What's in a name? What's in a job? Anyone who has an intimate knowledge of Digital Chocolate's output over the last few years may well feel they've already mastered the task they're expected to undertake in Pizza Shop Mania - and they'd be right.
What's on offer here is a time management sim that bears a startling resemblance to one of the publisher's previous forays into the genre, Chocolate Shop Frenzy.
Swapping candy for pizza bases and toppings is hardly the biggest leap, but, in truth, pointing out the obvious similarities isn't actually all too much of an insult.Managing management
That's because most time management titles operate in the same way, simply swapping one setting for another. Pizza Shop Mania is no different, and while it treads especially familiar ground, that doesn't mean some won't enjoy sampling a slice or two.
The concept is simple and routine, the challenge being to run your grandfather's pizza outlet after he is taken ill in hospital. Pizza Shop Mania gradually layers elements of plot throughout the hectic proceedings, with shady characters who want to put you out of business inspiring you to keep plugging away for the sake of your family.
Play itself follows the set formula of dashing between pizza ovens and pasta makers, taking orders from customers and then pocketing the cash afterwards.
It's all a matter of hitting number keys to target your next move in quick time, hammering down on the '5' key to enable you to carry out whatever task you need to undertake when you get there. As you move through level after level, the equipment ramps up in number and stature, the customers get ever more impatient, and flourish in number.
New menu needed?
As things get more and more complicated, the time between each action narrows. You need coffee to perk you up, while the bin gets increasingly flooded with spoiled or mistaken orders.
It's the same pressure Chocolate Shop Frenzy applied so successfully a couple of years ago, but things have moved on a touch since then.
What Pizza Shop Frenzy lacks is the 'waiting list' system Cake Mania: Celebrity Chef recently made its own. By letting players get ahead of the action by marking off future moves, Cake Mania actually kept its players engaged for longer.
Though still solid and utterly playable, Pizza Shop Frenzy would have done well to take similar strides forward.