Sally’s Spa HD in Review: Familiar, But Still Charming

iPad Screenshot 5

Remember Sally? She once made waves when Hollywood hottie Megan Fox confessed to the world her addiction to Sally’s ministrations. Whether it’s haircuts or hot stone massages, Sally’s dream of beauty and wellness domination has resonated among casual gamers all over.

In Sally’s Spa HD, you manage a variety of customers and perform a number of services. Pretty much like your standard time management game, tasks revolve around seating customers, keeping them happy while waiting for their turn, performing massages and giving them baths. The goal is to earn a certain amount of money per level which can be used to hire additional staff and buy better equipment. There are a number of power-ups as well — heart, patience and generosity candles to improve the customers’ moods and their tips which run for a limited time.

Sally’s Spa is hugely popular because of its mini-games which are nicely integrated in the main game, offering a bit of a challenge in terms of tasking and a respite from the monotony. The mini-games let you apply hot stones for massages, give facials, choose the right kind of bath bombs to keep your customers happy, give manicures and pedicures, among others. The variety of the mini-games and the punch of color they offer make the game fun and challenging at the same time.

In addition, you do a bit of selling and product management with sales of wellness merchandise. Your success in this department doesn’t affect your performance in the game — good sales do not amount to having more money to purchase upgrades and the like. Then and now, I never quite understood the relationship of this game aspect to overall gameplay.

Just like the graphics, in-game sounds and music could be better, though they’re not bad by any means. In any case, you can play your own music to change things a bit. Controls are good, but slightly buggy when it comes to applying hot stones – sometimes light touches work but there are times when a deliberate press is required.

There are a number of Game Center achievements available, as well as expert scores to be achieved. It should be noted that the degree of difficulty to complete levels is fairly low, so it’s easy to meet targets and beat expert scores.

iPad Screenshot 4

The iPad version of Sally’s Spa is a welcome iteration of the beloved franchise. While graphics wise it’s a bit disappointing since it looks pretty much the same as the original version found on the PC, the iPad version offers an exclusive Best Friends split-screen mode which lets you play simultaneously with a friend. Even better would be an option to play against a friend whether on screen or via Wifi or Bluetooth multiplayer.

Sally’s Spa HD is a port and that’s practically a given. While its entry in the App Store is more low-key than the success of its iPhone version, fans of this time management franchise would find their money well-spent on a tried and tested, but still engaging formula.


App Summary
Title: Sally’s Spa HD Developer: Games Cafe Inc.
Reviewed Ver: 1.0 Min OS Req: 3.2
Price: $2.99 App Size: 37.5 MB
  • Mini-games
  • Fun & addictive gameplay
  • Best Friends split-screen mode
  • Achievements via Game Center
  • Essentially a port of the original game
  • Iffy controls for Hot Stone mini-game


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