Playdom Goes Retail With Market Street
Playdom is expanding its sprawling line of social games with a new title, Market Street, that lets you run your own department store. The game mechanics are quite similar to fashion games like Retail Therapy and Mall World, but Market Street is a more gender-neutral game that lets you sell clothes, hardware, electronics, or an eclectic mix of all three.
Market Street sets itself apart from most fashion games by offering some more structured gameplay goals. You unlock To Dos that fill out your Manager’s Clipboard as you level up, encouraging you to decorate your shop or carry a certain amount of merchandise. You get very useful cash bonuses for finishing To Dos, in addition to the money you make just selling stuff at your shop. You can carry whatever merchandise you like, but more high-end goods might take awhile to get to your shop.
You can hire friends to work your register for you in Market Street and send the usual sorts of virtual gifts. Everything in Market Street feels intuitive and there’s never a sense that you’re too completely on rails or that you’re adrift, struggling for money to buy things you aren’t meant to have until after hours and hours of gameplay.
You don’t get an avatar to customize in Market Street, though you can choose the colors of the uniform your friends wear when they work in your store. The main thing you can customize your shop’s layout and appearance. There’s a lot of different types of sales display you can use, with a pleasing starting selection of colors. A lot of decorations have to be unlocked by leveling up, but you never feel like there’s simply nothing to buy.
Market Watch is features attractive 2D graphics but it’s not, at this point, a game that’s likely to wow an avid Facebook gamer. While it plays well and is balanced, it also feels extremely similar to a lot of other retail-oriented games. This feeling is likely to ease as Market Watch matures and gets content updates from Playdom.