I seem to remember that I wasn’t overly impressed with the first Nanny Mania, as it was very repetitive and it was over too soon. The developers have clearly had this feedback as they’ve tried to rectify it in this second incarnation.
Nanny Mania 2: Goes To Hollywood stars our favourite nanny, Emma. With her posh English accent and sense of fun, she’s a spiffing character, don’t you know? Anyway, Emma has gone off to Hollywood and ends up working for the Ashbury’s, a family very much in the media spotlight. So as well as cleaning, looking after the children and so on, Emma has to contend with a media circus.
As you’d expect, the game starts off slow for those who’ve never played a game like this before. However, with Nanny Mania, you have even less to do than most time management games. Collecting dirty clothes to put in the washing machine, warming baby bottles, changing nappies, picking up trash and general tidying is about the extent of it.
As you progress, the mum and dad of the family procreate so you have more people to pick up after, babies to feed and change and console when they fall over and start screaming their heads off. All the while mummy and daddy are wandering aimlessly around the house and don’t even attempt to help you. And to add insult to injury – as they wander, they’re making even more mess!
Soon enough, you’ve several children, a dog and a bird to run around after, as well as visiting relatives, and even a camera crew as the Ashbury’s make a reality TV show. As Emma, you must tidy, dust, hoover, pick up, fix and put away in a seemingly never ending battle. Only when the ‘mess counter’ ticks down to one have you won the war against what must be the messiest virtual family ever.
Your only consolation is the coffee pot in the kitchen which you can periodically use to speed up your character. Also, between some levels you’re offered an upgrade of one of your cleaning items, be it a better washing machine, vacuum cleaner or feather duster. Each one will help make Emma’s job that little bit easier. And remember, finish each level within a certain time and you’ll earn a Gold Star!
Nanny Mania 2 is nothing special. It’s better than the first one as it presents more of a challenge and lasts longer. However, it seemed to last too long. There was level after level and even when the house layouts changed, it wasn’t so drastic that it presented much of a challenge. Each level just seems to give you more mess to tidy up without offering anything revolutionary.
Still, the graphics and sound are good and the storyline is solid. It’s just the game play doesn’t really offer anything different or enthralling. It’s not the sort of game where you’d be clinging hopelessly onto the mouse saying “just one more go” as your partner/sibling/parent/friend tries to drag you away from the computer. It’s just interesting enough to make you want to complete the game, but I suspect most people would quickly abandon it if a better casual game came along.