Miriel The Magical Merchant (iPad Review)

Game Review: Miriel the Magical Merchant HD
Release: 19/08/10
Genre: Time Management
Developer: 10Tons Ltd
Available Platforms:
Players: 1
MSRP: £2.99/$4.99
ESRB Rating: 4+

What can you do with a large touchscreen? Almost exactly the same that you can do with a normal screen and a mouse.  Miriel the Magical Merchant is one of several time management games that have appeared in the App store and are also available online.

As with all Time Management games, the idea behind this game is to control a character (Miriel) doing a certain task. In this game it is your job to run a store but in game it actually plays more like a Bar or a restaurant as rather than stocking shelves you need to pick orders or maybe I’m just being picky.

As you get further into the game, your task becomes harder as the customers become more demanding and you will have to combine items together. Progress even further and you will be combining items that are already a combination of other items.

While there are countless time management games in the App store and even more available online, in order to stand above the rest of the crowd 10Ton have Ltd have included some nice additional features. In between different towns you get to play a bejewelled style puzzle game in order to level up an aspect of the store. The game also gives you recipes for the in game dishes, so if you have the talent (I don’t) you can actually cook the dishes for yourself.

There is also an RPG element to the game, at certain points in the story you will be given the opportunity to say something, either nice, cruel or somewhere in between. I tried playing the game as the most annoying self centred jackass as possible. I’m not actually sure what impact, if any this has on the game play or if it just changed the ending.

This is a strange complaint, but I found the game too long. There are 60+ rounds in the full game, but it’s essentially the same round over and over and over again. Some may see this as value for money which is true, however for me it’s frustrating it’s practically impossible to play the game multiple times to see if you dialogue choices have any impact in the game.

The title of the game is Miriel the Magical Merchant, yet there is little actual “magic” used in the game. I feel this is a lost opportunity as the magic is simply used as an explanation for how you carry the items from the stock table to the customer and using a potion that temporarily grants a speed boost.

Time Management games are a dime a dozen these days, with so much competition new releases need to do something special to stand out from the crowd.  Miriel the Magical Merchant tries really hard to be unique, and deserves to get more recognition that I suspect that it will actually get.  I hope that 10Ton Ltd have more releases planned, as there is clearly a talented team behind this game.

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