Developers will always have a hard time trying to produce sequels to games that were initially a big hit, but if there's call for a follow-up, a follow-up is what shall be produced. For anyone that has played the original Chocolatier game, they will know that it was a pleasant blend of light strategy and mini-game skill which, like the blending of many of the ingredients in the game to make new chocolate-based products, resulted in a smooth and sweet outcome (in all manners of the word).
Can the same be said about the game's sequel, Chocolatier 2: Secret Ingredients, however? The original's blend of turn-based, strategy-centric gameplay, mini-game segments in the chocolate factories, and the travelling to many cities during the Victorian era to enjoying contemporary surroundings and visit markets for ingredients was extremely attractive to prospective gamers, and it can be said with much delight that the follow-up maintains a very similar approach while injecting a creamy filling of new content and flare. This time we appear in the industrial age, the "booming" 20s to be exact, and there is much work to be done to re-gain the glory of the original chocolate empire.
Release Date: 07/01/2008
Available on: Windows Vista Games, Windows 7 Games, Windows Games, PC Games, Downloadable PC Games
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In the imaginary time period between the original and this sequel – 40 years to be precise, Baumeister confections, your original chocolate empire, has all but fallen into disarray. It is of course your job to expand the business once again, and to do so you must undertake a great number of tasks, some familiar, and some introduced as new features for this game. The usual procedure of travelling to various cities, purchasing factories, visiting the local markets for ingredients, and engaging in shooter-style mini-games in order to have a hand in the production/manufacturing process persists, only this time there is even more to see when you travel to each of the twenty different cities around the world.
The game is first and foremost one of management: managing your different factories around the world and making sure they produce the best end products from recipes that you yourself have fine-tuned to perfect; managing the manufacturing process itself by performing well in the shooter-based mini-games so that production continues at a rate that is beneficial to your empire; the managing of the information you gain from meeting people around the world is also essential, as is dedicating time to searching for the ‘secret ingredients’ that form part of the game’s very title. All is familiar here in terms of the strategy required in building up your empire.
Welcome unfamiliarity also pops up its head in the form of a few improvements to the game. The most obvious is the introduction of the tasting laboratory, which must be purchased and acts as a testing ground in which you can try out different combinations and have them judged by an experienced taster. Refining your recipes in the tasting laboratory is an essential task and ensures the success of your various recipes and the products that arise from their development. The mini-games have also been changed a little in terms of the interface: no more dizzying wheels spinning to infinity – they now move in a more pleasant but equally challenging manner.
One of the greatest features of the game is also one of the more subtle inclusions: the changing of your environment as time passes. In fact, you will notice that historical landmarks such as the Golden Gate bridge and the Empire State Building aren’t present in their respective cities as you visit them during the 1920s, but the environment of each city changes each time you return, with landmarks popping up in accordance with their rightful place in history. This is a fantastic touch that goes a long way to making the game historically accurate and also enjoyable in the long run.
In conclusion, Chocolatier 2: Secret Ingredients has definitely surpassed the original in terms of content, longevity, and innovation; developers Big Splash Games also made sure to keep the general format of the original since it was so successful. Players couldn’t ask for more in a sequel, and it can only get better in the form of the third title in the series, Chocolatier 3: Decadence By Design.
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Chocolatier 2 Secret Ingredients is developed by Playfirst Games.