In yet another game that glorifies orphan labor, Toy Shop tasks two small children with turning a profit on their late grandfather's business. Your goal is to earn $50K in the first three in-game years, and to succeed you must build toys, manage the shop, and shmooze with the townspeople to drain every penny out of their pixilated pockets. The concept is solid, but the sloppy execution of this cutesy sim left us wanting to play with actual toys (My Little Pony party, anyone?) rather than tediously generating virtual ones all day.
You'll be in the shop for the bulk of the game, which consists of two parts: the workshop, where the boy builds toys to sell, and the storefront, where the girl sizes up customers, stocks the shelves, and mans (or womans, if you will) the cashier. Both sections of the store are equally tedious, and we found ourselves constantly toggling back to the storefront to escape the monotony of the workshop and vice versa.
Above: The kids seem suspiciously happy about their caregiver's sudden passing
In the workshop, failure rate on building toys is brutal, especially in the beginning, since the probability of building a toy successfully is based on your previous experience building that toy. Irritatingly, there's nothing you can do to increase your odds of success other than pouring money into building a certain toy and hoping some turn out okay, since success is determined by a set probability (ex: a train set has an 80% chance of being successfully built for each one you order). You can speed up the process by hitting the d-pad on cue, but that's about it. Since you're charged for materials regardless of whether the toys you ordered were created successfully, kids playing this game will definitely get a taste of the harsh reality of failure.