Candy Shop Offers Little To Sweeten the Deal
You’ve got to wonder why the developers of Candy Shop thought that Facebookers could use another game that looks and plays almost identically to Cafe World, Chocolatier: Sweet Society, Baking Life, Cafe Life, and all of the other games that involve running a cafe/restaurant/bakery. Yet here we are. In its current state (which, admittedly, is not too far out of the launch gate), Candy Shop boasts almost nothing to set itself apart from its competitors.
Within the all-too-familiar shop layout – complete with cash register, display cases and mixers – you’ll create a variety of confections, set them out for display, and sell them to the customers that come through the door. One at a time. The pacing is slow as a result, and being that this is just a shop (not a cafe), there’s nowhere for customers to sit down, robbing you of both of the enjoyment of watching the customers chow down their treat and the opportunity to decorate it with funky tables and chairs.
The shop, in fact, feels a bit claustrophobic. You can spruce it up with accents like fancy floor tiles (which you must purchase and lay ONE tile at a time), wallpapers, doors, windows, potted plants and lamps, as well as a handful of functional items like extra mixers, ovens, cash registers and display stands. Compared to the decor options of similar titles, Candy Shop‘s catalog is a bit sparse.
There’s nothing unique about Candy Shop‘s social features either. You can “recruit” your friends to come and work for you (translation: sent them a notification inviting them to join the game), whereupon they’ll sweep the floors and serve. You can also add neighbors and send gifts.
So what is the game doing right so far? Thick recipe books. You’ll start out with chocolates but can expand to cotton candy, pies and tarts, and a variety of candies including bubble gum, lollipops, and the cheekily named “N&N’s.” Prep time for each confection ranges from a few minutes to a full day or more.
Candy Shop has also borrowed a page from quest-oriented Facebook games like FrontierVille by offering goals to complete. Although the goals seem to be pretty transparent so far (examples include Make White Chocolate, and the Loyal Shopkeer quest which is earned by returning to the game five days in a row), they’re a good first step towards giving the game some direction and personality. Candy Shop is going to need both if it wants to succeed in carving out a niche for itself among more established games that offer the same gameplay.