Cindy’s Sundaes Review

By Marc Saltzman |

If you walked past someone playing a game of Cindy’s Sundaes, you might write it off as a 3-in-a-row Bejeweled clone that replaces gems with dessert. But if you sat down and took control of the mouse for a few minutes you’ll find that – while not completely original – this delicious little game offers a few extras "treats" for puzzle fans.

Gamers are asked to help Cindy run an ice cream parlor, which involves taking care of customers who enter. In order to deliver, players are presented with a screen full of ice cream scoops, but instead of dragging adjacent ice cream scoops vertically or horizontally as with most 3-in-a-row games, you’re dragging entire diagonal rows and columns to make a match of at least three same-colored scoops.

Dragging entire rows may be familiar to Chuzzle fans, but this time it’s diagonal, which is a nice spin on the genre. When three or more scoops of the same color – such as chocolate, vanilla or strawberry – are aligned, they disappear, making room for additional scoops on the board. Make enough matches and the customer is handed the dessert and they walk away happy.

Special ice cream scoops and other items, such as cherries, will begin to appear on the screen, which could help or hinder your progress. For example, some ice cream scoops are frozen over, therefore the entire row or column cannot be moved until the ice is cracked, which you can only do by first making a match with surrounding scoops. An example of a helpful power-ups is a bomb that destroys all nearby scoops, making room for new ones.

Between each of the levels players can use earned tokens to purchase additional toppings to make the customers even happier with their purchase, including chocolate-dipped strawberries, candy sprinkles, chocolate sauce and blueberries – plus you can unlock special sundaes to make for the customer, ranging from basic ice cream cones to elaborate, multilayered scoops in glass dishes. In total, the game offers 20 pre-designed sundaes, 30 colorful ice cream flavors and more than 60 unique toppings.

Better yet, one of the most fun things to do in the game is design (and name) your own sundae creations. You first choose what to serve it in, select how many scoops and which flavors, finish it off with some toppings of your choice and then save your dessert (my first was called "Marc’s Delight"). Now you might find customers asking for your special sundae by name. You can also send your creation to a friend as an e-card, right from within the game.

Aside from the endless "Survival" mode, the goal of the main story-drive game is to advance through the five different ice cream parlor themes.

Cindy’s Sundaes may not be much to look at, but the clever ice cream theme, diagonal twist on 3-in-a-row games, and sundae creation feature all make this puzzler a tasty download.

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