Why manage one store when you can manage many in My Shops
There’s an endless variety of business management sims to play on Facebook, so it’s quite an achievement when a developer comes up with a genuinely novel twist on the formula. My Shops has you trying to manage an ever-increasing variety of shops located on a single avenue, instead of endlessly micromanaging a single store. This is a very intuitive way to change up the formula, but surprisingly, there’s very little on Facebook right now that really plays the way My Shops does. Some elements of typical timer-driven sim play are there, but there’s also a lot of strategy and even some action.
My Shops begins with a bakery, where you learn the basics of stocking different types of goods to suit different types of customers. A customer that buys something at your shop leaves feeling pleased, which is indicated by a heart floating above his or her head. If you click onto the customer while the heart is above his or her head, you give that customer some experience. Customers level up after so many clicks, which lets that customer be interested in a wider variety of goods and unlocks new customers who’ll buy more expensive items.
As a shopowner, you gain experience by doing things like unlocking new customers, completing missions, and consistently making good sales. Once your shopowner level increases, you can add new types of businesses to your street. They work the same way as the bakery, but sell slightly different types of goods that get more expensive and draw different customers. You can also unlock completely new sets of customers to level up. At higher levels, some customers will buy from different types of businesses.
My Shops runs well once it loads up, but there were some issues with the game freezing or simply refusing to load. The game has few genuine design problems beyond tending to punish you if you unlock high-tier customers too soon. Customers who spend more will only go into shops that are at a certain level of Beauty (which calls for expensive decorating) or can sell certain luxury items that are expensive to unlock. Most customers when unlocked will only buy one particular item. If you unlock a choosy customer before you can afford to sell them the items they want or make needed improvements to your shop, they’ll just appear constantly at the store and act unhappy.
My Shops ranks you on the overall happiness rating of your customers, so if you unlock a customer you can’t really afford yet, that single unhappy person will drag you down. This can make it difficult to finish particular quests and create more problems managing your money. That said, My Shops is genuinely more fun to play than most business management games, because it’s genuinely complex. It feels like the decisions you make and the strategies you follow really matter, without making the game so complicated that it’s overwhelming.