Next time you’re lying back on a tropical beach and just feeling the stress seep out of your pores, spare a thought for the travel agent who took on an Atlas-sized burden to get you to the seaside without fuss or muss. As Jet Set Go demonstrates, seeing to other people’s relaxation is a good way to wind up with an ulcer or two.
Jet Set Go is a time management game. No doubt you’re familiar with its kin, including Diner Dash, Hotel Dash, Wedding Dash, and the rest of the multitask-heavy “Faster, Faster, What’s Wrong With You?” genre. But Jet Set Go proudly carries its own markings by offering the player new ways to reach the game’s objectives.
For instance, most time management games are driven by an “end-of-day” goal: if you don’t bring in X dollars by the time the day ends, you fail and are sent back to Go. With Jet Set Go, making money with your travel agency is only one step in your journey to build up a chain of agencies.
You begin the game with a small agency in Montreal. Your avatar is a determined young woman who looks unsettlingly like Lois Griffin after a Botox job gone haywire. You assist customers by tending to their questions and needs, the faster, the better. A customer that’s served promptly is a happy customer, and you need your customers to be happy if you’re going to score off their anticipation for the trip and fill up your agency’s “Excitement” meter. You will also need to top off your office’s “Appeal” meter by buying new furniture for the agency (which simultaneously puts customers in a good mood and makes them more patient).
But the most unusual feature in Jet Set Go are the minigames that reflect your taking care of clients who book their trips through you. Do travel agents really follow their paying customers to tropical beaches and flip them over after one side has cooked enough? Obviously this one does. She also mixes and distributes drinks, serves meals on cruise ships, and gives dancing lessons (via a tap-tap style game in the vein of Guitar Hero), We’re just going to file this under “Well, okay,” because the minigames in Jet Set Go add a dash of depth to what would otherwise be a typical iPhone game about prioritizing yourself around a rash of angry customers. It’s also nice to play a time management game that doesn’t force you to play the same frustrating level over and over if you fail; you can play another game and get your wits together.
It’s like DDR for tourists.
Jet Set Go isn’t completely free of the problems that trouble time management games. The tiny characters on-screen aren’t always a good match for your big fat clumsy finger, which makes for mistakes and wasted time. Also, the visuals are bright, clean and colorful, but the environment designs are a bit on the dull side. You can open up travel agencies in three cities (with more to come), but they all look like something out of American suburbia.
Overall, if you’re into time management games but have had your fill of Diner Dash, try booking a few trips with Jet Set Go. It won’t blow you away if you’re just not into managing a thousand little tasks at once, but if you are, the game will be a personal journey into paradise.