iPhone Game Review: Bakery Story Reviewed by JadeDragon
TeamLava has to be one of the most prolific social gaming developers for the iPhone and iPod touch. Since their first social game Farm Story, they have produced 4 community oriented games and now they have launched the fifth title, Bakery Story, the most delicious title to date.
All TeamLava's games follow a formula, whether it's farming, city building or cooking, it's about building a dream together with your friends and neighbors. Bakery Story plays very similarly to Restaurant Story but it's all about the desserts! The goal of the game is quite simple: make all sorts of delicious desserts and drinks to make money and grow your bakery. But you don?t have to do this alone. Those who have played any of the ?Story? games know that there is a tight community of players who will come and play these games everyday. Yes, you make money when you sell desserts but you also make money when your friends and neighbors come and visit your bakery and leave tips for you. In fact, many players are so focused on gathering tips that design their bakery to collect the most tips from their neighbors, as opposed to accommodate as many customers in their own bakery.
Of course if you did open your bakery to bake, you?ve got all the tools and recipes to make some great looking dishes and drinks. There are many great desserts you can make in Bakery Story, ranging from different cakes, to cookies, breads pies and more. You start out with a good number of them to get your bakery going, like chocolate cookies, brownies, strawberry cakes, peach cobblers, and so on. To accompany these yummy desserts, you can also provide drinks like coffee, espresso, tea and even eggnog and apple cider. Hungry yet? As you make progress in levels, more and more dishes will be available to you. Like with all other Story games, the dessert dishes take different times to make. TeamLava did a great job at spacing the maturity times so that you can make some quick bucks with dishes take very little time to make, or go for the heavy hitters that earn you lots of cash but will take hours or days to make.
What do you do with all the money you make, you ask? Upgrade your bakery and make it into your dream bakery. Another side of the Bakery Story?s gameplay is design. You can get floors, furniture, wallpapers, d?cor items and more in the game to improve the look of your place. As you grow in size, you will need to get more tables and chairs to accommodate more customers, more ovens, countertops and display cases for your dishes and drinks. All these take money, but money isn?t the only currency in Story games. You can earn cash in the game, but you can also use real money to buy gems which is the source of income for the game developers as the game itself is free to play. Some best looking d?cor items and improvement pieces cost gems (translate: real money), but Story players are never shy to spend it. As a result, you will see some amazing virtual bakeries when you visit some of your neighbors? bakeries as they spend both in-game virtual money as well as real money in iTunes to decorate their joints.
Graphics & Sound
Much of the success that Story games enjoy owe to the sharp graphics in these games. Graphics in Bakery Story has a cartoon quality to them but very polished and creative. If there is one advice we can give you for this game, is that don?t play when you are hungry. You will want to have a dash of latte with a nice piece of velvet cake afterwards. Game interface is also very well laid out, as with other Story games. You can easily get around the game to make dishes and to decorate without any hints, but the game gives you some help for the first few steps you take after you open the bakery.
Sound track is simple in Bakery Story as in other Story games, with easy listening pieces. Sound bites too are quick simple and share some pieces with other Story games.
As many Story games as TeamLava cranks out, each attracts a large number of players. The formula of community oriented gaming works for Story games, and it works for Bakery Story. The graphics in the game make it fun to play, and all the social interactions keep the players coming back every day. If you like to make something sweet and visit a few friends? places every day, Bakery Story will not disappoint.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: - 5 - The graphics make the game fun as much as the gameplay. Sound: - 4 - Good audio pack but simple. Controls: - 5 - Great UI that makes complicated system seem simple. Gameplay: - 5 - Addictive gameplay and more addictive social gaming.
Playing Hints and Tips:
- It?s all about timing. Plan your dishes around your schedule so that you can serve them before they spoil.
- If you are one of those players who like to catch tips more than serve your customers, remember you need at least 24 tables accessible to keep your customers fed.