Version Reviewed: 1.0.3
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4
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I'll admit it now: Bakery Story is not a game for me. I don't mean that I hate it; it's perfectly respectable for what it is. However it's a game that's aimed at an entirely different market than myself - it's for the casual and social gamer. You know the ones, the ones who adore Farmville on Facebook and Team Lava's previous iOS titles such as Farm Story and Restaurant Story.
Your sole aim here is to build up the best bakery possible. There's no real end game here. All you do is level up via attracting more customers and baking new goods. You start the game with a select few recipes unlocked with new ones unfolding as the game progresses. Each recipe is baked in real time making for an extended game experience. For example, brownies only take one minute to bake but a chocolate tart takes a full 24hrs to complete. To attract customers, you need a steady supply of baked goods to lure them in so it's all a matter of balance. This is made even more important by the fact that once an item is finished, you have to put it on display for the customers to pick out. If it's left too long on the hob, it goes off and becomes unusable. You can also decorate your store with various wallpaper and floor tiles as well as different furniture.
That's about as complicated as Bakery Story gets, however. You're also encouraged to visit other players and their bakeries where you're able to leave tips and explore their store. At the time of writing, this was difficult to explore simply because the game has only just come out and not many players have jumped on board just yet. Looking at previous Story games however, there'll no doubt be a booming community in time. The wall features in which you can leave messages and exchange tips will no doubt prove very useful. Bakery Story also allows you to connect with Facebook for other added bonuses.
How much fun you'll have with Bakery Story entirely depends on how you felt about the previous Story games. It's an extremely laid back game where not a huge amount happens. While it's satisfying to watch your store get busier, the true satisfaction is through socialising with other players. In which case you'd be wise to recruit a few friends to the cause while you're at it. It's also worth noting that this is online only so be sure that you have a net connection available. For those after more thrills, though, you might want to try something more fast paced.