Flower Shop Star
| Flower Shop Star

Back when I was called in for careers advice at school, I remember telling the good lady behind the desk that I had an interest in flower arranging, liked wearing short skirts in my alone time, and insisted on getting my legs waxed at least once a week.

After several minutes of tapping away at the keyboard – beeps leaking out of the PC's speakers as if lifted from an especially cheap episode of Star Trek – she determined I should consider taking up a career as a professional footballer.

As apt as that might now seem in 2011, the validity of such tests has always been questionable. The answers you give can easily apply to any number of professions; one job interchangeable for another.

Flower farce

It's much like playing Flower Shop Star - walking into your new store only to feel like, in another dimension, you've done the exact same thing, but in order to take on a completely different job.

That's because, from the fundamentals of gameplay, down to the very artwork behind the shop around you, we've been here before.

Digital Chocolate's Flower Shop Star is, in fact, Digital Chocolate's Pizza Shop Mania redressed. Those of you with sharp minds will also likely remember that, Digital Chocolate's Pizza Shop Mania itself was actually a rehashed version of Digital Chcolate's Chocolate Shop Frenzy.

Swap selling chocolates for cooking pizzas for arranging flowers, and you end up with largely the same game, three times over.

Bunch brawl

That's not to suggest there isn't fun to be had.

As with all Digital Chocolate's time management sims, Flower Shop Star – which charges you with running a flower shop for a year, bunching together various arrangements for a stream of customers in quick fashion – is paced perfectly, letting you master the shop floor before introducing new elements, like a coffee machine to keep you on your toes or a serving table to store spare designs.

As ever, the controls are especially simple too - taps on each customer or object with the '5' key enough to move you from one action to another, although the advent of a queuing system, a la PlayFirst's Hotel Dash, is now sorely missing.

Flower Shop Star also employs familiar yet nifty Bejeweled-esque bonus rounds – each one pitched as unlocking new flowers, but in fact serving as a handy break from all the fast-paced action.

Despite such intermissions, however, it's hard to judge Flower Shop Star as anything other than what it is - a rehash of a model Digital Chocolate has sold countless times before.

It's undoubtedly a quality release and a fine example of how to do a time management title well, but when the leagues of games that came before it did the exact same thing, for anyone who's played one of the previous series, Flower Shop Star is a bloom that wilts before its time.

Flower Shop Star

A rehash of Digital Chocolate's time management model redressed for another day, Flower Shop Star is too similar to its predecessors to make it exciting
Keith Andrew
Keith Andrew
With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font. He's also Pocket Gamer's resident football gaming expert and, thanks to his work on PG.biz, monitors the market share of all mobile OSes on a daily basis.