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The 10 Best Time Management Video Games

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E.B. Black is a published author who writes fantasy, sci-fi, and romance novels.


Why I Love These Games

Here's why I'm addicted to time management games:

  • They're easy to purchase and play on any device you have.
  • They are simple enough to help you relax after a long day, but hard enough to be a challenge.
  • They can also keep you occupied when waiting in a doctor's office or a line.

Not every game is great. Some are very difficult to finish. I made a list of the best games I've come across and included links to videos that show what the gameplay is like for each game. Hopefully, this will help you get an idea of whether or not you might be interested in the game before you read my review.

My Top Ten Favorite Time Management Games

This is a countdown from #10 to #1:

  • Airport Mania 2
  • 12 Labors of Hercules
  • Farm to Fork
  • Sally's Spa
  • Weather Lord
  • Incredible Zoo
  • Delicious Emily (Series)
  • Jojo's Fashion Show
  • Heart's Medicine
  • All My Gods

10. Airport Mania 2

Positives about the game:

  • Fun and creative gameplay
  • Fun rewards and bonuses throughout
  • The tasks are complicated, but fair

Game Overview

Prior to playing Airport Mania 2, I played the first Airport Mania game. It was a lot of fun, but the sequel is better. Fortunately, you don't have to play the first game to understand the second one. Nevertheless, I'd recommend both of them.

It's better to play this game on a tablet or on PC. If you play it on a phone, then I hope your phone has a large screen. I played it on an iPhone and enjoyed the game a lot, but sometimes it was difficult to click on each plane individually. When I had a bunch of airplanes in a row, either picking up or dropping off passengers, it was hard to control all of my planes. It seemed almost like my fingers were too big for the buttons. On the other hand, I tried a sample of the game on PC and it was much easier to click on things.

That's pretty much the only problem I had with the game. There's no storyline to it. Nevertheless, I don't need a storyline to enjoy a time management game, I just need fun gameplay and that's what this game has.

It's also different than a lot of time management games because the busier you get, the more your strategies must evolve. You have to learn to maneuver planes around each other in new and creative ways in order to keep things going. This can get very complicated, especially when you're trying to get color bonuses. But the challenge makes things more fun!

Why I'd recommend it:

  • This game has good graphics and many exciting challenges.
  • The levels are more fun than the original.
  • There is also a large variety of locations that keep the game interesting (you even go to outer space in the game)!
  • This is an entertaining game that never seems to drag. I'd definitely recommend buying it.

9. 12 Labors of Hercules

Positives about the game:

  • The storyline is detailed and exciting
  • Challenging, but not too challenging
  • Addicting gameplay

Game Overview

The 12 Labors Of Hercules is actually a series, but I'm only talking about the first game here.

I downloaded the first game on my iPhone. I recommend against this because a certain level wouldn't work on my phone, so I was unable to progress past this point no matter what I did. In order to continue, I had to buy the game on my laptop as well. Still, I loved the game so much that I was willing to fork over the money and add it to this list.

This game is similar to the My Kingdom For The Princess game series. You are given a certain number of men and they start off at a certain location. Your goal is to find your way out under the time limit you are given. You must defeat and destroy everything that stands in the way of your path by sending out your men. They must also collect resources that you must use wisely, or you won't be able to get out in time.

But because of the glitch I faced when I tried to play it on my iPhone, I had to put it lower on my list than I might have otherwise done.

Why I'd recommend it:

  • The storyline is detailed and exciting
  • It incorporates a lot of Greek mythological themes
  • The challenges are unique. For example, you must find and use Medusa in certain levels!

8. Farm to Fork

Positives about the game:

  • Fun tasks throughout
  • Fast-paced gameplay

Game Overview

While there are a lot of farm games out there, and most of those games have you slowly plant and grow your food to sell, there's something about this game that is really unique. This is a sped up version of those games, and, in addition to everything else, it has a cooking aspect to the gameplay.

You're juggling a multitude of tasks at once. You're trying to keep your inventory empty so you can grab items when you need them. The items are growing quickly and the cooks are cooking fast. You must keep up with collecting items at the same time as you are delivering these items to new places. You must fill the truck up at regular intervals so that you can collect money and empty your inventory. You're given tasks and goals to meet at every level.

Why I'd recommend it:

  • Cool in-game items and rewards
  • Character ranking system keeps the game exciting
  • The graphics are better than any other time management game I've ever played.

7. Sally's Spa

Positives about the game:

  • Relaxing
  • Great music and sound effects
  • Graphics are beautiful and adorable

Game Overview

This was one of the first time management games I ever played. To me, it is also the best. It's been around for many years and has established itself as a classic game.

Basically, you are managing a spa. You take customers from station to station, perform various tasks, and then collect money at the end. You use this money o upgrade your spa. You travel around the world completing various stages.

Why I'd recommend it:

  • It's fun to be able to travel the world in a video game
  • The variety of tasks keeps the game entertaining
  • It's great to play after a stressful day

6. Weather Lord

Positives about the game:

  • Fast gameplay
  • Cool graphics and effects
  • Challenging, but not too challenging

Game Overview

While Weather Lord is a great game series, I'm only talking about the first game in this review.

This game is similar to 12 Labors of Hercules and My Kingdom For The Princess. However, in this game, you have magical powers that you use to control the weather. These powers help you achieve your goals.

Why I'd recommend it:

  • Characters have really cool magical powers
  • Great design
  • Challenging goals keep the game from ever getting stale

5. Incredible Zoo

Positives about the game:

  • Gameplay is addictive
  • Game play is hard, but fair
  • Great in-game rewards

Game Overview

This game should not be your first time management game. It should be a game you play after you've mastered a lot of other time management games. It is very difficult, but a lot of fun!

In this game, you are taking care of the animals in a zoo. It seems pretty simple when you first start playing. You deliver items one at a time to each animal, but it gets more and more complicated as you go along. Soon, you are managing deliveries, a cleanup crew of three people, guests at the park giving donations, and more.

I say that the game is difficult because, in order to play it successfully, you must remain twenty steps ahead in the game at all times. This is because the animals make requests quickly, but all the characters move slowly. If you are not giving your characters directions ahead of time, then they are not going to be able to meet all the animals' needs. This is a big test for your memory because you must remember all the steps you've already told your characters to perform. The game is also complicated because you must arrange your character's activities so that they take the least steps possible from one activity to another. This is the only way to speed them up. If you're constantly forcing them to go from one side of the screen to the other in rapid succession, they will never complete their tasks in time.

This can be overwhelming, so they have a catch-up point in the middle of each level. For example, when it rains, each animal requests an umbrella be put over their head to prepare for rain. This slows the game down and allows you to catch up on all the overwhelming requests that are pouring in. It also adds variety to the gameplay.

The levels are timed in such a way that it's unlikely you will complete all the tasks you are given before the level is over (except for the first few levels which are much easier than the rest). This makes the gameplay more exciting because you're struggling against the clock.

Between levels, you must buy items using the money you've earned. You'll need to figure out which items you'll need the most in the upcoming levels. This is another area where previous experience with time management video games comes in handy. Sometimes you need to buy certain items at specific times or you won't be able to beat the next level successfully (definitely not on the first try).

Why I'd recommend it:

  • You can replay levels to earn money
  • Items are truly important for each level. This makes the game more fun.
  • After every few levels that you complete, you earn a unique level where you must find hidden objects.
  • It effectively crosses the hidden object game and time management game genres. That's why it never gets boring.

4. Delicious Emily (Series)

Positives about the games:

  • Good story
  • Varied gameplay
  • Cool tasks and rewards

Series Overview

Delicious Emily is actually a series of nine games, not just one game. But if you love one of the games, you're going to love them all. They fit together as one giant storyline (so you should play them in order) that spans many years of Emily's life. The story begins from when she's just starting to be a cook all the way to when she meets her husband and starts a family. You see her kid grow up in the games as well!

I'll admit that, with a lot of time management games, I usually ignore the storyline. But the storyline for these games is essential. The problems the characters face often bring specific challenges to each level. For example, if a character drops her luggage in the story, then you will probably have to spend the next level picking up each piece of luggage (in addition to your other tasks).

These games are basically cooking and restaurant management games. However, the gameplay is more varied than most other cooking games. This makes the game more exciting. You must complete all your tasks simultaneously in order to receive bonuses on each level. For example, on each level, there's a mouse that pops up every once in awhile and if you find it before your time is up, then you receive a bonus. The mouse can be very difficult to find (he's very little and sometimes blends in with the scenery), but it's fun to have side-challenges.

Why I'd recommend it:

  • Fun bonuses throughout the game
  • Very family friendly
  • Fun challenges throughout

3. Jojo's Fashion Show

Positives about the game:

  • The graphics are good
  • The outfits are interesting
  • The gameplay is entertaining

Game Overview

Jojo's Fashion Show is a unique time management game. You design clothes. You must meet certain requests with your clothing designs to earn points. And then you organize your own fashion shows. You are given a time limit to organize each model's outfit and must remember different style types and requirements in order to earn points. This is very similar to real fashion shows, which I've heard are chaotic behind the scenes. You must make sure that your models are dressed and that their looks are well organized.

Most fashion games focus more on shopping. In those games you are running a store and buying or selling clothing items that someone else made. In this game, you are the fashion designer, and get to run your own fashion show.

Why I'd recommend it:

  • Allows for creative expression
  • There are many ways to play the game
  • The in-game rewards keep the game exciting

2. Heart's Medicine: Season One

Positives about the game:

  • Fun gameplay
  • Cute graphics
  • Great story

Game Overview

I love this game because it's like a soap opera. It has, hands down, the best storyline of any time management game I've ever played. From the very first scene, you are immediately drawn into the story. This is rare for a time management game.

The gameplay itself is fun and the graphics are cute. I enjoyed it, but it's the storyline that makes this game truly shine.

It's not surprising that the people who made the Delicious Emily series also made this series. They're very good at creating games!

I originally played this game years ago. I just saw that Season Two is available now, and I am overwhelmed with excitement. If it's as good as season one, then I can't wait to buy it.

Why I'd recommend it:

  • The scenes are well written
  • It's part of a larger series that will engross you
  • It's designed by a great company

1. All My Gods

Positives about the game:

  • Cool achievements throughout
  • Cool characters (Greek gods)
  • Gameplay constantly changes in fun ways

Game Overview

All My Gods is the most unique time management game out there, and one of the most fun to play. In this game, you are playing as a god and are controlling and managing an area of land filled with people. The population grows as the game becomes more complicated. Your job is to grow, build, and explore the area that you rule over.

The closest games I can compare it to are Sim City and Build-a-lot (if they were set in ancient Greece or ancient Rome). Unlike Sim City and Build-a-lot, All my Gods has an elaborate storyline.

There are no levels, it's just one continuous story. Instead, there are achievements that you must complete as Greek gods appear and either attempt to destroy you or ask you for favors.

You'll be disappointed when this game is over. I hope they make a sequel someday.

Why I'd recommend it:

  • The gameplay constantly changes. You are always unlocking new resources, buildings, and events that change things around.
  • There is always something to do!
  • Your characters have really cool powers.

Why Didn't I Include Diner Dash or Cake Mania?

I know most people consider them classic time management games, and they are. They were some of the first and most popular time management games (without these games, the rest of the games on this list probably wouldn't exist), but because of this, they get tedious and repetitious over time.

These games were made before the game designers knew that gameplay needed to be changed around every once in awhile to keep things interesting. I've started playing both games many times, but could never finish either of them. I'd get bored and frustrated after a while.

All the games I've included on this list are games I thought were innovative, unique, and easy to complete. It shouldn't be a chore to finish a video game, it should be no effort at all.

If you're looking for some classic time management games, then Diner Dash and Cake Mania are a good place to start. Nevertheless, they aren't the best time management games out there (although most lists will disagree with me). They're fun and their sales success essentially created the time management video game genre, but they really aren't the best games.

Questions & Answers

Question: Are there any conventions that include time management games?

Answer: There are a lot of video game conventions out there. Some of them might have time management game events, some might not. I would look and see which companies are going to which conventions (if possible) and see the other kinds of games the company has made. (Time management games or otherwise.)

© 2016 EB Black


sandy on April 11, 2018:

What about the Royal Envoy games? Those are the best!