Digital Chocolate decided to do a clone of Cake Mania, so they decided to use their own namesake, and do a chocolate shop instead. The result is a well-polished, if a bit too derivative game with appropriately ramped up challenges as you go from level to level.
Basically, you are this girl who had a dream of opening this chocolate shop and serve chocolates to the people. You'll serve lots of different clients... each have different tolerance to waiting, errors, and "bribe". The interface is basically the same as Cake Mania... A shop with machines on 'top', like chcolate packing machines that packs boxes of different shapes. A special machine makes a big chocolate figure. If you feel tired, get a cup of hot cocoa for yourself to regain the lost speed. Later the packing machine automatically gets speed upgrades and double/triple, figure machine gets upgrades to more varieties, a center table lets you put down wrong items so you can save it for another customer... All these are like Cake Mania.
In fact, this game is even easier as you don't have to worry about WHAT to upgrade. All the upgrading is done automatically for you, which is a nice touch. While this sort of takes away a bit of the strategic element, it actually doesn't lose that much.
The different clients that actually behave differently is a nice touch too. Old ladies have lots of patience, and tip okay. Moms are impatient and tip okay. Kids can wait, but don't tip well. Businessman cannot wait, and tip okay if you are very fast. And so on and so forth. You also later get to catch thieves and so on. As you progress along the levels, you get tougher and more clients through the day.
In fact, there are "achievements" that you can get, like "25% complete", "served 50 old ladies", and so on. Some of those are negative achievements, like "made 5 kids cry" (no candy for you!) and so on.
The game also relies on "combos", which means you try to queue together similar activities. Get four menus in a row and you get 1x, 2x, 3x, and 4x the score. Serve four chocolates in a row, grab money 4 in a row... you get the idea. You have to do this to get the "expert score" instead of the regular "plain" score, which is pretty easy to get unless you really mess up. But the expert score you must line up lots of of "streaks" for.
Controls are simple enough... arrow keys to pick the position you want to access, OK to access it, another OK to repeat (but only if the machine's ready).
Graphics are decent, slightly cartoonish, but that's expected. I'm not expecting photo-realism here. Sound is okay, nothing too special here.
Every fourth level, you play match-3 to create a new "chocolate recipe", which is very similar to Cleopatra's Treasures, another Digital Chocolate game, so I have to say that's derivative as well, as there are bazillion connect-3 games out there, starting with Bejeweled and goes on from there.
Overall, this game is an also-ran. It combines elements from other games to create this one, which is not really a fresh combo to start with. It's all derivative, albeit with a bit of polish. Is it good? Not really. But it is solid entertainment.
Overall rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: familiar gameplay, achievements, nicely polished
Cons: nothing new here
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?