Thanks to Godzi Lab’s most recent title, I get to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the real world and jump into a nice visit down on Happy Street. This free to play title starts with Billy, an adventurer fox parachuting down into a grassy field. There he meets a merchant wolf named Pepin who explains to Billy his dream of creating a place in which people can slip on bird poop freely…and also pick up some fruit and glasses, naturally.
The game starts out with several helpful tutorials that will show players how to gather resources, build houses for new villagers to live in, and just get things running smoothly. The entire village rests along a 2D side scrolling map that can be expanded by using the magical mineral of Flooz. Expanding the land will allow players to build more houses, more shops, and even a few mini games including a slot machine and a prize wheel.
Players can move back and forth between a handful of areas outside of the village, such as a forest where players can collect materials and ingredients, as well as cook and fish thanks to Nyok (who I have to admit is my personal favorite character in this game).
Throughout the game, many of the main characters will give you quests to do, that will often gives rewards of coins or flooz. Pepin often has scavenger hunts for the player to get him an item in a time limit for various rewards. Later in the game, some of the lengths of time it takes to build, craft, and cook can become a bit long, but these can be sped up by paying a certain amount of flooz.
Raising the happiness of your villagers by bringing in passing tourists will fill up a meter that will allow you to create a big fiesta in the town which will send your villagers into a shopping frenzy, restocking the shops once they run out of wares is one of the quickest ways to give your town experience, which will raise the level and allow players to unlock new shops and apartments for people to stay in. With so many options, it’s quite easy to build your street in whatever style you prefer.
Like many freemium titles, Happy Street features in-app purchases to buy flooz, which is necessary for expanding the land and buying certain special collector’s items for the village. However, Happy Street does break away from the bad trend that plagues many freemium titles by not only making flooz more or less easily obtainable in the game (with enough luck, you have a limitless supply with the prize wheel) but also making it so that flooz is not required for the game to be fun. The game is built in a way so that players can have enough fun so that they might actually want to spend money on it.
I usually don’t like to compare games, but Happy Street gave me a real Animal Crossing vibe, and considering how many months I’ve spent hooked on that, I hope that can be taken as a compliment. The graphics are well drawn, the animals are cute, and they even speak in their own animalese dialogue during the quests.
Happy Street might not be for everybody, but it is a fun, enjoyable take on town building games. Since starting it, I’ve gone through four fully charged battery lives, not ready to put it down yet. In fact I’m charging it right now, and probably going to go play some more once this review is finished. It’s a light hearted experience that can draw anybody in, and with a price tag of absolutely free, I can’t come up with a reason for anybody to not at least check out this title.
+ Charming presentation and characters
+ Easy to pick up and play
+ Earn coins and rewards even when not playing
- Waiting 12 hours to put together a skateboard, and other such examples
An engaging free to play title that I don’t think anyone should miss. Happy Street is certainly worth visiting.
Happy Street was released on August 1st, 2012 for iOS devices.