
As you go through your calendar each day, and then each week, inching towards your goal by seeking and finding objects, you will have the opportunity to upgrade the gas station in one of a few areas, such as color of paint, landscape, trimming extras, new signs and pumps, and so on. These options give the player the opportunity to make the gas station look a certain way. This customization feature was also found in the first game.
While this game is fun to play and is quite attractive, it’s more or less the exact same game as Little Shop of Treasures. Because of this, some gamers might be disappointed after shelling out full price again. Because nothing is new besides the, ahem, story, you can’t even call this Little Shop of Treasures v.1.5. Instead, it just feels like a cash cow for those willing to pay for a nearly identical seek-and-find game as the original.