Trying to make it big in the acting business? Well this girl has to manage you - and everyone else!
- Challenging time management gameplay
- Dozens of levels to complete
- Plenty of activities to keep track of including hair, make-up, clothes, scripts, filming, props and more
- Cute and colorful graphics
- Upgrades for all aspects of a scene
- Poor soundtrack
Soap Opera Dash is a free strategy and time management game for PC, developed by Big Fish Games, in which you must help your character to manage and organize a successful soap opera performance. The game is available here as a trial version only. The full version is available externally.
Core Gameplay and Features
If you've never played time management games, this one would be an excellent start. The basic premise behind them is juggling a series of activities and goals in a small area and trying to achieve those goals as quickly as possible and with few mistakes. While fundamentally simple, quick reflexes and the ability to multitask are absolute necessities. In this game, you will take on the role of a young director whose job it is to ensure that the soap opera being filmed goes smoothly.
The game is structured like a TV show (e.g. Season 1 - Episode 1, etc.). This immediately gives a sense of realism to gameplay. At the beginning of each level you are presented with a set of objectives that you have to complete. A basic 'Goal' is displayed first. This is the minimum requirement for completing a level. Below it is an 'Expert' goal. Finally, there are a set of judges ratings with more specific objectives.
Completing a level requires you to reach the minimum goal. Every 'episode' is divided into scenes. For each scene you must manage scriptwriters, the camera man, the actors, the costumes, the props and much more. A symbol above their heads indicates what their current needs are. The stars above them also indicate your reward for helping them. Controls are easy to get used to. To interact with a person, simply click and drag them to their required location. The more quickly you fulfil people's needs, the more points you will earn. Successive actions can also be chained to one another, scoring even more points. This can become quite hectic at times, although clicking on several people will place them in a queue. If you fail to fulfil a person's needs quickly enough, they will become 'unhappy' and you will lose points. Picking up an object you end up tossing in the trash can will also lose you points. Enough mistakes and you'll even fail the scene, so be careful!
If you fail to fulfil a person's needs quickly enough, they will become 'unhappy' and you will lose points. Picking up an object you end up tossing in the trash can will also lose you points. Enough mistakes and you'll even fail the scene, so be careful!
Ensuring that script colors match, finding the right outfits, styling hair and other in-level activities keep you on your toes and ensure that things don't get repetitive. When you have completed a level, a judge's votes can also be used to purchase special features from the 'Treasure Trove'. You can also buy various upgrades for your studio, increasing general in-level efficiency (faster script writing, clothes changing, movement speed, etc.). Gameplay remains fun and fast paced, even in the early stages. As you continue, levels will get far more difficult, requiring you to manage multiple actors and other staff simultaneously. While certainly challenging, with patience and focus the game remains fun throughout.
Graphics, Visuals and Sound
Graphics for the game are fairly cute and colorful, particularly for close-ups of characters for hair and make-up. The background has some nice artwork and textures as well, however I found myself more drawn to the gameplay. Sound effects provide a nice reward for players when they make big chains or score a lot of points. The music was lively, but ultimately rather disappointing. Very often it didn't fit the pace at which a player had to operate.
If you're someone who enjoys multitasking, then this game will definitely be enjoyable for you. Whether it's hair, make-up, props, scripts, filming, actors or any other aspect of the business, in this game you've got to manage them all like some kind of super woman. The controls are kind to us here, utilizing a drag and drop mechanic for placing actors where they ought to be. Queueing activities makes things seem less busy, and actors will give you some time before they become unhappy. Achieving expert-level scores in every episode becomes increasingly difficult as time goes on. Graphics are also quite fresh looking, with cute-looking characters, colors and textures. If you're a skilled player, the rewards are there. Upgrades and the 'Treasure Trove' allow you to make your multitasking abilities even better. All in all, as a time management game it passes the test. Definitely worth playing if you're up to the challenge.