Pretty Pet Salon is a cute kids game for Android that sees you running a pet-grooming salon. You must work fast to manage your staff and keep your customers happy, and earn enough money to upgrade your equipment and hire new workers.
And when we say fast, we mean your fingers will need to work at lightning-speed. Although the requirement to first click on a waiting pet, then click on the service they wish to enjoy (shown as a speech bubble, which gets increasingly jagged as their frustration increases) is fairly simple, the action is so fast-paced that we often found the game didn't register our taps on a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, meaning customers we thought we'd already dealt with were still left waiting. The game is said to support multitouch for better multitasking, but didn't seem to in our tests. You'll certainly want to use both hands, however.
The game starts fairly slowly, but as you buy more hairdressing stations, spa units, massaging chairs, comfier seats for the waiting area and the like, and your reputation increases (shown as a happiness rating), the customers pour in so quickly you often need to shove a road cone in the doorway to turn them away. And that hits you where it hurts: your bottom line.
The solution is, of course, more staff. But without purchasing Pet Points (more on this later), your options are limited. You can at least give the staff you do have a virtual prod in the rear end with a speed boost, but you'll need to pay for this 'training' using the very cash your customers are putting in your till.
If you don't keep your customers happy with quick service - and this extends to ensuring someone is ready to take their payment at the till - they'll simply storm out without paying, and you'll have wasted any time you have spent on them. Fortunately, you can buy a juke box that can be played once per level (twice with an upgrade), which helps to calm them somewhat. We often found ourselves too busy to remember to switch it on, however.
Nevertheless, our happiness score reached more than 750 percent in our time with Pretty Pet Salon. That's some achievement...
Your reputation is important: you need as many customers as you can get, and they'll part with more cash if you deserve it. Each level lasts 60 seconds, and every 30 levels you get the chance to play with only VIP customers. These demand your ultimate attention and best service, but each VIP can put a few thousand dollars in the till in return. VIP customers can also enter the salon during a standard level, but the advantage of this is negligible - they pay you well, but all 'normal' customers must exit upon their arrival, without paying for the services they've already enjoyed.
If you earn enough cash you can move to swankier premises, although many of these and the highest-tier equipment require Pet Points, available for purchase in-app via Google Checkout or PayPal. Pet Points can be exchanged for cash, although once you get far enough into the game you'll find you have more money than you can spend because all the upgrades demand Pet Points. Pet Points are also available for free by installing and running various apps with which the developer Animoca has partnerships, but not enough to do anything useful with.
Pretty Pet Salon: Specs
- Android 2.1 or later
- Android 2.1 or later
Pretty Pet Salon is a reasonably enjoyable Android game, and we're sure the kids will love it, but we quickly got bored. The action can also be too fast-paced if you're unwilling to part with real cash for the best equipment and staff.