Oh no! The overly-aggressive Smokestack Coffee Company is stamping out local competition with its overpriced coffee that tastes like mud. Um, that’s the Smokestack company – though you might have thought they go by another name. Ahem.

In Anarchy Entertainment’s Coffee Rush, it’s up to you to open your own coffee shop and take back all the areas of town dominated by the evil corporation’s trendy cafes. Up for the challenge? While it lacks in the originality department, Coffee Rush can be as addictive as the drink itself.

Imagine a puzzle game board like Bejeweled, but instead of an 8×8 grid of gemstones, such as diamonds and rubies, in Coffee Rush you’re playing with coffee beans, milk, sugar, whipped cream, ice cubes and other coffee-related items. The idea is to build a recipe as indicated on the right-hand side of the screen, which involves swapping adjacent items so that you create a line of 3 or more identical items, vertically or horizontally. This causes the items to disappear and make room for additional items to fall down onto the board.

A “Hey Hey Cafe Latte” recipe, for example, might require 7 coffee beans, six milks, five sugars and four lightning bolts. Once you meet this minimum, the drink is ready and you can click on it to give to the waiting customer.

Similar to “time management” games, you must make a certain amount of money by the end of the day to move onto the next level or else you need to repeat the day.

But a word of warning for those who’ve played Gamenauts’, Burger Rush: Coffee Rush is essentially the same game but with coffee-related items instead of fast food ingredients. If I’m not mistaken, however, Coffee Rush does offer more special items (that, when used in a chain, can help you prepare your drinks faster), more combos (you can add sandwiches and other items with a drink for extra cash), more treats to hold off impatient customers (such as donuts and muffins) and more bonuses awarded for strategic matching.

As with Burger Rush, you can shop at the end of each day with your earned cash by unlocking new recipes, combo items and freebie treats. You’ll see how much money you have and how much the items cost on the table, so you’ll know what you can afford.

You’ll move through seven different parts of the city to win over business – namely, Suburbia, Collegetown, The Beach, Industry City, Waterfront, Tech Valley and Downtown – and meet new types of customers along the way, each with their own amount of patience and tipping habits. A hippie for example, isn’t in much of a rush but he isn’t the best tipper either. In total you’ll meet a dozen characters, such as highway patrolmen, blushing brides, body builders, movie stars and heiresses, aliens, and so on – with each character saying something funny.

We found this game hard to put down, plus we loved the graphics, music and sound effects, but aside from it being a clone of Burger Rush, we have two other minor niggles. One is that your performance doesn’t always match what you hear. In one instance, I was told “Outstanding!” while tallying up my daily total but I was only at 42 percent customer satisfaction (many left after waiting too long). Secondly, while there are seven kinds of shops (and you can upgrade its look in a few areas), they all tend to look the same, not to mention most of the screen is covered by the 8×8 board anyway.

Overall, however, Coffee Shop is a very good game worth recommending – especially for “match 3” and “time management” fans, though Burger Rush players might not be able to get the taste of deja vu out of their mouths.