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Jul 28, 2008

Review: Cake Mania 2

Cake Mania 2
Majesco Games, Digital Embryo
Available on Nintendo DS

Cake Mania 2 was recently released for the Nintendo DS, and it is basically an update of the original Cake Mania. Once again, players are thrown into a bakery with Jill and must make custom cakes for demanding customers. If you’re a fan of games like Cake Mania or Diner Dash, you’ll probably be chomping at the bit to purchase this DS version of the series so you can play this game on the go.

There are some twists this time around. In the story mode, Jill’s dream of revitalizing her grandparent’s bakery has been met and now she wants to move onto better things. Much to Jill‘s luck, she receives two requests to set up her bakery in order to help out either her friend in the big city or her ex-boyfriend at his failing underwater amusement park. Players will get to choose where Jill’s path on the road to fame and fortune will lead her as you move her through each wacky stage.

Much like previous Cake Mania games, the bakery starts out barren and Jill has to work her way up through each level making money to buy new equipment. Each day in a stage has two goals for Jill to meet as she tries to meet the demands of her customers - a bakery goal and superstar goal. If Jill bakes each cake perfectly and in a timely manner, then the superstar goal can easily be met.

Along with the Story mode, there’s also a new Endless mode, where players can just bake cakes endlessly. Since the first Cake Mania DS game pretty much ended after you beat the story mode, this new mode really adds to the game replay-ability factor.

For new players to the Cake Mania series, the game doesn’t offer much in a way of a tutorial for each task in the kitchen. Jill shows you how to bake your first cake and after that you’re on your own to learn how to buy upgrades to prepare for upcoming levels, build two tier cakes, toss incorrect orders or show off cake creations for purchase. New players to the game should read the instruction manual first before diving into the harder stages.

For a downloadable PC title on the Nintendo DS, you expect low end graphics and that’s definitely what you get from Cake Mania 2. Each story scene is just a cartoon panel that you click through on your way to the next stage and though they’re pretty and colourful to look at, it wouldn’t have hurt the developers to use a little animation to tell their story.

The music is cheerful, upbeat and really adds to the happy atmosphere of Jill’s bakery. Each customer along with their goofy costumes and personalities, each sport a unique sound effect which alerts you to their appearance in the bakery. This really helps you spot the impatient customers quickly in order to serve them right away.

Cake Mania 2 really does improve over the first DS Cake Mania game. It is more challenging, provides a better story mode with choices in Jill’s path and provides the Endless cake mode which really adds to the game‘s life span. I find this is the perfect games to take to work or play on the bus, because each level is short and sweet and you can practically play the game one-handed while you chow down on lunch.

Rating: 8 out of 10
Buy it!

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