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Score: 70%
ESRB: Not Rated
Publisher: Merscom
Developer: Techfront
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Simulation/ Miscellaneous

Graphics & Sound:

Create-A-Mall has a crisp and colorful appearance. Although it does look good at first glance, there isn't all that much movement to go with it. Your character, the super-attractive mall-manager something or other, and others in the game don't have any animation. About the only things that do move are the tiny mall patrons that walk through your mall. While they do walk through the mall and into stores, they don't have any other idle animations. What's worse is that you'll spend a lot of your time upgrading your stores in your mall, but you won't see a pixel worth of change when the upgrade is complete. Generally, Create-A-Mall does give the impression of a busy mall versus a dead mall, but nuances in between the two don't exist. Even the bonus items you get to buy aren't really that exciting. You can dress up your character in different outfits and buy items for the office, but it's all just a big "paper doll" game.

The background music is pretty mellow stuff, kind of like what you could expect playing over the speakers in an actual mall. There are a few menu sound effects and sparkly chime sounds for beating a level, but other than that, you're not in for a real audio treat. This does, however, fit with the overall feel of the game. It's the kind of experience that fades into the background and doesn't grab attention or require much user engagement.


Create-A-Mall, just with its title, tends to make you believe this is a game that will allow some sort of creativity to flourish. Alas, this is a building game with some strict underlying rules. If you want to "win," you'll have to follow a pretty rigid path. There's no creating your "dream" mall or even a mall that feels unique in any way.

You do, at least, create malls in Create-A-Mall. At the start of each level, you're given a cutaway view of a mall with slots available for stores. You have choices on which stores to add to your mall, each with its own profit and popularity rating. It's not as simple as adding more and more of the "best" stores, as you also have to deal with the dynamic of popularity. Put too many identical stores in your mall, and the popularity of each store will decline. There are different goals to each level, but this is the basic formula you will follow for each level.


Create-A-Mall has just about no difficulty at all if you don't care about winning the "Expert" award for each level. A mall will never really "go under" due to lax care. In fact, if you want to act particularly foolish, you can, say, build a mall with a dozen clothing stores. Even though they report negative income and zero popularity, your income will never fall before a certain point. You can take as long as you like to figure out what to do. And when you finally get around to demolishing all but a few of those stores, they will instantly gain back their income and popularity, and also give you back resources to continue expanding your mall. You may not gain much in the way of a high score at the end of the level, but you will, eventually, finish it.

If you do want to grab the Expert bonus, you'll have to step up your pace and plan out a few moves ahead. Still, it's usually not very difficult if you simply focus solely on the goals for the level.

Game Mechanics:

Point and click is the name of the game here. Create-A-Mall is your average casual downloadable game. The buttons are big, bright and colorful. Part of the drawback to big buttons is that it may be hard to dig down through different menus in a quick manner. That's really about it, however, as everything you need to do to complete the game is otherwise simple. The stats you need to look at are just as big and easy to see.

Create-A-Mall is not a deep game at all. Once you've beaten it, there's nothing to go back and accomplish besides getting that "Expert" award and a high score. This isn't the game you go to if you want a "Sim Mall" experience by far. This seems fine for a few minutes of a free online game, but actually paying for it is a different matter.

-Fights with Fire, GameVortex Communications
AKA Christin Deville

Minimum System Requirements:

Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista / 1.5 GHz / 512MB RAM / DirectX 7.0

Test System:

Windows XP, 3.20 GigaHertz Intel Pentium 4, 1 GB Ram, RADEON X850, Creative SB Audigy 2 ZS

Sony PlayStation 3 Battlefield 1943 Sony PlayStation 3 Droplitz

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated