Time Management Game Collection consists of six different time-management games, but five of them follow pretty much the same blueprint as each other.
The exception is Julie’s Sweets, a conventional time-management game in the mold of titles like Diner Dash, Burger Shop 2, and Cook, Serve, Delicious!!
Before we get into what the other five games in the collection are like, let’s take a look at Julie’s Sweets.
This game is set in a series of locations, starting with Julie’s family bakery.
Each stage begins with Julie waiting behind the counter for her first customer to arrive. Customers either approach the counter or sit at one of the bakery’s tables, and place their orders via speech bubbles containing pictures of what they want to eat and/or drink.
To fulfil an order, you just need to tap on an item and then on the customer who ordered it. Julie will do the rest.
Except certain items are more complicated than others. While you can pick up a brownie or a green donut intact, you need to fry and coat red donuts, pour drinks, and chop certain cakes when you run out of portions, adding to the time it takes to deliver them.
Table service is also slightly more complicated than takeaway orders, not only because you have to carry the food to the table but because you have to clear up afterwards. In both types of transaction, you need to get back to the counter to take the customer’s money before they can leave.
Timing is everything. The longer a customer waits, the smaller your tip, and if you make them wait long enough you can even lose their custom altogether as they storm out of your bakery in a funk.
On the flipside, you can earn bonus points by checking out multiple customers at the same time, delivering entire orders at once rather than piecemeal, and serving customers in quick succession.
Plus, there’s a special goal attached to each stage, such as walking 400 steps or serving all of the counter customers.
If you’re wondering why we haven’t recommended simply loading up your tray with tons of everything so that you can serve customers promptly, this isn’t an option. Your tray only has five slots.
With each new stage you’ll unlock new dishes to serve, progressively upping the difficulty.
Caveman Tales, Kingdom Tales, Kingdom Tales 2, Country Tales, Fate of the Pharaoh
As we’ve already mentioned, the other five games in Time Management Game Collection adhere to exactly the same blueprint, so explaining how to play one of them will naturally explain the others.
Caveman Tales is a great all-rounder, and one of the best-looking games in the collection, so we’ll plump for that.
Despite its city-builder appearance, Caveman Tales is a heavily structured time-management game set across a number of stages, with each stage presenting you with a number of goals to reach before progressing.
Goals include fixing bridges, collecting a certain amount of Food or Material, building a certain number of Shacks, and so on.
Each stage contains a number of sites where you can build, connected by paths. Sometimes these paths are blocked by rubble that you need to clear, or rivers that you need to build bridges over.
There are several different building types, including Shacks, Farms, and Workshops, and these produce the game’s three main resources: Gold (in the form of taxes), Food, and Material.
Everything depends on everything else. You can’t collect Gold without Shacks and Food, you can’t make Food without Material and a Farm, you can’t make a Farm without Material and Gold, and so on.
To run a thriving settlement you need to upgrade your citizens’ accommodation and keep them fed so that their happiness level remains high. This increases the Gold you collect, and if your citizens become chronically unhappy – because they don’t have Food, for example – you’ll earn no Gold at all and your attempt will grind to a halt.
Your workers accumulate XP as you play, and at certain points you can promote them to make them more effective. Their current level is visible in the Chief Hut.
While new elements keep being introduced to Caveman Tales as you progress through the campaign, the same rule always applies: spend your Gold and Material wisely or you’ll come unstuck. You can reverse a bad decision by dismantling a building, but you don’t get the full value back so this doesn’t always help.
Caveman Tales plays a lot like a puzzle game. Each stage contains just the right number of building sites, and just the right amounts of starting resources, encouraging you to find a particular solution in terms of what you need to build and when. You can’t just busk it.
Let’s say you need to build three Shacks and upgrade them to two stars, collect 1800 Gold, and get 5 Happiness. If you try to achieve those goals by just building as many Shacks as possible and collecting all the Gold they produce, they’ll quickly stop producing Gold once your citizens grow hungry.
By the time you’ve realised that you probably won’t manage to finish the stage without a Farm and a Workshop, you’ll already have overinvested in Shacks and run out of resources, perhaps spelling the end of your attempt.
To stay ahead of the curve it’s sensible to check your goals, your starting resources, and any buildings already constructed in your stage before you start building.
Everything we’ve just written is true of Kingdom Tales, Kingdom Tales 2, Country Tales, and Fate of the Pharaoh as well as Caveman Tales. Only the names and storylines have been changed.
The only other difference is that Kingdom Tales 2, Country Tales, and Caveman Tales all offer three levels of difficulty.
These are Relaxed, with no timer, Normal, with a timer and rewards for completing a stage quickly, and Extreme, with a more demanding time limit and medals on offer if you manage to stick within it.
The one thing that all six games have in common is that it’s best to play them in portable, touchscreen mode. While it’s possible to play with a stick-controlled cursor and shortcuts, it’s much more fiddly.
You can find Time Management Game Collection right now at all good retailers. There are more details on it via the official GS2 Games site here as well.