Emma, the heroine of Chocolate Shop Frenzy, quits her marketing job, gets a small business loan, buys a chocolate shop and goes into business. Her goal is to employ her time-management skills to successfully run the shop for a year — long enough to pay back her loan. The premise is simple and Chocolate Shop Frenzy is even simpler.
Digital Chocolate's new game app (one of two DC just introduced) plays well, looks good and is entertaining, for a while.
Emma's job requires her to take orders from customers at the sales counter, briskly walk to the chocolate manufacturing machines that produce the varieties of chocolate the customers request, bring back their orders and collect payment. The trick to Chocolate Shop Frenzy is to fulfill as many orders as possible with the fewest number of trips among the customers and the machines that manufacture the chocolates.
The complexity of time-management increases with each level, of which there are 48. More customers appear at the same time and there are more chocolate varieties to serve. Each customer has an idiosyncrasy (an impatient child, a laid-back hippie, or has a special request, for example) that requires Emma not only to satisfy each demand with as few steps as possible, but also to prioritize her work based on the unique demands of each customer. Should Emma become fatigued, she can stop by the coffee machine for a quick jolt of caffeine. Meanwhile, competitors and crooks try to stymie Emma's business plan.
There are a couple of other dimensions to Chocolate Shop Frenzy. The first is a match-three, recipe-making level. Line up three peanuts, milk cartons or other chocolate-making foods to clear the board and create a recipe. If you've ever played Bejeweled, you'll know what Emma needs to do. The second dimension is that once Emma has completed her first round of chores, she gets to unlock an "Endless Shift" mode for non-stop play.
Chocolate Shop Frenzy has terrific, cartoon-like graphics and it plays without a hitch. The problem is that the game is not all that challenging and before long, it becomes merely tedious. Digital Chocolate doesn't provide any clues as to what age group this game is aimed at — I assume it's adults — but I can readily see that kids about 8 to 13 would find it amusing and captivating for quite a while.
Chocolate Shop Frenzy is on sale for $4.99, half its usual price. I think it's priced right at $4.99 and anyone who pays more is apt to be disappointed. Try the free version of the game before you buy this one.