About This Place

First started in late 2007, Kasey's Mobile Game Review (then just a regular feature of Kasey's Korner) started as a simul-post between here and IGN. Later I realized there's no reason to post it twice, when I can use the traffic on my own site. so, here we are, in 2010, and the mobile game industry has grown a bit. What do you think?

KMGR of "Bettie Barista"

I made it mayselfImage via WikipediaBettie Barista is basically Cake Mania with Coffee and a bit more of the business sim aspect of the game incorporated. If you like the genre of "multiple-plates spinning" games then this one is done very well, as you try to expand your cafe empire throughout the US by opening increasingly bigger and better cafes serving more and more varieties of coffee and other items.

As you have guessed, you are Bettie, and you are an excellent barista, so you're going to open a cafe to rival the big names, and make it big in the business of coffee! Basically, your "store" has one or more coffee machines, each of which brews two or more varieties of coffee. You also have a shelf with two or more sizes of coffee cups. And a "topping machine" that adds special toppings (two or more versions). And finally, a "breakfast bar" has two or more items for sale. A client comes in from any of the three directions, and when you greet them, they will have an idea bubble with their order (which is can be drink only, food only, or both). You have to complete the order ASAP, and when they leave, they leave the money on the counter. You have to grab the money and put it in the register, or else a thief may steal it. When three or four customers queue up, each with different orders, this can get very hairy.

You can buy upgrades for your cafe. Each cafe usually has three or more upgrades, which range from faster machines, additional machines, to more items for sale / more varieties available. Instead of just 2 varieties of coffee, you have three (or more), and so on. You get the idea. Customers don't queue up automatically, so you have to go to the customers, and there are no hotkeys. It's directional pad all the way. If you got the order wrong, dump the coffee in the recycle bin.

At the end of each day, you get a tally of how you did, and between end of day and beginning of next day you decide what to do next day. You an take a day off (and let the temp(s) run the store(s), but keep in mind they are never as good as you and their progress can actually BACKSLIDE if left alone too long. You can choose to spend some of the revenue (only 100+ a day) on advertising, which can be expensive. If you have enough cash, you can pay the rent to open an additional store, upgrade equipment at existing store, and so on. When ready, next day will start. If you decided to take a day off, you're shown the results immediately. Else you pick a store to work at and you run that specific store for the day. Each store's layout can be a little different, and their equipment can be different (one may not even have room for additional machines). The idea is to finish each city's "progress bar" to progress to the next city, and there are four cities to go through, each with more challenges.

This game is quite stressful at the higher levels as you try to take care of as many customers as you can as fast as you can, without making any mistakes. As each order is different, it is not really possible to start any rhythm, and you can't queue up orders, as each cup must be fresh. Makes me appreciate the baristas in my local coffee shop more.

Every once in a while you'll get a "custom order" which basically has you play "guitar hero" with up/ok/down on the d-pad. Basically, you're supposed to add sugar, water, and coffee but in specific rhythms just like Guitar Hero (tm). You get a percentage rating of how close you get to perfect, and that'll get you a big tip if you get close.

Graphics are good, though very similar to other games in the genre. And there's no explanation of the different types of clients and how they differ. Music is par for this type of game.

All in all, Bettie Barista is an also-run, although polished to near perfection. The additional business sim aspect helps it go beyond the competition, as does the different upgrade options and different cities.

Overall rating: 7.5 out of 10
Pros: simple controls, business sim aspects, good adaptation
Cons: also-ran, nothing too new here, no quick-game modes

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