Product Type: Eidos Nintendo DS games
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Cake Mania (DS)
Member Name: abbadabbado
Cake Mania (DS)
I have always been a fan of Cake Mania on the PC so when I spied a version for my DS it was inevitable I was going to buy it.
Cake Mania is a time management game where effectively you have to complete tasks in the time available to you to be able to progress further in the game. As you go further into the game, the tasks get harder and more complicated in the same amount of time provided to complete them. It can get quite challenging but is a good achievement if you manage to complete it.
** Storyline **
Jill is taking over her grandparents failing bakery business. As she has just completed her culinary course she is the perfect person to build the business up again.
Each level is set in the same shop which you can upgrade as and when you have the funds to be able to do so, but until you do the shop remains a basic shell selling basic ingredients.
** Aim of the game **
As I mentioned above, the aim is to complete tasks in the allotted time to complete the level. The task is usually a required monetary amount.
In the beginning of the game with a basic shop layout, you will start with an oven, and an icing machine.
Customers arrive in the shop and you must click on them to hand them a menu. When they have decided on what cake they wish to order, a bubble appears at the top of their head with the shape of the cake and the coloured icing on top they wish to order.
You must then click on the correct shape of cake above the oven to allow the oven to cook the cake. The oven will take approx 10 seconds to cook so you have no choice at this stage to wait, or click on another customer if one appears to give them a menu.
Once the cake is cook you have to click on it to pick it up and click on the correct colour for the icing to allow the cake to be iced.
At this point the next customer will have chosen and his choice bubble will have appeared, so whilst you are waiting for the cake to be iced you can place the next cake in the oven.
The process of the game continues like this. The customer will disappear and the line decrease once you have given the customer their cake and taken the pile of money from the counter.
Your money automatically goes into your till and your total increases once you click on it.
** Extras and upgrades **
As your monetary target increases, you will need to upgrade your shop to be able to make your daily targets. By adding upgraded ovens, fancy toppers machines for the cakes, you will be able to charge more for your cakes (which is done automatically) and therefore make your daily targets easier.
You can also upgrade Jill in certain ways by giving her faster shoes to make her travel around the shop quicker and getting the tasks done faster.
To be able to buy upgrades, you have to wait until the end of each level and can then spend whatever money is available to you form completing the level. You can choose not to buy something one level and have more available to you next time.
Each level will be on a different month and with that month a little storyline of its own. If it is Easter for example you will have customers that want to buy Easter cakes. If you have the correct cake toppers then you will obviously make more money by offering the correct cake.
Some customers are also more impatient than others so it's worth reading the level intro to find out who you should be serving first and who you can afford to make wait.
Each customer has a heart patience level above their head and it disappears then the customer will leave. This counts against you at the end of the level and affects your bonus.
** Mistakes **
If you make a mistake in the level, which is easily done when the level is hectic and you are in the middle of a process, the cake will have to go in the bin and you will have to start again. This can really set you back and counts against your bonus at the end.
A way to get around this is to buy a cake stand for the counter. Hopefully a customer will ask for the exact cake at some point in the game and you will get back on track and make up that time again.
** Controls **
The game is played solely with the stylus as everything needs to be clicked on to activate the next motion. It's worth noting here that you need a stylus that hasn't been chewed or bent etc to play this game properly as sometimes you only have time to click once and there is no room to wait clicking a couple of times.
** My thoughts **
You will either love or hate Cake Mania. I love it because it really makes me think as I am in the middle of a level. There really is no room for error as you are clicking away. It can be very frustrating when you click something wrong or miss a customer's wish, but I breathe a sigh of relief when I have served every customer.
The game is long enough to keep you entertained for weeks as playing a couple of levels at a time before switching off can be enough sometimes. As the game can only be saved at the end of each level its worth remembering to do so, especially if it was a particularly hard level.
I also like the way the whole game is set over five different locations. Once you have completed certain goals in one area and worked around the level map which you see at the end of each level, you then go to a different location and start over again to build up the business. It keeps the variety alive in the game and ensures the player doesn't get bored with looking at the same four walls in the shop all the time.
There are 84 levels in Cake Mania and all for the bargain price of £11.99 from Amazon. This makes the game great value for money and can last you for months. I have completed about half the levels so far. A couple of them have provided me with a headache or two but a couple of day's perseverance has gotten me through it.
Highly recommended if you like time management games.
Summary: a great time management game
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