If you are a fan of the time management games, then you simply must manage to make some time for Sally’s Salon Luxury Edition [iTunes $0.99] and/or Sally’s Salon Luxury Edition for iPad [iTunes $2.99]. I started with the iPhone version earlier in the week and jumped right into the game’s Survival Mode where you keep on going until you lose a disgruntled customer. Mind you this is a full service salon and you’ll need to be quite nimble of finger to keep things running smoothly. I banked a little over 1600 bucks before I accidentally gave somebody a green fauxhawk when they really wanted a purple pixie bob. Harsh words were spoken.
Moving on to the campaign, or career, mode you start out with a little shop at the mall and only a few tasks to manage – shampoo station, style/cut stations, blow dry station. For Day 1, you get a brief tutorial of the gameplay and some tips for keeping your customers happy. After each set of 10 days at a location, you’ll be movin’ on up to the next stop (perhaps even to the east side): a ski resort, the swanky hotel, etc. And, along the way, you’ll get to spend some cash on improvements like turbo washers, a coffee machine and plush chairs to keep your customers both happy and, more importantly, patient.
I also loaded up the iPad version and invited my wife, the "dash" game ninja, to give the two player variant a go with me. This proved to be great fun, since even though it is a co-operative style, you also get separate stats at the end of each round. We quickly realized that I was spending most of my time handing out coffee and magazines while she was a whirling dervish of service with a smile. Along the way we added several more employees: a barista, a shampooing specialist and a truly gifted blow-drying expert. With the endless stream of customers, at one point the shop was so full that I lost myself in the fray (which our daughters, who were looking on found highly amusing as I yelled out "I can’t find me").
One feature of the game that I found interesting was the ability to build a playlist of songs from the iPod while remaining in the game. The games are currently 99 cents for the iPhone and $2.99 for the iPad. Both are very polished and the gameplay is ultra-smooth which is very important for this type of game.