WonderHill’s Tattoo City Brings Skin Art to Store Management Gaming on Facebook

Tattoo CitySocial developer WonderHill has a new theme for an old concept. Rather than making a restaurant, bar, or nightclub, the developer has you building a tattoo parlor in its growing new game, Tattoo City. The concept is a bit more alternative than the company’s past focus on “wholesome” games, although the designs themselves are cartoonish.

The game has also notably grown to 2.6 million monthly active users in the last month, although the daily active user count is has been falling.

The objective of Tattoo City is, obviously, to build up a successful tattoo parlor. It’s pretty easy to do: Players first construct work chairs in their starting shoebox of a space, then hire non-player artists to do the work. For a small amount of coin, these artists will work anywhere from three minutes to two days, earning the player a chunk of change and experience when their “shift” is finished.

ArtistsIn order to hire any artists, however, a work chair, for actually doing tattoos is required, and the number of these in which one can have is gated by the current size of the virtual space, which is, in turn, gated by level. Unfortunately, this can become a bit tiresome to earn, as experience – which, along with money, is picked up FrontierVille-style – is garnered when one hires an artist or they finish. The only other means is a very monotonous selection of tattoos for waiting patrons.

Aside from work chairs, you’ll need to make room for potential customers entering the parlor. While they wait in placed chairs, players can click on them and select what tattoo they can get from a random selection of six. Once chosen, the customer will drop experience and occasionally “ink.” Of course, this cannot be done infinitely, as there is the standard energy bar in Tattoo City as well, and each tattoo selection (along with hiring artists) consumes some of this.

The ink that can occasionally drop is actually the more valuable item to get from customers. This can then be used as a currency for users to create their very own, custom tattoos. Going into a menu of all the tattoos in the game, players can “purchase” the different designs and place them onto a canvas; altering them in a rudimentary fashion. The editing is minimal at best though, consisting of very basic scale, rotate, and flip tools.

Tattoo EditorIt’s actually a very nice idea for the concept of Tattoo City, but the implementation feels stunted in its potential. All the designs are still based around pre-existing templates, and there is no basic drawing or erasing tools. Additionally, the majority of the tattoo templates available are also gated by level. On top of that, the designs don’t appear to do anything aside from appear in the random selection of six when choosing tattoos for a customer. The interface suggests that they could be sharable amongst friends, but if that is possible, it isn’t very clear as to how.

In fact, gifting is the only significant social mechanic of notice in this app. It’s otherwise pretty bland in this area. The only other social feature that is evident is the basic leaderboards at the bottom of the screen and the ability to visit and view other friends’ parlors.

ParlorEverything else about Tattoo City is fairly basic as well, consisting of just trying to make one’s virtual space look nice, and cleaning up trash whenever one leaves the game for an extended period of time. Furthermore, the current selection of decorative items does nothing to increase patronage (ala other virtual business titles), and the overall selection is still, currently, a bit low.

Overall, though, Tattoo City is a decent game, with clear opportunities for expansion with the tattoo-creation tool and with parlor feature expansions.