US business media site Bloomberg has created a tongue-in-cheek game which puts players in the position of managing a rat-infested, failing mall, complete with imaginatively-named chain stores. Welcome to American Mall.
First, there’s a ‘choose your fighter’-style screen where you select from a cast of shady developers. These include Maximilian, a tech mogul who made his fortune monetising reaction gifs, and one-hit-wonder songstress Barbara.
Next you’re unleashed on an aging, unattractive shopping centre. You’re prompted to choose one of three turn-around strategies: modernizer; ‘alt mall’ or cost cutter.
From there, you have a limited budget available to offer complaining tenants a series of increasingly sharp deals on rent before they eventually leave and shut up shop. Our favourites of the pun-tastic store names included Victoria’s Conspiracy and Pizza Hole, but Old Gravy deserves an honourable mention.
Your responsibility as manager also includes banishing rats, picking up rubbish and ushering out any lingering cyberpunks you see. The screen takes on a red tinge as your resources dwindle and shopper happiness drops. Your agent will suggest actions appropriate to the mall revitalization strategy you picked earlier, but the end will come sooner than you think.
The Register team spent all afternoon repelling cyberpunks and keeping our Sunglass Yurt stores open. We think you’ll enjoy it too.