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Time Management Game

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A genre of Casual Video Games, where the almost Always Female hero is a woman doing stereotypically feminine tasks, such as serving food or changing babies' diapers. You must do the tasks as fast as possible, and usually you gain more points by chaining more and more actions together.

Compare Real-Time Strategy.


Examples:

  • Atelier, starting with Atelier Marie in 1997 is one of the trope codifiers in Japan and combines this with a turn-based RPG. Basically you fill out work orders in a specified amount of time to prove your shop is still worthwhile to the kingdom and avoid eviction, and you have to balance buying materials or spending time to procure them from dungeons. Later games starting with Atelier Shallie: Alchemists of the Dusk Sea get rid of the time limit, however.
    • Atelier Ayesha applies a three year (in-game) global time limit to the entire game. Traveling, gathering, synthesizing, even resting all use precious time, and you have to fit a conventional story-driven RPG into it. Running out of time abruptly gives you the bad ending.
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  • Betty's Beer Bar (a case where the tasks are hardly feminine...)
  • Burger Shop and its sequel, as well as Eggo Kitchen. They come with a little twist that instead of choosing decorations, you choose the foodstuff. Burger Shop 2 also added breakfast, lunch and dinner, which changes what each customer wants.
  • Cake Mania
  • Carrie The Caregiver
  • Diner Dash and its sequels/spinoffs/ripoffs. The Genre Popularizer in the west.
  • Delicious
  • Do Not Feed The Monkeys
  • Donald Duck's Playground has Donald working in a toy store, on the railroad, at the airport and at the greengrocer's to earn money to buy fixtures for the titular playground.
  • The Fables of the Kingdom series has the rare male protagonist, a hunter named Kevin.
  • Fire Emblem: Three Houses is mostly turn-based strategy, but a large part of the game's structure involves a calendar and a limited time resource. During the week, the protagonist Byleth instructs their class. During free time on weekends, you have to choose between advancing Byleth's skills, bonding with students, buttering up members of other houses in order to recruit them, or improving your own pupils' motivation so they get more out of class time. Time is measured in discreet per-action units, and walking around chatting, doing sidequests, shopping and inventory management, and other busywork does not cost any units. Higher Professor Levels grants more time units and allows more actions to be performed per weekend cycle.
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  • Fix It Up and its sequels take place in the world of auto repair and customization. The protagonist is female, though.
  • The Gardens Inc series is about Jill and Mike, a pair of gardening enthusiasts who operate the eponymous company. The four games take them through courtship, marriage, and parenthood while they deal with mysteries and rival gardening companies all over the world.
  • Hell's Kitchen. People expected a Cooking Mama kind of game, but no, it's a Time Management Game. With Ramsay's (censored) swearing to boot.
  • Johnny's Payday Panic for the 3DS is a straight-forward example with five different types of shops where the titular Johnny can work.
  • Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude: Among its collection of minigames is a straight-up Homage to Tapper. When done while courting Charlotte, it involves passing out fliers and catching paper airplanes; while courting the science teacher he feeds lab monkeys while catching their empty plates.
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  • Live A Live has the Wild West chapter, which tasks you with collecting supplies and items to make into traps for an oncoming gang of bandits, and assigning each of the townsfolk to set up the traps. You are given until sunrise to set up as many traps as possible, to take out as many bandits as possible before the final battle with the bandit leader.
  • The McVideoGame has this on the scale of a multinational corporation. Guess which one.
  • Miss Management, though it has more of a plot than most games in the series. Unsurprisingly, it was created by the people who made Diner Dash.
  • Nanny Mania
  • Neopets has a few games that are blatant reskins of games in this genre. Slushie Slinger is a clone of Tapper and Berry Bash is a Diner Dash clone.
  • The New Yankee in King Arthur's Court series has a married couple, John and Mary, as the double protagonists. They go bouncing around through time, space, and occasionally fiction as they save the day repeatedly.
  • Papa Louie Arcade, an entire series of games where the heroine, or hero, works to prepare food for patrons at the titular Papa Louie's franchise du jour (Pancakeria, Pizzeria, Burgeria, Hot Doggeria, Taco Mia, Cupcakeria and more).
  • Potion Punch
  • Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is half this, half Dungeon Crawler.
  • Despite the similarity of the names, the Rush series — Burger Rush, Coffee Rush, et cetera — are not Diner Dash clones but combine basic time management with elements from a Match-Three Game. In order to create the dishes to serve customers, you have to match certain items on the board.
  • Sally's Salon/Spa/Studio. The spin-off Sally's Quick Clips is, like the Rush series, a combination of this and a Match-Three Game.
  • Snowy's Lunch Rush is a rare instance where the hero is male. Other than that, it's still a pretty blatant clone of Diner Dash.
  • Tapper: The Trope Maker. Decidedly non-feminine, available in both Budweiser and Root Beer versions.
  • Welcome to Primrose Lake is a lengthy time management mystery, with the time management rounds interspersed with action scenes which advance the plot.
  • Yakuza 0 introduces one as a minigame/sidequest where you play as the manager of a Cabaret Club where you have to assign girls to customers' tables according to the their tastes. True to the series' nature, the minigame is treated with dead seriousness. The minigame eventually comes back in Yakuza Kiwami 2, this time with Kiryu as the manager.
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