|Publisher: Gogii Games Genre: Arcade|
|Min OS X: Any Version|
Titling a game is a sensitive matter. Having programmed a couple pathetic excuses for flash games myself; I have first-hand experience in the subject. In fact, I have even come up with a reliable title-judging standard of my own. I call it the three C’s. The first C is captivation. A good title immediately captivates a virtual passerby. It releases small electro-game-waves that coerce the gamer into actually play the game. The second C is creativity. I don’t know about you, but I’m not going to play a game called “Monster Shooter.” The name is suspect. I’d play “Varicose-Veined Ogre Slayer” instead. Lastly, the third C is consistency, and this is the most important C—other than Vitamin C. The tone and diction of a title must be consistent with the corresponding gaming experience. If your title is “Ultra-Duper Gun Frenzy,” the game’s action should be nothing less than frenetic mayhem.
When I first downloaded Gogii Games’s Nanny Mania I subconsciously applied my title-standard. Captivation: check. Creativity: check—I have never before seen those words juxtaposed in a computer gaming context in my life. The third C required some actual playing time, but after several hours of mundane house tasking I completed the test. Consistency. Fail. Nanny Mania was anything BUT mania. The game is a chore. In the proceeding paragraphs I will explain this phenomenon.
Work-playThe concept of Nanny Mania is simple: perform a variety of domestic tasks for an increasingly large, upper middle-class family. Yes, it doesn’t sound like much to begin with, but I was wary of judging the game for its apparent simplicity. Recent titles like the Diner Dash series have impressed me by taking a tedious real-life activity and converting it into an enjoyable mode of entertainment. In fact, that was the primary reasons I opted to try Nanny Mania. “How are they going to twist this concept?” I thought. Well, the truth is, they didn’t. In 150 levels, with three nannies to choose from, the game is mind-numbingly tedious.
By clicking on various household appliances and objects, you direct your nanny to walk (or run depending on your caffeine intake) and clean up the house. On the bottom of the screen sits the “House Chaos” meter, which ranges from order to chaos. The goal of each level is to sustain order while completing every outstanding task within a given time period. A perfect time is shown at the bottom of the screen, and completing the level under this target will gain you extra points.
The main reason that Nanny Mania fails to entertain is its execution. Firstly, the levels are pathetically easy—I completed almost every level well below the perfect time. As a result, the game does not, as most arcade games generally do, become increasingly difficult. Secondly, the completion of tasks doesn’t require any work on the player’s part other than clicking on objects that are outlined in yellow. And furthermore, you can click on items sequentially to plan out what the nanny will do next. There is no upper-limit to scheduling tasks, so after planning out the schedule you just sit and watch the cleaning process. It’s just as fun as it sounds.