Coffee World by SMLSD icon

Coffee World (Free) by SMLSD is a free game for the iPhone where you manage your own coffee shop.

Speaking as someone who has a wholly addictive personality — and who played Office Heroes nonstop for an entire summer without really knowing why — I can personally vouch that these types of games like to suck you in. Before you know it, you’re excusing yourself from a conversation so that you can make more money at your store or buy new merchandise or hire new employees.

Then you realize you have a problem: you’re not actually employed in real life. You don’t own your own game development company, you don’t have your own office, and you aren’t single-handedly living your dream of running a coffee shop (please note this is not actually my dream). And the novelty has worn off.

Coffee World by SMLSD screenshot

In Coffee World, you don’t actually have a character that physically does anything. Instead, it all plays out for you automatically like some sort of omniscient coffee god is dealing with the paperwork itself.

To begin, you touch “Start Day” on your screen. A stream of text now tells you exactly what happens that day, and how much money you make or lose with each of these happenings or mishaps. You will then end the day and, once you have enough money, you can start to invest in training, new machines, new coffee blends, and other things to help your coffee shop become successful.

You can enter the staff only room to train your employees with skills that will increase the quality of service your customers receive. This, in turn, will make you more money so it is worth the initial training fee. In the manger’s office, you can train yourself to improve recipes, machine quality, and see how effective your advertising will be.

As the owner, you can also purchase new coffees that will benefit you financially. You can also do research and advertise.

Coffee World by SMLSD screenshot

Although it works perfectly and seems to be exactly what it says it is, it couldn’t keep my attention. My problem with the game is that it’s supposed to be a fun simulation game, but there is no real decision-making involved. Or, at least, very little. I wanted some sort of character interaction, but I suppose that is not what this game is all about. Instead, it’s a game of money and time management.

Personally, I think there are too many games like this in the App Store and this one wasn’t anything extraordinary. At least with games like Game Dev Story, you have more of a say in how things go. There just isn’t enough interaction in this game to hold my attention for very long, but that is just my personal taste.

It’s currently on sale for free in the App Store and it does have Game Center support. It doesn’t hurt to try it out at that price.