This bakery has two and a half stars on Yelp.
Pretend you have an entire vanilla cake to yourself. Sounds good, right? And for a few bites, it tastes good. Once you’ve eaten a slice, however, you begin to notice how dry the cake is. You want to stop eating, but you have to finish the whole darn thing. Let’s assume your host will call the cops if you don’t. So you gobble up this entire cake and feel weary and a little sick when the last crumb has gone down the hatch. Now you have an idea of what it’s like to play Dessert Shop.
Dessert Shop is a Facebook restaurant sim from Shinezone. It’s not a bad game; it’s just wholly unremarkable. You play as a man or woman who has big dreams of running a world-class bakery. You begin with a tiny shop, a single staff member, and a few bare-bones ingredients that let you make a handful of goods to sell to your clientele.
As you play, you gain the ability to expand your menu as well as your shop. You can decorate, add in tables and appliances, and learn new recipes. You can also find ways to improve on old recipes in order to make them more valuable. For example, putting blueberries on plain old milk cookies helps the cookies sell for a lot more money.
You’re also responsible for harvesting and making ingredients. You have a small backyard that supplies you with eggs, wheat, nuts, fruits, and more. Inside your store, you can gather eggs and sugar. Grinding wheat makes flour, a staple for many of your recipes. Putting milk into a blender will churn it into butter, and so on.
Dessert Shop won’t kill you, but you’ve probably played a thousand games like it before. You go through the motions and rarely encounter a crisis or any other kind of interesting situation. Your customers are generally an agreeable bunch who are willing to queue up outside for ages just to get a cookie. However, your food can burn if you leave it in the oven too long after it’s cooked. When that happens, you’re offered a chance to save the goods by spending a wad of hard currency. Otherwise, you can cruise through the game at your own pace, or follow quests laid down by your uncle.
Dessert Shop would have only ranked as a mildly interesting play during the height of the social games boom in 2010. Now, it barely registers at all. It plays like every other shop sim that inexplicably lets you use ingredients from your backyard (psst—hey, FDA). Even its graphics are dull, and feature dead-eyed avatars that are devoid of story or personality, and move like Barbie dolls. The game’s primary tune is cheery and repetitive, and might drive you to commit murder.
If you have some kind of medical condition that forces you to play sim games as part of a live-saving detoxification process, you’ll have no problem rolling with Dessert Shop. Otherwise, skip it.