Sally’s Quick Clips
Game Review by Debbie Winkler
Series: Sally Series #3
Creator: Games Cafe, Inc.
Publisher: Game House, Inc.
# of Players: 1
Target Age Group: 10 and up
Average Game Play: 3 – 12 hours
Type of Game: Time Management, Match 3
My Rating: 3.5/5 stars
“Head back to Sally’s roots in this unique game that pairs match 3 gameplay with time management mania! As clients enter the salon, match scissors, shampoos, hair dryers and more, to give them the treatments they desire before they lose patience. Pick the perfect look with mini-games, make each day’s goal to move to the next level, and spend your cash on upgrades and perks for your clients. The full version of Sally’s Quick Clips features:
- A unique blend of match 3 and time management gameplay
- Lots of salon upgrades
- Special power-ups” — Shockwave.com
This is definitely a different type of Sally game! I kind of liked it and kind of didn’t like it. It is really a match 3 game, but has quite a few time management game qualities in it so it is an interesting hybrid of both. Sally has been selected to participate in “Style America” a hairstyling competition with 11 famous hairstylists going head-to-head in competition! To win, you must play through 5 levels of regular game play to get to the stylist competition, or level 6, at each location. You begin styling 2 customers at a time with hair washing, hair cutting and blow drying. This means there are 4 different types of tiles on the game board – bubbles (hair washing), scissors (hair cutting), blow dryers (blow drying) and four-leaf clovers (power-ups). You need to make matches of 3 or more to fill the meter on each kind of service. When the meter is full, one of the circles will fill in with solid color (a different color for each service) and you can then drag the completed, large circle to the appropriate customer. So, instead of dragging your customers around, you are dragging the services around. You begin with 2 chairs to serve customers and quickly progress to 4 customers at a time. Each customer will request a different group of services and, while you start off offering only 3 services, you quickly progress to 4 and then 5 and then more services on each game board. You can only see what the customer is immediately requesting on the top level, but, if you look closely, you can see how many circles are underneath, which will give you an idea of which other services that customer will require before they leave. To pass the level, you must accumulate a specific amount of hearts. You get hearts by completing services on your customers – the happier they are, the more hearts they will give you (up to 5 hearts max per customer)! Some services, such as hair washing and blow drying, will not increase hearts, but can cause your customers to lose hearts if you take too long to serve them. Other services, such as hair cutting, hair dying, accessories, and tanning, will increase hearts if you select the right look for your customer (they will smile when you get to the one that they like). You must select these services by scrolling using the arrows to the right or the left. Customers will either give you a blank look, a frown or a smile to indicate what they think. A neutral look will not cost you any hearts, but it will not gain you any hearts either; a frown will cause you to lose a heart; and a smile will cause you to gain a heart. Once you have played 5 regular levels, you will play a 6th, competition level at each location. There, you will play against one of your competitors, played by the computer, in a contest to style one customer. You will need to fill a tube with a specific number of hair washes, hair cuts, blow dries, or whatever else is on the bar to beat your competition and win the trophy!
This is a fun game, but I enjoyed the other games in the Sally Series more. You may be like me and think “oh, so it’s a match-3 game, that will be easy!,” but you will be wrong! I tried a couple of different techniques, but I am not sure than any of them worked as well as I was hoping. First, I tried matching as many items on the board as I could so that I would have a lot of services to offer in a row and move the customers out. That worked really well on the first couple of levels, where there were not a lot of services and I had patient customers, but it didn’t go quite as well on more difficult levels because there were so many different icons on the board and so many impatient customers! So then I tried to look at what the first customer in the line wanted as a service and just make matches for that service. Then I would perform that service right away, but that didn’t seem to work really well either as you can only see the first service that they want. If they want a total of 5 services, you are stuck if you only have enough matches to perform 1. I ended up doing a kind of hybrid combination of the 2 strategies and matching as many as I could for a while and then serving as many customers as I could with what I have. Then I went back to matching and tried to use the power-ups to fill in for those services that I could give my customers. This game is definitely more difficult than it looks and you will have to try different combinations to try and find what works for you.
Even though I cannot give you a successful game technique, I can offer you a few tips to play this game more successfully. Use your money to purchase your power ups wisely. You don’t earn very much on each level and will have to save through several levels to purchase the best power ups. It is easy to get caught up in a kind of buying fever where you just buy whatever you can afford, but this will not help you in the long run. I found that the most useful power ups where the ones floating around the top of the screen (a bit to the left). These power ups will enable you to fill the meter on the services with fewer matches, which is always helpful. I think the best power-up that is available for purchase is hidden in plain sight. It is the vase on the coffee table that you can purchase flowers for. Each flower that you purchase represents a wild card that you can fill to use on your customers. Once you make enough matches with the four-leaf clovers (you match these to fill all of your power ups – the coffee cups and the wild cards), you get that many happy faces that you can use to service a customer with any service that they want. Let me repeat that, you can use these happy faces to drag down to use on any customer for any service that they want. These power ups are definitely worth having! Other power ups include extra circles on your services (you can only fill it with 3 at the beginning and then the meter just stays full until you use some of the services so you could be matching away, but not getting credit for it), chairs that make your customers more patient, magazines you can give to your customer to make them more patient (can be helpful if you want to make a bunch of matches and have your customers waiting for services), extra cups of coffee, a diagonal-match maker, and more. The main downfall with purchasing the coffee cups (each cup gives your customer an extra heart when you drag it to them) and happy faces (used to fulfill any service) is that, once you fill them, you must use all of them before the four-leaf clovers matches will start filling a new set. For example, say you have 3 coffee cup power-ups. You will need to keep matching four-leaf clovers until the power up fills. After you fill the meter, you will have all 3 coffee cups ready to serve right away. Say you have one customer who is unhappy so you give her one of the coffee cups to increase her number of hearts, which leaves you with 2 coffee cups, which would lead you to believe that the meter would now start running again to fill that 3rd cup of coffee, right? Wrong. The meter will start filling again on your coffee cups when you serve all 3 cups of coffee. This is a bit frustrating as I always wanted to save my power ups for when I really needed them, rather than blow them right away on whomever is near the unhappy customer.
Another tip is to use the game board power ups wisely. You will get a ton of bombs (explode tiles in a square around it), scissors (“cut” a horizontal row of tiles), hair rollers (“roll” a vertical row of tiles), arrows (remove a strip of tiles shown as a highlighted row based on where the arrows is pointing), coins (money added to your totals to use for purchases in the store), candles (gives customers hearts, extra money, extra patience, etc. depending on the type of candle that comes up) and, if you use them in a smart manner, you can get a lot of tiles that you need to fill your service meters. One of the most important hints that I can give you is that, on this game, not all types of tiles are created equally. It is easy to get enough matches to fill the hair wash services, the hair cutting services and other basics, but it is extremely challenging to make enough matches on the accessories and tanning services. It seemed like no matter how many matches I made to try and fill the meter on these 2 services, I rarely, if ever, had these services available when my customers wanted them. I used my happy faces on these services most of the time as I always struggled with these ones. The hardest levels, for me, were the game levels where both accessories and tanning services were offered as I had to make customers wait a really long time before I could give them the services they were requesting. Just keep in mind that the men will never ask for an accessories service, but both men and women will ask for tanning services. Pay attention as you service your customers and you will notice that certain customers never order some services (the little girl will never request a hair dye or a tanning service, for example) so you know who to target with more difficult services. Also, the game will give you a quick rundown of the customer’s patience level when a new type of customer is introduced. Pay attention to these as this information will become very helpful on more complicated levels. You need to know who you can keep waiting and who you have to service right away. And some of the customers get ugly – literally – when they get upset! The spoiled rich girl is pretty unattractive when she is upset. And she doesn’t look too much better when she is happy! Pay careful attention to the facial expressions on the customers’ faces as some of them are difficult to distinguish between smiling and sneering. If you click on a frown and think it is a smile, you could lose that critical last heart on an upset customer.
Anyway, if you are looking for a challenging match-3 game, you could do much worse than this one. This game is certainly challenging enough to keep your attention, even though it looks easy on the surface. You need to juggle the responsibilities and requirements of both time management and match-3 games, which really keeps you on your toes. Bottom line is: you make matches to fulfill service bars, when the bar is full, you drag the service to the customer, click through the different options and select a stile you think the customer will like, repeat until customer is satisfied and they pay you and leave. This game is fun and fast-paced, but it is not as good as the other games in the Sally Series, which are more classically styled time management games and more to my taste. Give this game a chance if you enjoy either game genre.
This game is appropriate for viewers of all ages. There is some reading at the beginning of the game if you choose to play the tutorial (recommended for first time players). You will also need to read information on the patient and tipping levels of customers. Other than that, everything is done by matching graphics, icons and colors so younger players can play the game, but the fast-pace and multitasking will frustrate some younger players. Recommended for ages 10 and up.