Cleaning up is rarely fun to do. Unless you're cleaning someone else's mess, right? Hmm, no? How about if you're cleaning up someone else's mess... in a casual game? That's the surprisingly successful recipe for fun in Nanny Mania 2 Goes to Hollywood. After helping Mayor Whitby and his family in the original Nanny Mania, Emma moves on to help Sophia Ashford, an incredibly wealthy woman who can't seem to keep her family affairs in order. It's your job to help raise the children, care for pets, and keep the house spotless as clueless teenagers leave unmade beds and babies create problems of their own.
Nanny Mania 2 is all about turning chaos into order, and most of what you'll do will bear an eerie resemblance to real, actual chores in your home. Fortunately it's much easier to make the bed, do laundry, and clean the aquarium in this game, as all you have to do is click the mouse and wait a few seconds. Each level begins with a number of items in disarray, each highlighted in a nasty red outline. Send Emma to the nearest trouble spot to start cleaning, keeping an eye out for new messes created by family members wandering the home.
Not everything you do in Nanny Mania 2 will be a "click it and forget it" affair. Some tasks, like doing the laundry, feeding the baby or picking up litter, require you to gather items from about the house and move them elsewhere. With laundry, you even have to switch it to the drier and put the clothes away. Your extra work nets extra rewards, however, as you'll earn a combo bonus for doing everything in one big chain.
Analysis: Time and resource management games are getting to be crowded genres to compete in, as it seems just about every repetitive task we tackle in real life has been turned into a casual game. The original Nanny Mania played off of our innate sense of order and let us clean up messes without having to actually do anything. There's something enormously satisfying about making a house clean just by clicking a mouse. Speaking of which, when are my futuristic cleaning robots going to arrive in the mail? I sent the check off months ago...
Nanny Mania 2 keeps the same formula, pleasing visuals and light-hearted setting that made the original so enjoyable. New features include pets you have to care for, combo bonuses, a variety of house layouts and a few new chores to complete. Just enough to make it interesting. The game is also a good length with surprising replay value if you enjoy topping your previous stores.
One thing I'm disappointed with in Nanny Mania 2 is the upgrade system. The number and variety of items is fine, but you can only access them at certain points in the game, forcing you to make decisions you have to live with for quite a long time.
More polished than its predecessor, Nanny Mania 2 takes a great formula and steps it up a notch for another excellent resource management experience.