Wednesday, October 11, 2006

My Vote For "Game of the Year": Astraware's newly-released Cake Mania

Cakemania_splash
Wow.

This is really one of the most entertaining games I’ve ever played. Cake Mania is a ground-breaking game that trail-blazes a new genre into the gaming industry: Baking cakes!

This game is capital F…U...N!! FUN!

Now, I can hear the nay-Sayers exclaiming, “How can baking a cake be so fun…on a PDA even?!” In Cake Mania, you have taken over a flailing business and are in charge of taking it to the next level without your bakery being sold. The first few levels move at a rather pedestrian pace, as you gain your bearings and learn how to bake cakes according to customer specifications. I’m grateful for the slower pace in the beginning…but, “slower” doesn’t mean “boring” especially in this case. This game will keep you going as your customers walk in and request a certain type and style of cake. It’s your job to create the cake in exactly the manner they requested. Sound easy? Believe me, it’s not. More and more customers come in with their unique requests. Moreover, various customers have varied levels of patience…some have a shorter fuse than others and will just flat out let you know by the creative use of animation or, far worse, walk out the door.

While baking cakes, you can create diversions to appease your customers who are running low on patience. You can purchase a TV set. However, this TV set (at least on the levels I used it) would often go on the fritz and you need to keep an eye on it and give it a much-needed bang on the side to restore the picture. I chuckled while playing the game at how true to life that scenario can be! You can also pre-bake cupcakes ahead of time to buy more time while customers’ cakes are being prepared.

As you progress throughout the game, you can purchase upgrades to your existing equipment. Faster ovens and faster frosting machines are some of the upgrades. You can also buy a few extras to help boost sales. For example, purchasing a display tray can help with sales as customers ogle your masterpiece while you bake newer masterpieces for your in-store clientele. My personal favorite sets of purchases were the upgrades in my footwear. I went from moderately slow and pedestrian to blazing fast! I got a kick at how quickly my heroine would zip around the kitchen and zap some creative confections and zoom to get them into the hands of the customers! This is one game that will require your utmost attention to detail as it forces you to multi-task while pleasing your customers and making a profit. As you move around, a clock ticks overhead letting you know how much time left you have to make a profit for the day.

As I mentioned earlier, this game demanded my utmost attention. When my son sidled over and talked to me for a few seconds, I messed up some orders and was forced to throw them away. Every cake made that isn’t sold is a loss to your bakery and these could add up if you aren’t careful.

Cake Mania is a fantastically fun-filled, high-octane, action-packed game that thankfully starts out slow so you can master the basics. But, subsequent levels move at such a manic pace that it will cull from deep within you, your Master Chef! Playing Cake Mania has been one of the truly enjoyable and entertaining games that satisfy my gaming needs. Trust me when I say that this should be voted the “Game of the Year”!

Clickety-click on over to the Astraware site here and BUY THIS GAME NOW! You won’t regret it!

(Originally appeared on Palm Addicts)

3 comments:

chazzy said...

I downloaded this game on my PC last year and it was a blast. Ashley loved watching me play it, too. I've lost track of it for awhile, but I've been thinking about it because the DS has released a new game called "Cooking Mama." Cake Mania, in my opinion would make a good game for the DS,too.

chazzy said...

I downloaded this game on my PC last year and it was a blast. Ashley loved watching me play it, too. I've lost track of it for awhile, but I've been thinking about it because the DS has released a new game called "Cooking Mama." Cake Mania, in my opinion would make a good game for the DS,too.

Kevin Agot said...

I didn't know that Cake Mania was a PC game. Astraware does a great job of porting PC games onto PDA's.