Game Reviews

Chocolate Tycoon

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| Chocolate Tycoon
Chocolate Tycoon
| Chocolate Tycoon

Eager to break from the mould – running cake shops or waiting tables - there's been a visible effort by recent time-management games to mix things up.

Whether enabling you to become a real estate mogul or fix cars for the mafia, these changes in keep the genre going but fail to add variety to the gameplay working beneath the surface.

Chocolate Tycoon appears to be yet another me-too time-management adventure, even if some effort has been made to set it apart. Some of its ideas hit the sweet spot, but most are too familiar to have any impact.

It's a stitch up

Baking chocolates and filling customer orders are your primary objectives. To these activities developer Com2uS has added a few sprinklings of originality.

For instance, the game employs a pop-up book visual style populated by 2D characters (both in terms of design and lack of personality). There's simply no chance that, even after just a glance, you can mistake Chocolate Tycoon for any of its rivals.

Dealing with the unnecessary reams of dialogue that sandwich each level, though, is a familiar feature. The story focuses on bringing quality candy back to a kingdom left devoid of the sweet stuff after the former chocolatier was banished from its walls. To claim that title as your own, mixing up chocolate to meet orders is the key.

Sweet to touch

In fact, rather than dashing around a kitchen as you might expect, making the mix is a rather static affair. With no avatar to speak of, tapping chocolate nodes that appear on screen in three varieties - dark, milk, and white – is all that's required.

Touching each piece is enough to drop it into a tank where it's mixed into the good stuff. As you might expect, tap too many of a particular colour and the type of chocolate changes.

While customers are initially happy to take any chocolate you produce, specific orders complicate your work. In picky cases, you have to wait for certain nubbins of chocolate to pop up while completely avoiding others.

Cutting down on the chocolate

What makes this setup especially uncomfortable is that your natural inclination is to tap each and every one. Forcing yourself to avoid certain colours is not only challenging, but also downright awkward given that each piece of chocolate only pops up for a few seconds at a time.

Even more frustrating is that you have one tank for mixing, making the production of different types of chocolate at the same time impossible. It's amazing how such a small design decision can cast a shadow over the entire game.

Chocolate Tycoon never finds the comfortable middle ground between plain old button-basher and game with a far more tactical edge. Instead, it serves up a time-management test based not on your reaction time, but rather on your ability to dance to a beat that isn't always in time.

Chocolate Tycoon

Delivering in terms of looks, Chocolate Tycoon proves far less proficient when it comes to the actual process of making the sweet stuff
Keith Andrew
Keith Andrew
With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font. He's also Pocket Gamer's resident football gaming expert and, thanks to his work on, monitors the market share of all mobile OSes on a daily basis.