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Sticky Business review

Sticky Business Review – Cosy Busywork

Only one thing has really come from our time spent playing Sticky Business: we’re seriously considering opening up our own little sideline selling stickers. This sticker shop sim game goes very light on management elements, allowing you to focus on the fun of designing your own stickers. But in doing so, it fails to include many gameplay elements that makes progressing through the game rewarding. You know what would be rewarding? A real sticker shop earning us money. Ahem.

That’s not to say we haven’t enjoyed our time with Sticky Business, though. This barebones sim is all about creating a cosy vibe, and it does a very good job of doing so. You can’t really fail here. Even when you do – you can ‘fail’ an order, presumably by packing the wrong item, or missing something out – nothing comes of it. You don’t get angry emails from customers or bad feedback. You simply move on to your next order, maybe making a few new stickers in the meantime.

If you’re the creative type, making stickers will be the main draw of Sticky Business for you. It’s a rudimentary creator, true, but it’s robust enough that you can make some unique and fun stickers. When you start the game you have access to a basic library of elements which can be layered together to create your own designs. As you ship successful sales, you’ll earn hearts, which can be spent on purchasing new elements. You’ll also earn coins, which you’ll spend on printing, expanding the size of your shop, and buying new packaging elements.

Sticky Business review

There’s seemingly no real reason why two different types of currency exist. It’s just one of the things that’s poorly explained – or indeed not explained at all in Sticky Business. We also have no idea the benefit of the experience you earn by shipping items. Each sticker element earns a heart rating the more you use it, but we have no idea what it means. Do you earn more if you use that element in a new sticker? Maybe. Who knows. But on the whole, earning XP feels rather meaningless.

Perhaps our favourite part of Sticky Business is its storytelling. Sure, the stories themselves aren’t particularly compelling, but sometimes, customers will send you an email along with their order. Maybe they’ll tell you about a girl they’re trying to impress, or their son who they want to cheer up after their mum died. You’ll get repeat orders from the same customer, and over time you’ll learn a little more about them, seeing their stories come to a happy close. They may ask you for specific stickers – something with a dinosaur, a Pride motif or something relating to boba tea – and by fulfilling their casual requests, you’ll progress their story.

Sticky Business review

These aren’t exactly “goals” in Sticky Business. You can ignore the emails altogether, and nothing will happen. You’ll simply go on creating stickers and fulfilling orders, well, forever. We can’t help but feel like the game would be more fulfilling if more of a big deal was made of these emails, setting you definite goals to complete as you grow your business. As it is, Sticky Business feels rather… stagnant. Sure, it’s nice to make new stickers and see your fund of coins and hearts go up. But with no real sense of progression, your drive to keep playing will soon wane.

Sticky Business is a nice idea, and for a few hours, we’ve had a great time creating our own stickers and sending out orders. But if you’re the creative sort, you’ll feel much more fulfilled by doodling your own tangible designs, or opening up Photoshop to create something you can admire in the real world. As a game, there’s just not enough sense of meaningful progression to keep us engaged in the long term – but we did enjoy hearing our customers’ stories, at least.

Sticky Business Review – GameSpew’s Score

GameSpew Our Score 6

This review of Sticky Business has been facilitated by a code provided by the publisher. It’s available on PC.

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