Cake Mania 2 DS Review

Loved by all people and not just fat kids, cake is the reason we attend non-alcoholic parties and family reunions. The original Cake Mania 2 is also a good thing. Unfortunately, Digital Embryo doesn't believe in moderation and flooded the market with a second cake-centric adventure. We played Cake Mania 2 on PC during moments of procrastination at the office, and enjoyed the quick relief it offered during our hectic day. However, playing the exact same game on the DS doesn't excite us like our little time-waster did. It just seems unnecessary and repetitive.

This casual past time loses its luster after the first few rounds. Jill, Cake Mania's busty heroine, fires up her ovens for another tour of duty. Armed with a rolling pin and a killer cake recipe, Jill works her way through a non-linear storyline as she runs the ovens in six imaginative, yet slightly ridiculous (a bakery in Antarctica?) environments.

Jill's quest begins when two friends contact her. Jack needs Jill to (fetch a pail of water) set up a bakery in an aquarium. Risha needs help catering to her high-class clientele. Facing no repercussions for her decision, Jill must choose a friend to help. To add depth, the developers should have pitted her against the friend she did not select, but this doesn't happen.

From there, Jill spends 12 months at each bakery earning cash for kitchen upgrades including faster ovens, frosters, decorators and customer calming cookies. Cake toppings increase your bottom line, but you don't need them to reach your monthly monetary goal. One has to wonder why they are included at all. After each month Jill's earnings are tallied. If she sold enough cake she can advance, but if she didn't meet her quota then she must replay the level. Yes, that's right. Replay the level that looks and plays the same as all the other levels in all the other bakeries.

Despite what other critics may say, the controls are the best feature of the game. Using the stylus rather than the mouse gives us better reaction time, and the smaller screen makes looking for the correct shape or color less work than searching the larger computer screen in a panic. Instead of dragging and clicking, all you have to do is stab. The only problem is decent controls do not make a great game.

Cake Mania 2 is a great way to waste a few minutes of time in the office, but bringing the cake home doesn't do your waistline or your entertainment value any good. If you can play the demo for free on the Internet, there is no need to purchase the full game. It's just not worth the money and you don't miss much. Sorry Jill, the mania is over.

What's Hot: The ovens are hot, and the customers get hot when they wait for too long. Non-linear gameplay. Good casual game for waiting rooms, the office and airports.

What's Not: Same game as PC version of Cake Mania 2. Gameplay is repetitive with no depth. You cannot eat the cake.

2/5