Price: FREE (in-app purchases)
Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 4S
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Working as a cashier in a supermarket is everyone’s least favorite job. Repetitive, hard-going, and time-consuming, a real life checkout job is such a drag. Crazy Market attempts to take the idea of what is considered such a menial job and turn perseveration into play. Unfortunately it fails to succeed at the one thing it set out to do, with it’s free-to-play business model becoming somewhat of a hinderance.
It’s the first day at a new job, and players must choose to take control of one of two characters - the new girl Lulu or the dynamic Eugene - before taking their position behind the cash register to learn to do what a cashier does best. The first mission eases players in gently by introducing the controls and standard gameplay mechanics, which isn’t a far cry from the usual swipe-to-scan technique that every real life cashier job entails. Pick up an item, scan it, and put it back, making sure to collect any coins from combo points.
The idea is there, don’t get me wrong, and the premise could potentially be enjoyable if the game would allow players to have any fun at all. The overall goal involves scanning all the items and placing them back on the conveyer belt before they reach the end - and the belt can become a nightmare to clear as the levels progress. Mothers leaving their babies behind, super power-ups, and laser scanners are just some of the interesting features in the game that make it sound like something worth investing your time into, but unfortunately I only managed to achieve around ten minutes of play before my character ran out of energy (represented by the number of coffee cups allowed per try), which regenerates at the rate of one per half an hour.
The truth of it is Crazy Market relies heavily on in-app purchases, which involve going to the marketplace from the main screen and cashing in coins that have been accumulated for power-ups, cups of coffee, or various other boosters and upgrades. Unfortunately collecting coins is not an easy feat and the only alternative is to buy them from the store where $0.99 is the lowest priced package for 5,000 coins. Though this seems reasonable, the idea of having to spend more money each time to get coins for coffee sounds like a vicious cycle to me.
Crazy Market has a catchy soundtrack and an eye-catching art-style but unfortunately this doesn’t redeem it from being a game that seems far too focused on a ‘pay-to-play’ system.