The first game released by Big Fish as a game title exclusive to its members, Ye Olde Sandwich Shoppe takes you through the journey of the sandwich, from creation to success. Play as Elise, the sandwich inventor’s niece, and learn how to make the perfect sandwich as you cater to your customers and learn how to spread and market the sandwich in this exclusive new time management title brought to you by Mean Hamster Software.
Our story begins with the creation of the very first sandwich in England: Elise, the sandwich inventor’s enthusiastic niece, asks for her uncle’s permission to try and sell the sandwich. Along the way, she learns the path to success isn’t always easy. If she doesn’t succeed in selling her sandwiches and the shops fail, she’ll be forced to marry the devious loan shark. Determined more than ever to deny his desires and succeed, Elise sets out to market the sandwich and make it a huge success.
Ye Olde Sandwich Shoppe features a variety of modes. Right from the beginning, the player can choose if they’d like a timed or untimed mode of gameplay. There is also an endless mode available, and a hard mode unlockable once you complete the game. From the beginning, the player will bake bread, cut meat, and add various extra components to make sandwiches just how the customers like them, and then click on the customer to deliver them.
Occasionally a customer will come along who will take any kind of sandwich, allowing you to make them as big a sandwich as you desire: the bigger the sandwich, the bigger the profit! Yet true to time management, the player must deliver sandwiches and drinks before the customers get too impatient and leave. Ye Olde Sandwich Shoppe features a total of 48 levels in four different shop environments.
The game furthermore features a variety of customization options to improve your shop. Some enhance customer patience and others enhance tips and preparation time, but none of them enhance Elise’s speed and add little change to the actual appearance of the shop. All four shop environments also appear extremely similar, and are exactly the same in layout. Players may become bored or confused with some of the shop environment changes, such as An Asian-themed sandwich shop that caters the exact same kinds of sandwiches as before, while still pertaining to olde England. Throughout the course of the game, new items will be added to the shop by default.
On various days, a music box will be available for Elise to use to increase customer patience: however, in order to use the music box, you must first solve a sliding tile puzzle… at the end of the day, making it a much less effective item than it could be. Puzzles have the option to be skipped. On occasion, a burglar will also appear and try to steal a sandwich. By clicking on him, you can recover the stolen item. Though the other various customers and characters are different in appearance, there is little to no difference in their preferences or amount of patience.
One of the neatest features of the game are the little facts it shares throughout the various weeks and levels about the sandwich and its original history. The story itself, however, is not very absorbing and hard to grow attached to. The gameplay is fast and intense, requiring numerous clicks to assemble a sandwich and deliver it to the customer. It’s highly unlikely there will ever be a spell in any level where you actually have a full second’s rest. Another important thing to note is that gameplay actually gets easier towards the end of the game, as item upgrades reduce your need to strategize on how to best and most effectively serve your customers. The largest challenges in the game are in the earlier levels.
Ye Olde Sandwich Shoppe‘s fast-paced gameplay and the various modes will be very welcome to any time management veteran. However, if you’re new to time management titles or one who likes a more relaxed kind of time management play, this title’s probably not for you.