Amy’s Greenmart is a very enjoyable time management game in the style of GameHouse titles. The gameplay is similar but Amy’s Greenmart has some specific mechanics which individualizes it and make it stand out from the other titles of the genre.
Pretty much like in any GameHouse game, in each level you will need to help Amy manage the eco-shop by fulfilling your customer orders, cash in their payments and keep the place sparkly clean. However, instead of serving the items to your clients, you will have to ensure that all the shelves are fully stacked, that there are enough shopping carts available for new customers and that you don’t run out of supplies. To spice it up a bit, some of the customers do have special demands, to which you have to tend immediately. Whether it’s an old lady who doesn’t find a certain product or a celebrity who is too cool to shop by themselves or a mother separated from her child, you will have to drop everything and go help them before the time runs out. The game is essentially a balancing act between keeping your shelves fully stacked so that the customers don’t wait and fulfilling the needs of these special customers, in addition to keeping an eye out for troublemakers or potential thieves and taking care of your mini-garden.
With the money gained, you can buy upgrades for your shop – either bigger shelves, increased customer patience, movement speed or a bigger tray. An innovative element is the fact that you can use your money to hire helpers (a gardener, a cashier, a janitor etc). There’s a similar mechanic in GameHouse titles as well – for example in some levels a NPC takes up your duty of cleaning the tables. In Amy’s Greenmart these NPCs still don’t fully automate your job – you will still need to click them every few seconds in order to activate them and make them work; they do save you a lot of “running around” time, and they are nevertheless extremely helpful.
The storyline of Amy isn’t an essential component of the game – it’s simplistic yet still fun to read and very beautifully designed, with cutscenes present only in between chapters. It follows Amy’s journey of managing the chain of eco-shops she opens, while also finding romance on her path.
None of the levels is extremely difficult, but some of them pose a certain challenge of reaching the required score for a star, even with the shop fully upgraded. These are usually the last 2-3 levels of each chapter. If you feel that playing on “Normal” difficulty is too demanding, there’s also a “Relaxed” mode available and you can switch to that at any point. In relaxed mode, customers don’t lose patience – therefore you can take your time to fulfill all their needs without any kind of penalty.
I loved all aspects of the game, except for one minor annoyance. I would have expected for Amy’s “tray” to be visible at all times (for example, as part of the interface), but sometimes it is intentionally not displayed. You can see what Amy carries on the cart that she pushes around the store; however, while doing certain actions (when she interacts with customers or operates different machines) or when the cart is obscured by other objects in the scene, its contents are not visible any more; during this time, you are unable to pre-plan your actions – which is exactly the core strategy of time management games.
Overall, I had great fun with Amy’s Greenmart and I was pleasantly surprised to discover some innovative mechanics that I never encountered before in other titles belonging to this genre.