PlayFirst brings Chocolatier to Facebook with Chocolatier: Sweet Society
Chocolatier, a charming series for the PC where players travel the world buying and selling chocolates in the service of the powerful Baumeister chocolate empire, has made its way to Facebook in PlayFirst’s Chocolatier: Sweet Society. Although still in early beta, the game’s combination of shop management and chocolate-making feels like a natural fit on Facebook.
The setting is San Francisco, 1882. After choosing a male or female character, you’ll meet Vivienne Baumeister, your guide and mentor. Vivienne’s family has been making chocolates for generations, and she’s invited you to join her and learn how to be one of the world’s greatest chocolatiers.
You’re put in charge of a brand new Chocolate Shoppe, and if you’ve played games like Restaurant City or Cafe World on Facebook, you should be able to jump right in. If not – say for those people who are interested in Sweet Society because they’re fans of the Chocolatier PC games – a tutorial will guide you through the basics.
You’ll start by purchasing display cases for your shop, which is as easy as deciding which one you want and dragging it onto the shop floor anywhere you like. Then you’ll load your display case with chocolates to sell by selecting chocolate from your inventory and dragging it onto said display case.
Having chocolates on display will attract customers who are all charmingly dressed in Victorian-era garb. In fact, the whole game – from the decor you can customize your shoppe with to the quaint-looking machines you create your chocolates with (more on this later) has a distinctive Victorian aesthetic that helps set Sweet Society apart from some of the blander-looking Cafe-themed games on Facebook.
Besides the distinctive look of Sweet Society, another rather unique feature is that new chocolates are produced in a factory that you actually get to customize as well, just like your cafe, by buying machines and so on. You can toggle between your shoppe and factory whenever your inventory is running low and you have to stock up on more confections for your display cases.
As you earn experience points and level up, you’ll unlock new chocolate recipes that cater to specific customers’ tastes. Recipes such as chocolate bars with almonds, lemon, hazelnuts, or raspberry will be familiar to long-time Chocolatier fans. Once you reach level 10 you’ll be able to make mouthwatering chocolate infusions as well. We can only assume that squares and truffles from the PC series might eventually make an appearance in Sweet Society as well.
Chocolates take time to be produced, to the tune of a few minutes for the most basic of chocolate bars, and hours for more complicated recipes. Here’s a nice feature though: you can opt not to wait for the full production run, but instead click “Collect” to grab all of the bars currently finished – even if it’s just one bar.
In terms of social features, you can send and receive gifts, visit friends’ shops and compare stats with them, as well as view an overall leaderboard of everyone who’s playing the game on Facebook. Although we didn’t test this for our preview, an in-game message told us that the more friends you have playing the game, the bigger your store can be.
From what we had a chance to see so far, and in spite of a couple of technical crashes that caused us to have to reboot our browser, Chocolater: Sweet Society is off to an impressive start. The gameplay has been designed from the ground up for a social platform like Facebook, but game still looks and feels like a Chocolatier game and remains true to the original spirit of the franchise.
Now if you’ll excuse us, we’re off to hunt for those secret recipes!