The name Posh Shop brings up images of grandeur: lush carpet, attendants at the ready, beautiful fabrics, tasteful clothing. It certainly doesn’t bring up sprite based graphics, lack of animations, almost amateur quality illustration, and mediocre gameplay to mind. Unfortunately, Posh Shop embodies all of the above in a woefully short game.

Posh Shop’s core gamplay is somewhat (actually, quite a lot) like Teddy Factory. Customers will request the goods, and your job is to assemble them from an assembly line in a timely fashion. There are a maximum of 4 pieces per set of clothing, and you can make multiple sets at the same time by dragging one piece of clothing onto multiples that are adjacent to each other; for example, shirt+pants+shoes can be dragged onto 4 jackets next to each other and that makes 4 suits. This technically makes no sense, but neither does clothing that appears out of the floor on a string and disappears off the other end.

There are many shops to assemble clothing in, and there are 6 sets of clothing combinations that you can buy from the catalog as well as power-up bonus furniture to acquire. Once you buy clothing at a certain level (say, clothes that require 3 pieces) then only clothing of that level will appear in the queue. This is the first flaw – if I only had enough money to buy the suit, then all I’ll end up making in the next day is assemble suits. Technically, you could march through all the levels doing this – buy the most expensive set and just keep making it.

Customers are an integral part of a game like this, but they might as well not be there. The game hints at this by giving you hints like “do not hesitate to make a suit of clothing just because nobody wants it.” Since most of the game you’d just be busy keeping clothes out of the hole in the floor. It doesn’t really matter what they want – it’s what you need to get rid of.

Furniture power-ups sits in your boutique and “enables” the power-ups. These are pretty standard (and seems to come right out of Teddy Factory) and do the standard things: reverse the line, stop the line, add a random matching piece, make each set more valuable, etc. Nothing innovative here. Some of these are also not very useful – for example, the reverse line power-up reverses, then spews everything back out en mass in something like 10 seconds.

There are some derivative minigames that are almost not worth mentioning. There is a Bejewel like match-3 where the icons change to match your current boutique, and a object hunting game where pieces of clothing are scattered and hidden. Both are derivative and easy.

Onto the graphics. Oh, the graphics. Let me count the ways. With the exception of the map screen where you can view all your boutiques, everything is flat shaded and line drawn with no pretense of detail whatsoever. I expected at least vector graphics, since everything seems to be so simply drawn, but no such luck – these are sprites. Cell-shaded 3D would’ve made the gameplay a bit more bearable. There is also the main issue of the lack of animation – customers have expressions, but they neither walk nor talk. They slide into the picture and slide out. The music was annoying at best so I turned it off, and the sound worked but wasn’t anything special.

Posh Shop does have that little addictive factor, but even if you’re hooked, the game is still no longer than 2 hours if you manage to pass the first time every level, which isn’t that hard to do. Most of all, it just doesn’t feel very posh. One of the tag lines is actually “innovative game design” and I honestly don’t see where they pulled that one out of. Another tag line is “unlimited play” and “full screen graphics.” Now, name a few games that are on casual gaming sites that doesn’t include both of those once you buy the game.

Try Posh Shop.

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