Mall-a-Palooza Walkthrough: Hints, Strategies, and Cheats
Play the Game Where You Manage a Successful Mall
Mall-a-Palooza is a casual downloadable game for all those simulation and tycoon game lovers out there. There are eight different malls to build from the ground up. Each mall has four levels and a bonus round. You choose the stores; you choose the brands, you choose the locations. It's up to you to hire the right staff, decorate the mall, put on great events, all to attract shoppers and turn your mall into cash!
This lens is a detailed walkthrough with tips and hints to help you beat the game. If you don't want all the spoilers, there's a general strategy section to help you get going.
Get this game for just $6.99 from Big Fish Games!
Have you beaten Mall-a-Palooza?
Mall-a-Palooza is a combination time management and simulation game. You start with an empty mall, and it's up to you to decide which types of stores and which brands are going to be in your mall. You also get to decide where to put them and who to hire as the best employee. After that, you'll discover thieves are attracted to you; kids throw a lot of trash on the ground, decorations get you better business.
Are you the best mall manager there is? The levels start out pretty simple. The first level is a great tutorial to get you going in the game. Each level has its own specific goals, but the mall you build so far in one level can be your starting point in the next. So, it helps to plan well. While there are different ways to beat each level, they get progressively more difficult, and you'll have to be quick with both your thinking and clicking. Don't worry though. If you fail, you can always go back and play again.
I found the game highly addicting and really quite fun. I loved the challenges, and they definitely get harder! It can take a few plays before you get expert ratings on every level.
Making the most profit is all about maximizing the number of stars you have for each store.
To maximize stars:
- Put stores of the same type next to each other. If there are three store spots in a row, definitely maximize the stars of the middle store by making all three stores the same type.
- Read the statements of the employees carefully to choose the best one. If you buy an existing store, you may need to fire the employee and replace him or her with a more qualified employee.
- Unless you feel you really need trash cans or ATMs, use decorations to boost the star levels of your stores.
- The first store of each type and the first store of each brand get an extra star. Building on premium store locations also gives an extra store. Therefore, you should always build the first store of a type (and so automatically the first store of that brand) on a premium spot, if possible.
- Upgrade the store to increase the star rating.
As the store locations get filled, each subsequent store you open will cost more. Therefore, if a rival is competing with you in that level and also opening stores, your aim should be to open as many stores as possible as quickly as possible. Do not upgrade any stores until all spots are used.
What you build in a mall scenario will carry on to later levels in that same location. Therefore, it's advantageous to beat the level at the last minute possible. This gives you extra time to build more stores or to upgrade them so you'll start at a better place in the next level.
Walkthrough Begins Here
8 Malls in Mall-a-Palooza
Beat Them all to win!
There are a total of 8 fun mall scenarios to play with each one more challenging than the previous. The 8 mall settings are Seashell Market, Firestation Shopping Mall, Saloon Shopping Mall, Coconut Tree, Arabian Nights, Bauhaus, Boxshop, and the final GranStation. Every level also has a bonus level where you're not as pressed for time to meet the objectives.
Bonus levels are not covered in this walkthrough because they don't have time limits. This walkthrough attempts to get you through all the levels at the expert level.
Sea Shell Market - Your First Mall
This first mall setting doubles as the game's tutorial, so it's an easy way to learn the game. If you just follow the directions, the levels are pretty easy to beat. The mall consists of 2 rows of 3 store spaces. As you go through the tutorial, you'll learn that putting stores of the same type next to each other increases the star ratings. Star ratings directly affect your daily profit income, and daily profit is typically a goal.
- Level 1: Following the instructions, build a clothing store in the middle of a row of 3 store slots. Then, build an electronics store in the middle of the other set of 3 slots. Be sure to pick the correct employee!
- Level 2: Build a second clothing store next to your first clothing store. To maximize stars, pick the brand of the clothing store you didn't build earlier. Then, upgrade your first clothing store twice and your second clothing store once.
- Level 3: In this level, you're introduced to competitors who will build stores alongside you. In order to meet the earnings goal by the expert deadline, you're going to have to sell one of your top stores. First, resist the urge to upgrade your stores. You want to save up enough money to build a new store and get a 3-in-a-row of store types. Then, be sure that center store is fully upgraded to max out the number of stars you can get at this point. With a little bit of luck, you'll be able to sell this store right at the last minute to hit the expert goal. (Yes, it does take a bit of luck because having the competitor store be the same type as your store helps.)
- Level 4: Build a store in the last store slot. Resist the urge to upgrade your stores! You want to focus on saving enough money so that when the other stores come on sale, you can purchase them. Give yourself about two days before the end of the expert time to upgrade all your stores. If that last store hasn't come on sale yet, you should have enough saved to buy it at full price with enough left over to upgrade and beat the level.
Firestation Shopping Mall - There's More Tutorial to Learn!
Your second mall has a lot more space to play in than the first. It consists of 11 slots for stores. There are more tricks to learn in the game so this second mall continues the tutorial mode.
- Level 1: In looking at the objectives, you need 3 stores of which at least one must music store. Maximize your stars and income by building 3 music stores in a row at the top of the mall. Build the center store first. You'll also end up hiring a janitor in this level to keep the mall clean. Build one more store before you upgrade an existing store to complete the level.
- Level 2: The tutorial will have you buy one decoration for your mall. Place this in your row of 3 music stores. Immediately, sell your 4th store (not in your row of 3) and use the money to build 2 electronics stores side by side. Stores get more expensive to build later, especially when your rival starts building quickly. Don't upgrade any of the electronics stores until you build at least your 6th store. It's possible to build out all the available spots in the mall. Then upgrade or buy decorations for your electronics stores on the last day to complete the level. If you had extra cash, you could also start upgrading your other stores.
- Level 3: Upgrade all of your stores to the max as quickly as you can. If you don't have 8 stores already, save up money to buy one. Add a few decorations to bump your mall appearance to two stars. I had to add 4 trash cans and hire 3 janitors to meet the cleanliness goal. After that, just wait until you hit the earnings goal. You may also be able to buy an additional store before time is up!
- Level 4: There's plenty of time here to buy the remaining stores. Buy another plant or two and you should easily reach the Mall rating goal.
Saloon Shopping Mall - It Gets Bigger!
This mall is bigger than the previous two. More importantly, you're introduced to premium store locations. Build on these first!
- Level 1: Build stores on the premium slots first. One of your stores will "break" and you'll have to hire a repairman. After that, save up your money to build a store in the spot next to your premium store and continue to build, build, build! I built 2 bookstores at the top. Hire your janitor on the last day.
- Level 2: First, build so that you own 8-9 stores. At this point, you can start your special event, which will bring you lots of cash... and trash. Use the cash to build another store or two, then hire 3 janitors. Add a few decorations bring up your mall rating, but place that last plant at the very end.
- Level 3: Start upgrading all your existing stores while you wait for other stores to go on sale. You'll have to repair a lot of stores but thankfully, this will eventually unlock the repairman. If nothing goes on sale, you can try to find the cheapest store to buy. Don't forget to change the employee to the best employee after you buy the store.
- Level 4: Lots of time on this level. It's quite simple, too. Buy up all the stores and upgrade them. Add decorations everywhere. I totally don't bother with the trash cans.
Coconut Tree - An Even Bigger Mall and Bigger Challenge
Coconut Tree introduces you to the large store. These big stores are huge moneymakers. Don't forget to build on the premium spots!
- Level 1: On a 2-in-a-row spot, build a non-clothing store there, sell it, and build a big clothing store. Quickly build two clothing stores in the premium spots around it. Then, tackle the 4-in-a-row up at the top. Before you manage to build all four, you'll probably beat the level. If you want to be one step ahead, make those stores toy stores.
- Level 2: In this level, the tutorial will have you hire a security guard. Doesn't change much of the overall strategy though. Build stores! Don't upgrade anything. With just one security guard, you may have to drag him around to stop all the thieves. When you want to, you can also hire a repairman. I needed about three janitors to reach the cleanliness goal and had 13 stores by the end of the level.
- Level 3: Continue building stores until all the slots are filled up. Then build the fountain. At this point, you'll need to put in quite a few decorations to raise the appearance of the mall. If you're not going to make the earnings goal, you can sell a store at the last minute if you have more than enough stores for the level.
- Level 4: Upgrade all your existing stores and max them out with decorations. Don't forget to hire an extra employee for your large store! When you're finished with this, run the special book signing event. Use all the cash you earn to buy out the remaining stores.
Arabian Nights Shopping Mall - A Middle Eastern-Themed Mall
This level introduces you to the food court. Basically, the food court keeps a few store slots locked until you spend extra money for the food court. You'll also need to buy a second franchise for you second large store.
- Level 1: This level can be tough. You want to get both of the large stores. Build on all of the premium slots but flip a few of them to get cash quickly. In order to meet the mall level goal, you need to help the mall fill up a bit, which means building stores. However, since this will get you low on cash, flip a bunch of your stores and put in some decorations. Working deftly will help you reach the expert goal.
- Level 2: Fill in all the open store spots. Don't unlock the food court locked spots yet. Once you have as many stores as you can, keep an eye out for sales while you upgrade your stores to hit the objectives. While the game says you should hire more security guards, I never really bother and instead focus on the mall appearance goal. The fountain is a big boost.
- Level 3: Buy out enough stores to hit 16, then be sure all your stores are upgraded. At this point, run the special event, which will automatically hit the customer goal for you. Add more decorations to raise the mall rating. Add some janitors to keep things clean. Give yourself a few days to hit the earnings goal and you're golden!
- Level 4: Now, you have to build the food court and unlock the remaining store slots. Don't worry, this level isn't hard. Slowly buy up all the stores and upgrade them and you'll easily beat the level with time to spare.
Bauhaus Shopping - Everyone Loves Movies
This mall scenario introduces you to the movie theater and the bank. It's up to you whether you want to use these buildings in the later levels, but both are good for big chunks of cash at once.
- Level 1: Build the movie theater as instructed. Then build two clothing stores in the premium spots. Tackle the remaining large stores next. After that, build adjacent to the large stores. When you can, grab the Independent level for the movie theater. Watch your time, though. It doesn't make sense to buy movies if you don't have enough time to collect.
- Level 2: Build the bank in the slot next to the movie theater. After that, go with the typical strategy of building as many stores as possible. You'll have to hire janitors and put in some decorations to make the mall appearance goal. Empty the bank if you need extra cash! Try to get the Blockbuster going while you still have days to spend the profits.
- Level 3: At this point, hopefully, you have enough stores to be making lots of money. Save up for the Premiere right from the beginning, and you'll be set for the rest of this level. Upgrade all your stores before starting the fashion event. With the cash, buy up the remaining stores. Here's where you can get really advanced. Keep track of how much money is in the bank and how much cash you have on hand. Now, start building the food court and new stores in the unlocked spots. You want to build at a rate such that you won't accidentally beat the level before the last minute while knowing that you can empty your bank account to still beat it on expert.
- Level 4: This level should be pretty straightforward. Again, get the Premiere movie package. Finish building and upgrading all your stores. Deck the mall out in decorations and don't forget the fountain! Then you just have to sit back and wait for all your money to roll in.
Boxshop Shopping Center - More Big Stores to Build!
There are more franchises to unlock and more stores to build!
- Level 1: Woohoo! A big store premium slot! Build on that right away. Then, snag up the other small store premium slots. You'll have to save a bit to unlock the music franchise so you can build a large music store. Once you hit the stores goal, don't stop, keep building. Don't bother upgrading stores or hiring any janitors at this point. Build the bank on the last day.
- Level 2: You have to build an ATM a the beginning of this level. This is really the only level I use it on. For kicks, I build a movie theater and saved to buy the Premiere package. Build as many stores as possible. When all the slots are filled, you can start prepping for the next level by upgrading your stores. Make sure to keep the mall clean and buy some decorations.
- Level 3: This level is really simple if you've prepared yourself. If you want lots of cash, save up for the Premiere package. After that, upgrade all your stores and start unlocking the food court. Don't forget that you need 2 arcades to pass the level!
- Level 4: You know the drill. Get the Premiere. Upgrade all your stores. Decorate like crazy, start the car show event, sit back, and win.
GranStation - The Hardest Mall Scenario of them all
This is the final mall setting! Of course, you get no instructions but you should be a pro by now. This is a huge mall with many large store slots. I'm personally not a fan of the movie theater, but it's totally up to you. It's also possible to beat Mall-a-Palooza without unlocking all of the franchises. That will save you some money there.
- Level 1: Build in the premium slots first, then fill in all the large store slots. Make one of these large stores a toy store! If you haven't unlocked the toy franchise, you should have plenty of time to get enough money to do so. After that, start building stores adjacent to your existing stores and nab that 3-in-a-row space at the top. Your rival seems to drag his/her feet and competitors show up pretty late in the level. You'll need a good number of plants to boost your mall rating.
- Level 2: You'll reach the profit goal before you get 11 stores. If you built a large toy store in the previous level, this level would be really easy. Use all the money you're earning to build as many new stores as possible. Your competitor will build some stores, but they get built slowly. As the trash and thieves and breakdowns start to annoy you, go ahead and hire a few employees. I wait until the very last day to upgrade some of my large stores to reach the 7-star goal.
- Level 3: Hopefully you have 18 stores already or can meet this goal very quickly. Upgrade all of your stores to maximum stars. Don't worry about installing security cameras. As soon as all your stores are upgraded, run the Christmas mall event to earn some big cash. While this is happening, hire extra janitors and max out the mall decoration by placing plants everywhere. Also, build the mall fountain. Once the mall event is over, your janitors will have enough time to clean up the mall to hit the mall rating goal. Five janitors did the trick. Cash should be no problem.
- Level 4: I'm sure you knew this was coming, but you have to own all the stores! There's no way around it. You have to build out that food court to unlock new store slots. After the store slots are filled, you'll have to buy your rival stores. You'll definitely earn enough cash to get them all back even if you have to pay full price. To hit the daily profit goal, make sure all your stores are star maximized. Don't forget that you can hire a second employee in your large stores. After that, sit back, relax, and win!
It's always fun to hear from casual gamers who play these fun games. What's your latest discovery? Did you like Mall-a-Palooza?
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