Chocolate Tycoon is fun, but not as sweet as it sounds

If you’re going to be a tycoon, a chocolate tycoon is probably the way to go. Because not only do you get to be rich and powerful but, well, you get lots of chocolate. And who’s going to complain about that?Chocolate Tycoon isn’t quite what you’d expect from the title, instead playing somewhat like a cross between a time management game, a simple puzzle game, and Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale. The result is mostly enjoyable, and drips with charm and style, but the over-simplified core gameplay brings down the experience somewhat.

Chocolate Tycoon

You play as a young girl who, with the help of a former witch, is put in charge of a chocolate shop. The main portion of the game involves creating and serving chocolates to customers. Making chocolates boils down to a simple, almost puzzle-like, mini-game. Chocolates of different types, including dark, white, and milk chocolate, randomly appear on a three by three grid. Tapping pieces of chocolate will liquify them and send them to a tank. You can then use the liquified chocolate to feed tiny creatures at the bottom of the screen, who will slurp it up and spit out tasty treats that you can sell.

The only real strategy to this part of the game lies in creating different flavors of chocolate. If you just grab every chocolate from the board you’ll end up with plain old milk chocolate. But if you pay attention to your selections you can create both dark and white chocolate treats as well, which is important because some customers will come in and request specific types of chocolate. Serving customers is as simple as tapping a piece of chocolate and collecting the gold coins that the customer leaves behind. While the action is fast, the lack of any real strategy makes this portion of the game feel dull after a while.

Chocolate Tycoon

There’s also a management aspect to the game. You’ll need to buy ingredients, learn different treat designs, bribe your suppliers with gifts, and more. Before opening up your shop in the morning you can visit a number of people around town to go about completing these tasks. Most of them involve spending money, or sometimes playing a simple mini-game, but you’ll always get a chance to speak with people. Which is good, because the dialog, in spite of some grammatical errors, is one of the game’s strong points. It’s funny and charming and the written text is suplemented by a cute, yet not-quite-annoying, squeaky chatter noise.

It’s not just the writing though, asChocolate Tycoon is also an absurdly cute game to look at. It sports a handmade, pop-up book art style that is absolutely endearing. The characters and buildings all lool great and it’s hard not to smile while playing.

Chocolate Tycoon

Chocolate Tycoon is certainly a charmer, and the combination of both running and managing a chocolate shop ensures there’s always something to do. It’s just too bad that the things you’re actually doing aren’t more engaging. Because with it’s clever premise and adorable good looks Chocolate Tycoon has the potential to be a must have mobile game. But thanks to the simple core gameplay it’s not as sweet as it sounds.