Tattoo City Breathes Life Into the Art of Ink
Tattoo City lets players build their own tattoo parlors, one tramp-stamp at a time. They don’t need much business savvy to grow the business, just quick reflexes and a good eye for detail.
Players start out with a small tattoo shop, and can expand beyond its small confines for a price. The walls are plain and a single chair invites customers for some inking as they file in for that perfect expression of love for mom or skulls.
After a brief tutorial, players open the shop and get their first (and seemingly only) mission: to get $50 from successfully tattooing customers within three minutes. If you reach your quota before the three minutes are up, then you can continue to tattoo customers for extra cash.
The doors open and the first customer comes and sits down. If not attended to quickly, the customer gets frustrated and leaves in huff. If players get to him in time, the customer references a color and/or shape and a body part for it to go on. A box opens up with several varieties of tattoos and players must figure out which one the customer wants. Sometimes, there are a couple of tattoos that seem to fit the patron’s request, so players must decide which one suits the customer best.
Once the tattoo has been chosen, another box opens and players have to choose which body part the tattoo should go on. If the customer loves the tattoo, then players get the maximum payment and some serious kudos. If players pick the wrong tattoo or body part, then the customer isn’t too happy, but players still get paid. If players end up tattooing the wrong tattoo on the wrong body part, the customer pays nothing and runs out delivering a few choice words.
Each time players open the store for patrons, it requires energy they recoup over time, or can use coffee to replenish it.
If the mission is completed, players earn money from the tattoos plus a bonus. The money goes to buying more tattoo chairs, decorations for the walls, plants and a wide array of tattoo parlor necessities. I suggest the skull mask for the wall, it just screams, “Ink me, baby!”
The other currency in the game is “rubies”, which can be purchased with real world money, and is used to purchase special items. For 10 rubies, players can also play Dive for Deals with Dumpster Dave.
When players aren’t tattooing, they can visit their friends’ parlors and pick up coffee for energy. Also, if players leave the game for very long, when they come back, trash has accumulated in their shop and must be cleaned.
The game is simple to learn, and choosing a tattoo for the customer can be done quickly. As simulations go, it doesn’t have the complexity of other games, such as Castle and Co., but I hope more opportunities will develop as the game is upgraded. I would like to see a greater number of items to choose from and missions to complete. After three levels, I was still playing the make $50 mission.
The player’s avatar is customizable with some pretty funny hairstyles like the Simmons, as in Richard, but it lacks in other areas like nose and eyes. I would hope more amusing choices will become available. Clothing choice is very limited, including only one kind of pants.
Tattoo Parlor is a good start, but if it wants to compete with other sim games, then it’s going to have to amp up its game before it inks itself into a corner.