Cake Mania: Lights, Camera, Action!
Three games in one
Repetitive at times
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I have a confession to make. I enjoy time management games, but I've never been a big fan of the Cake Mania series. Yeah I know, after Diner Dash, Cake Mania is one of the original time management games, but it just doesn't have the appeal to me that it does to other people. I found the first Cake Mania to be slow and repetitive, and while Cake Mania 2 had some improvements, it also had many of the same flaws as its predecessor. As such, I never bought the third game and when my computer was wiped and I lost my copies of the first two games, I felt no desire to ask Sandlot Games for new downloads, though I still intend to do so eventually.
However, when I tried the demo of Cake Mania: Lights, Camera, Action, I was floored. Not only did I actually enjoy the game, but I immediately bought the full version. This game is fun, entertaining, and humorous.
In this game, a movie is being filmed in Jill's hometown, which of course means plenty of customers for her bakery. In addition, Jill is pregnant, so her life is full fo chaos. Probably one of the things that got me interested in this game in the first place is the idea of a pregnant protagonist.
The first part of this game plays like a typical Cake Mania game - you control Jill (and later her husband Jack) and send her around the bakery to bake cakes, frost them, decorate them, and give them to customers. However, after a few levels you'll unlock two more locations: a clothing store and a pizzeria, each of which hosts their own game. Yes, this game is actually three games in one, and they're all different. At the clothing store, you fulfill customers' orders by searching for certain items of clothing out of an ever-increasing selection; at the pizzeria, you prepare customers' orders by selecting different ingredients. Jill and Jack even occasionally visit the other locations. You can switch between the three locations whenever you want, meaning you won't get bored.
The game's customers are an incredibly quirky bunch. You have staples like the impatient child, but you also have more unique types. How unique, you ask? Well, there are actresses who make everyone else so star-struck that they change their orders to match hers, Yetis who can freeze other customers, and superwomen who can turn other customers into mimes. The way certain customer types affect the other customers also adds a level of challenge to the gameplay.
Overall, this is an amazingly fun game. It's a huge improvement over the original games and even those who aren't fans of the series should check it out. And if you are a fan of the series, this game shouldn't be a disappointment.
Rating: 4 and a half out of 5 stars.