Paradise Beach 2:
Around the World
As anyone who has ever worked in the customer service industry knows, pleasing the general populace is right near impossible. Fortunately for us casual gamers, Paradise Beach 2: Around the World not only makes it possible, it makes it entertaining! AstarGames' follow-up to the original time management/simulation game Paradise Beach puts you in the role of a vacation tycoon, pleasing beachgoers by building fruit stands, planting flowers, and by meeting the needs of the ever-needy consumer.
Just like the original Paradise Beach, your time will be spent checking in on customers while managing a few menus at the bottom of the screen. Each level begins with a blank piece of property just waiting for your magic touch. Place a few items such as lounge chairs to serve vacationers' basic needs, and as you earn cash, upgrade existing structures and build new ones to make customers happier (and more spendy!).
Each area continues for a number of levels, allowing you to build upon your work for a while before heading off to the next zone. Stages are passed by completing goals listed at the top of the screen, challenges like building a certain number of ice cream stands or making customers so happy they write positive reviews about your resort.
Paradise Beach 2 isn't just about complaining customers and upgrading beach-side showers. What makes this series different from the rest are the little side missions that take but a few moments to complete. Sometimes, for example, someone on the beach will freeze and a question mark will appear above his or her head. Click the customer and an item he lost will appear somewhere on the map. Scour the land, find the missing wallet/watch/cell phone, and return it for a little bonus money. There are several similar mini-games you'll encounter while playing Paradise Beach 2 (you even get to scare away minotaurs!), and they serve as great breaks from the main game.
Analysis: When it comes down to it, Paradise Beach 2 is about listening to customer complaints and addressing their concerns. You have to keep tabs on the floating happy/angry faces in the crowd and click people who are upset to see what they desire. Most of the time they just visited an ice cream stand that wasn't upgraded to their liking, spurring you to do some clicking to set things right. These customers really are pros at complaining, but if you're on top of your game, you'll rarely see their stern faces staring at you from down below.
A "big win" for Paradise Beach 2 is how it divides levels into chunks, allowing you to develop certain properties for as long as you like before continuing the story. This is an excellent excuse to fine-tune the beach you mysteriously fell in love with, and if you just can't stand the minotaurs, dash right on to the next map to see what's there. The story isn't all that interesting, but there's enough gameplay to keep you distracted from the mermaids and princes.
Compared to its predecessor, you'll see a number of nice improvements over the original Paradise Beach. The visual presentation is a bit better, with a less grainy look and upgrades that actually change a building's appearance. Dealing with power also isn't as much of a worry, you wont' even encounter it until a dozen or more levels into the game. Subtle but welcomed changes that only veterans will truly appreciate.
A simulation game with a little bit more, Paradise Beach 2 does a great job jazzing up the familiar genre to feed you something fresh and fun.