Ice Cream Dee Lites is a resource management game that separates itself from similar titles in the genre with catchy art work and gobs of personality. At its heart the game is composed of the same food serving skeleton casual players are quite familiar with. The music, sound effects, setting and artwork display a classic 1950s motif, and the customers are so filled with charm you can't help but love the game.
It's the hottest summer in years, and Dee is just itching to work in her grandmother's ice cream parlor. Before she can start the job, however, Dee must prove she can sling cones with the best of them. Starting with a small ice cream truck, Dee begins her own business and serves countless customers one by one.
Dee needs to deliver exactly what each customers wants as quickly as possible. Each person who enters has a row of ice cream cones to his or her left that shows how long they are willing to wait. After giving them a menu, wait for each customer to make a selection, then scoot over to the ice cream machine (or yogurt/milkshake dispenser) and choose the right cone and the flavor of ice cream. Add toppings if applicable, then deliver the treat and collect your cash. Easy!
After each day ends your earnings can be spent on upgrading existing fixtures or buying new installations. A yogurt machine serves up a less profitable treat than ice cream, but it dispenses more than twice as fast. Milkshakes, new toppings, different flavors of ice creams and more let you increase profits while adding to your repertoire of frozen treats. What you buy is entirely up to you, so choose wisely to make the game progress as smoothly as possible.
Analysis: A resource management game at heart, what really won me over about Ice Cream Dee Lites was its 50s-style presentation and collection of zany customer characters that come into the store. Grumpy emo kids? Love bird couples? Giant robots? Check, check, and check. Each person is introduced with a short summary of likes and dislikes that creates a basic personality. There are 16 unique customers you'll meet, each with a different ice cream preference and patience level, and when you see them march into the store you know exactly what to expect.
I was initially turned off by the flat, lifeless appearance of the main part of the game. Everything looked lively and cartoonish until you step into the shop, then things suddenly feel stiff and a little rough around the edges, almost as if you went back a few years in computing technology. It didn't take long before I forgot about any shortcomings in the animation and jumped into ice cream making.
A surprisingly charming resource management game that scores huge points for its classic design. The artwork, music and wacky characters alone make it worth playing.