Posted by: Daisy | November 3, 2009

Smart and Addictive

I found a game that’s smart and addictive, except I should give credit where credit is due – my son found a game… While I watched him play it, I had to interupt and ask “can I try that?”  Let me begin by saying I normally am not that big a fan of the silly games he plays, but this one, oh my goodness, I’m hooked.

I love it on so many levels.  I’ll try not to overanalyze it, but I just might so bear with me.

You open a store with a gas station, a tire station, and a car wash.  Customers arrive at your store, and you need to click on the car, and click on the station where they want service.  Some customers want more than one service.  When all the service is done, you send them through the till and wave goodbye.  One rule is that there can be no more than 1 car in any one particular service area.  Simple, right?   Of course it is.  And of course customer service is a big part of this as well.  Customers who end up waiting a long time at any particular area start getting irite and begin honking their horns.  You continue to work through the levels, make money, you get a good (hopefully) reputation, and you start to get options (that cost money) to upgrade your stations, and/or open up new services.  They all come with different price tags, and different issues.

What do I love about it?  It requires you to multi-task, think parallel and linear, improves your memory a little, and all kinds of good things. 

Examples?

Blue car wants both wash and gas, while red car that just came in wants gas.  Send blue car to wash, and red car to gas.

Some service is slower than others.  Be careful of the order you send cars through the different service depending on what all the other ones need.  Slow service is a great way to keep certain cars simply ‘out of the way’ while you take care of the backlog!

Upgrades, upgrades, upgrades – are you aware of what the bottlenecks are?

Tick-off factor.  Some customers will be ticked off because you now have three cars all waiting for gas and there’s no where else to send them.  Sometimes, instead of ticking off two customers and taking care of them ‘in order’ but late/long for both, it’s better to have only one ticked off more than two ticked off slightly.

How do you stay sane when you’ve lost all track of what everyone is looking for?  How do you stay calm and work through it?  Have you been able to determine the patterns, bottlenecks, and other hands-on data, and what do you do with the information when you consider upgrading and/or opening new services?  How do you decide if/when you should upgrade or add on new services?

I love it!  And my 6 year old loves it too!  Try it out and tell me what you think.

– Daisy, who consistently gets 100% customer satisfaction at this game, and when it falls below, knows the days are numbered.

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