Happy Street is a Sim City-type of game (more of a Sim Town, actually), where you build your own street, earn money, craft stuff, complete tasks and level up. Unlike the Sim series, though, the game is in 2D (think The Simpsons), and therefore the navigation is more simple compared with a lot of other simulation games, so it’s great for playing on smartphones. The game is free on Android and iOS platforms, although there are options to purchase “flooz”, one of the currencies in the game which can be used to buy buildings or speed up crafting. The other currency is coins, which can be earned simply by building stores (and therefore selling things) or selling raw materials you gather. I personally have not paid for anything in the game, as there are also other ways to earn “flooz” besides buying them. For example, the little blue fox guy Pepin regularly requests items from you in exchange for “flooz” and coins. There are other mini-games which can also earn you “flooz”, some of which depends entirely on luck. Sure, it takes longer for you to save up and get “collector items”, but isn’t that part of the fun in playing games?With its bright colours and graphics which are on the childish side, some people (my guess: men) may be hesitant to download it. They may also be worried that you’ll need to keep checking back every hour or so, or else your characters will all die. Not so for Happy Street, which is a big plus for me. On busy days I check it only once a day for a few minutes and it’s still ok. Your characters get sad if the shops are not restocked and they can’t get stuff, but once you restock them they’re fine.
While the main character (“you”) is Billy the brown fox who loves to skateboard, the characters you get depend on the houses you build. For example, building a Fort House gives you Viking-like animals (I’m not sure what animals those are), and building the luxurious 1001-Nights Palace gives you monkeys draped in jewels. However, there are other main characters which exist in every game because they need to give you quests to complete. You get a quest whenever you level up, which includes crafting and collecting things. The quests themselves are really straightforward and require no brainwork whatsoever, but it is a lot of fun reading the “conversations” of different characters- some of them are completely out of their minds! (Hint: my favourite character is prankster Zoe, the white cat with a funny turquoise sock thing around her head.)Although the game goes on an on (I’ve been playing it for 5 months already…), it’s never boring because on Happy Street they have fiestas and festivals! Fiestas are parties you get to throw when you reach a full “heart” metre, and all your characters will have hearts in their eyes, dance around and spend lots of money. Festivals are thoughtful add-ons by game producers to celebrate real-life festivals (the one you see above is for Chinese New Year), with time-limited shops, houses and decorations and even costumes for the main characters. It’s a lot of fun, especially when you see the funky animals enjoying themselves.
I’m not going to post more screenshots here because I don’t want to spoil the surprise- try building your own street and discover the combos, secret areas and special characters you can get! (If you want more hints and game info you can go to the unofficial Happy Street Wiki.)