3DS
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Game Info:

Conveni Dream
Developed by: Arc System Works
Published by: Circle Entertainment
Release date: May 26, 2016 
Available on: 3DS
Genre: Store Simulator
Number of Players: Single-Player
ESRB Rating: E for Everyone
Price: $5.00

Thank you Circle for sending us a review code.

Circle has been known to bring these kinds of simulation games to the 3DS eShop before. Now with Conveni Dream, it's up to you to make your convenience store the best there ever was.

Conveni Dream starts you off with a small store, and you're tasked with hiring staff and stocking products to sell. At first there's only a few devices to place. These include a shelf, a refrigerator, and a drink chiller. As you make more money from sales, you will not only earn income, but you also gain experience points. Leveling up yields a few effects such as: access to newer and better products to sell, higher quality versions of devices as well as entirely new ones, and more capacity to place devices. New staff may also become available as you level up. 

The first element of the game that I'll go into is the prediction graph. The prediction graph shows a rough estimate on a bar graph of who will frequent your store that day. Normally at the beginning of a new week all the bars will be low. As products are bought, the bars will slowly start to reflect which demographic is coming in most. Also, at the beginning of a new week the female narrator will inform the player which holiday or special event is coming up for that week. This will let you stock up on recommended products and sometimes gives a special product for that week only.

Conveni Dream
Highlights:

Strong Points: Addictive gameplay; Graphics are nicely detailed; Hours of content for the price.
Weak Points: Some noticeable translation errors; Music can get repetitive; Very slow in the beginning.
Moral Warnings: Occasionally there will be drunk patrons that need to be asked to leave.

Now it's not as easy as one might think. Not everyone in the game is going to buy those hot dogs or bowls of noodles. No, that would be too underwhelming. Instead, most items will highlight on the prediction graph exactly which demographic will buy it. This makes it a little easier to figure out which products to stock up on. It's also good to look at how long a product will last. Old products must be thrown away, which you'll need to take into consideration as to avoid wasting money. 

As you play you'll start to notice certain customers act strangely. Some will come in moving a little faster than others. This is a tell that they're going to steal something. A unique bubble will appear above their heads letting you know they've stolen something. A simple tap will resolve the issue, and you'll receive all the money you would've lost out on. Similarly, drunk customers will stumble into your store. These characters aren't an issue as they only have to be tapped and they will go away. The last unique type of customer are the complainers. These customers simply need a tap to get them to calm down and leave.

As your store operates on a 24-hour schedule, you'll notice a trend in the types of customers at different hours. During the day you'll see more complainers, whereas at night you'll encounter more thieves and drunkards. This makes playing the game rather frenetic as you must constantly pay attention to many things at once. Are these noodles old? Do I need to restock a certain drink? Is it Mother's Day? Do we have enough carnations? Why aren't these bandages selling? These are typical things you'll find yourself asking. This makes each day in the game completely unique and engaging the entire time.

Conveni Dream
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 78%
Gameplay - 15/20
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 6/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 100%
Violence - 10/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

Now one of the few issues with the game is its translation errors. Right from the beginning you'll notice the English feels off. It's not that it is unreadable, it's just that sentences can lack structure or just read awkwardly. Thankfully, this only applies to the narrator of the game. Products do not have descriptions or any kind of text associated to them aside from their names.

As for the music in the game, I'd call it decent. The main track is a simple loop that can get repetetive after awhile though. If a specific event is coming up the music may change to fit the occasion. The music is serviceable, but nothing that stands out. The sound effects are nice and do a great job of emphasizing something happening, such as a drink selling out and needing to be restocked.

At the end of the day, this is a great game to enjoy in short bursts. The gameplay itself is very repetitive at its core. This isn't a bad thing as the point of a simulation game is to simulate a specific thing. In this case, running a store. It's not trying to simulate real life though. There are no armed robbery attempts or slushie machines breaking down in this game. Instead, you're treated to a world where the worst thing that can happen is an old lady steals all your egg sandwiches. 

At five dollars, this is well worth the money if you're into simulation games. There are hours of content and trophies to unlock. Progression isn't too fast, and you'll naturally begin to understand what sells consistently. There's a lot to like in such a small package, and I'm sure there will be people clamoring for more. Also, this marks the first Circle title to cost a flat five dollars. They listened to their fans and are attempting to make all future releases that would normally cost $4.99, cost $5 instead. This is a fantastic plan. Now players can get My Nintendo coins, which I'm happy to pay an extra penny for. How awesome!

-Kyuremu

 

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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