Candy Shop Grows on Facebook

Candy ShopOne of the most recent games to appear on our top emerging Facebook games list is a smaller app by the name of Candy Shop, developed by Tall Tree Games. With over 318,000 monthly active users, Candy Shop is showing some impressive momentum, having gained 126,000 of those users in just the past week.

Candy Shop won’t look new to most social game aficionados. The game is, essentially, a business sim almost identical to Baking Life from Zip Zap Play, except that many of Candy Shop’s game elements feel completely pointless. Of the various features, only a handful of minor ones feel much different.

The basic idea of the game is the same as virtually every other business-sim out there. Here, players make candy and sell it. Utilizing candy making machines, users create the different sweets over a period of time. There are three types of candies that can be made including chocolates, hard candies, and cotton candy. In order to make them, users must reach a certain level and purchase the respective machines. When finished, the candy is placed into a display case (one type of treat per case) with a set number of servings.

PreparationsOnce candy is on display, customers will then begin filing into the shop to make their purchases from the user’s avatar while two “temp workers” sweep the floors. And this is where the issues with the game begin. There is no visible point to the workers. All they do is walk around and sweep, but there is nothing to actually clean up! It’s possible that, like other virtual space games, the store gets dirty after the user is away for a few hours. But thus far, though, not a single item of refuse has been seen, and all the temporary workers do is suck up income (for their salary).

In order to make them free, players must post to their wall and have friends join. It isn’t a new to “hire” friends for such games, but with no useful jobs for these workers to perform, the mechanic feels like blatant viral advertising, giving no reward to the player.

It’s possible that once the user can afford more registers, they will be able to hire friends to man them. But even if this is correct, it makes no difference, as all it would provide is a faster means of serving customers so that they do not getExtra Servings upset — and in Candy Shop, that’s a non-issue. Normally, these games have a customer happiness level associated with them, and the happier customers are, the more customers visit the player’s shop.

That is not the case with Candy Shop, as a constant and consistent stream of visitors always comes and there is zero rating.

Players could literally do nothing, and there would be no penalty of any sort. They just don’t make any money. This takes away any challenge and strategy from the game, making the title a moot and fruitless endeavor. It seems likely that Candy Shop is doing well mainly because fans of this genre have come to expect a new flavors of virtual business games on Facebook. Candy is different than pastries, after all.

Beyond gifting and visiting friends’ virtual spaces, players can also collect tips from each other and hire one another as workers. Additionally, whenever a player creates a piece of candy, it can be posted onto Facebook for additional servings. All that said, the “hired workers” leads right back to the collection of notable issues.

CustomizeThe only other mechanics warranting mention are some convenient means of salvaging goods that were not “harvested” on time, or cooking them instantly using virtual currency. There is also a nice quest system that gives the users some goals.

Overall, Candy Shop feels like a business sim clone that has been done before, and done better to boot. Though the new app is doing decently well, it would be surprising if the game lasted the test of time. Players that like this genre will check it out, but eventually go back to something better.