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Snoopy's Street Fair

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A fair attempt

Product: Snoopy's Street Fair | Developer: Beeline Interactive | Publisher: Capcom | Format: Android | Genre: Casual | Players: 1 | File size: 76.8MB | Version: Europe
Snoopy's Street Fair Android, thumbnail 1
If you take a trip through Apple's App Store, you'll find a lot of nostalgia. There are ports of games from some of the past's greatest consoles, games based on classic TV shows, movies, and cartoons, and all manner of titles heavily influenced by preceding generations.

The Cupertino company's marketplace is also awash with free-to-play titles, which have seen a rise in popularity over the last year or so. These usually fall into two camps: those that allow you to progress at a steady pace, and those that require you to grind to advance.

Unfortunately, Beeline Entertainment's Snoopy's Street Fair has erected its tent in the latter camp.

Scrape together the peanuts

Your trip down memory lane - providing you're familiar with any of the 17,897 published Peanuts comic strips - begins with franchise-favourite Charlie Brown, as he learns of a Little League tournament in New York City.

That's where you come in. It's your job to raise enough cash to buy fresh baseball uniforms for Charlie and the rest of the Peanuts gang and ship them off to the Big Apple, by hosting a good old-fashioned street fair.

The majority of your income will come from the range of stalls, stands, and carts you can set up in your neighbourhood, each manned by one of the comic strips' popular characters.

These range from lemonade kiosks to cookie booths, and cost either coins or the game's premium currency Snoopy Dollars. And this is the game's main issue.

Only five of the 18 available concession stands can be purchased for coins, leaving you to slug it out and grind your way through the title or splash the cash on in-app purchases to speed up your progress.

You can earn small quantities of said premium currency as you earn XP, level-up your street fair, and unlock new attractions, but with stalls costing as much as 75 Snoopy Dollars your purchases will be few and far between.

Factor in the cost of some decorations, some smaller unmanned money-makers (gumball machines, etc), and land expansions, and you'll be grinding for a long time.

A quick visit

Your stalls and attractions in Snoopy's Street Fair produce revenue (and XP) at regular intervals, which you have to collect by tapping on them.

You can supplement these bonuses by collecting special items - which are awarded at random - and instructing Snoopy to jump carelessly into piles of leaves.

It's a case of tap, wait, tap, wait, and so on. You're better dipping in and out of the title than sitting down for a substantial chunk of gaming.

There are also three mini-games to keep you inside the app for an extra couple of minutes, but none is particularly exciting - they each require simple taps and twists - and only one of them can be played for free - the others cost Snoopy Dollars.

Being a social app, Snoopy's Street Fair allows you to connect with your friends through both Facebook and Apple's social gaming network Game Center. You can visit your friends' street fairs, peruse their entertainment, and send them special gifts once an hour.

The rest of the gang

Despite the dependence on grinding, Snoopy's Street Fair isn't all bad, and there are several nifty features for fans of Charlie's pet beagle.

For starters, there's a 'Snoopy Snap' feature that adds - once you've incorporated a photo booth into your fair - one of ten overlays of the Peanuts gang to you iPhone's or iPad's camera. You can then take a photograph and share it through Facebook.

And there's a selection of trading cards to collect and original Peanuts cartoon strips to accumulate, which you can read at any time by tapping the icon in the top-left of your device's screen.

"Faithful" Charles M. Schulz artwork, music, and even official voice talent also make this freemium package that little bit prettier.

Still, in spite of these wonderful extras, Snoopy's Street Fair is let down by its over reliance on grinding, which makes in-app purchases feel almost obligatory if you want to get anywhere at a reasonable pace.

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Snoopy's Street Fair
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Anthony Usher | 24 November 2011
Snoopy's Street Fair is a solid iOS freemium title that's hampered by its emphasis on grinding
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