Cake Mania: Main Street


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Rating: 4.4/5 (31 votes)
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Cake Mania: Main Street

JohnBThe Cake Mania series is one of the most widely-recognized names in casual gaming. Three main installments have hit PC and Mac platforms over the last few years, and you can even find Cake Mania on mobile phones! Now, with the release of Cake Mania: Main Street, the series veers into a slightly new direction, providing more varied gameplay and a host of new and interesting challenges. It's not just cake anymore, as now you'll be slinging sushi and building burgers in order to raise money to revive Jill's home town!

cakemaniamainstreet2.jpgAfter traveling through time to bake cakes for dinosaurs, ancient Egyptians, and Merlin in Cake Mania 3, Jill has returned to her home town of Bakersfield. Main Street isn't what it used to be, however, as little more than crickets inhabit the buildings that once were bustling shops. The new mega mall is to blame, and Jill wants to fight back the only way she knows how: by baking cakes.

This time around, plopping red icing on heart-shaped desserts is only a small part of the experience. In a unique twist from the norm, you find yourself managing not one shop but four, collecting profits to help buy improvements and attractions for Bakersfield's Main Street. Jill's pals are along for the ride, including her husband Jack who runs the Burger Barn, Risha who manages a flower boutique, and Tiny in charge of Sumo Sushi.

Starting with Jill's bakery, you'll engage in the same sort of activities previous Cake Mania games dealt with. Customers come in, order a cake shape with colored icing and maybe a few extras, then you get to work, building their order as quickly as you can. Gameplay starts a little slow, but after a few levels you earn enough cash to buy a few upgrades to make things run faster and make more money.

You could also use that cash to open another shop, the first of which is Burger Barn. Creating burgers is a much different affair than cakes. The entire layout is mouse-driven as you click and drop ingredients onto trays right before the customers' eyes. After you earn cash you can unlock new and more complex recipes, many of which you couldn't pay me to try at home. Once the money piles up, you'll be able to buy and open both the flower and sushi shops, each featuring remixes on the bakery and burger joint's gameplay, respectively.

Every shop has a hefty set of levels to complete, each getting progressively more difficult. Once unlocked, you can jump back and forth between stores as you please, spending money on upgrades from a collective cash pool, or buying attractions to help spruce up the main part of town.

cakemaniamainstreet.jpgAnalysis: I was thrilled to see Cake Mania pull itself out of the cake business and branch out into other goods and styles of preparation. The original gameplay is still charmingly alluring, but being able to hop back and forth between sushi shop, flower boutique and burger joint does wonders for longevity. Plus, it's like you get four games rolled into one, which, hey, who wouldn't like that?

The variety of customers you'll deal with has always been a high point in the Cake Mania series, and this installment is no different. Character crossovers were great. Seeing people from cutscenes appear in your store adds a new dimension to the game, and watching vampires, cupids and aliens interact with each other and the stores adds a quirky layer of fun. I was also surprised to see Jill herself visiting me when I was slinging burgers!

Even though you run four separate businesses, the latter two are just remixes of the former, which was a bit of a disappointment. There are gameplay shifts, of course, but I was more disheartened by having to start over with the slower, less complex levels in a new building when I was ready for more of a challenge. Being able to play any store at any time was a big help, but more variety would have been — ahem — icing on the cake.

It's the most unique Cake Mania title to date in terms of gameplay, with over 100 levels, four shops to manage, and a nice, campy sense of humor. Cake Mania: Main Street builds on the series' foundations well, and while it may not be a radical departure from the norm, there's plenty to enjoy in this game.

WindowsWindows:
Download the demo
Get the full version

Mac OS XMac OS X:
Not available.
Try Boot Camp or Parallels or CrossOver Games.

31 Comments

We're giving away free full versions of Cake Mania Main Street all weekend! Just download the demo using the links above, give it a play and tell us what you like about it here in the comments. Easy!

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I was a bit undecided about downloading it when I saw it on Big Fish, but the new shops seemed interesting, and I'm happy I gave it a try! Even with new settings, only making cakes grew a bit boring after a while, no matter how much effort I had to make to beat a level. Now, with these new choices, the gameplay is much more diverse and fun, and the game has become more challenging! Major thumbs up!

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Just a quick note to point out that this is Cake Mania Main Street, actually the 4th game in the Cake Mania series, and a game that is not yet available from Big Fish.

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Great game! I was so disappointed when 60 mins were up. It's really engrossing, just like playing four time management games at once. I've only played Cake Mania 1 before, and not much has changed since as far as gameplay is concerned, but adding three more shops has really made a difference. I didn't have the time to play the sushi shop, but the burger shop is very good when you want a break from baking cakes. The cutscenes are very cute, and the characters are as quirky as ever. Really worth playing!

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*laughs* My mistake, sorry! I have so many gaming RSS feeds, I sometimes forget which one I got a game from.

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No worries, Carol! I just want to be sure we're all playing the same game. :)

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armouredtrunks Author Profile Page September 5, 2009 4:40 PM

Wow another Cake Mania!! I absolutely loved this one!! Regular cake mania has been getting a bit monotonous so the new additions are extremely welcome! The burger section could take a few tips from burger island, which is a personal favorite of mine, but all-in-all provides good relief from cake making. I didn't get time to try any of the other sections out though so i hope those are just as good! Overall is just a very well polished version of a classic!

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I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised with the new Cake Mania. Loved the first one, but the next two were a bit...of the same. Loved the new challenges with the new shops, just what the series needed to give it a big boost. Lots of great fun to be had!

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dopeycakes Author Profile Page September 6, 2009 2:25 AM

I am seriously addicted to Cake Mania so I had to try Main Street. I loved the new burger shop! It was great to make something new in a different way but that made the flower shop a little disappointing because it is in the same style as the cake making. I loved working all over town. The characters are still funny especially the new "stoner." This game did not disappoint - I am still an addict!

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mindsquatter Author Profile Page September 6, 2009 1:30 PM

Fab game, I love the Cake Mania series (and am generally a time management devotee!) The different shops have developed the game nicely, but still continued the storyline from previous games. Didn't get as far as sushi and flowers yet, but I think a new gameplay shift for all shops would have been better.
Just one question - is it possible to specify you are using a trackball as opposed to a regular mouse? Part of the reason I haven't gotten very far is I'm using a mouse, as my trackball doesn't quite have the speed and accuracy I like! I know some time management games let you specify to compensate for this.
Overall - fab game, as ever!

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dancingyel Author Profile Page September 6, 2009 4:18 PM

What a fun game! I only got into the Cake Mania series with Cake Mania 3, so this feels like a really good mix of familiar and novel gameplay, at least with the cake and burger shops. Didn't get as far as sushi or flowers, either (I'm clearly not very good at this, heh), but those seem promising. Overall, a nicely made and rather entertaining game!

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The little girls in furry outfits freak me out though... O_o

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Oh, the little cat girls are cute! Especially when they mew. :)

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I was not happy with Cake Mania 3. It just did not interest me as much as the first two. So I downloaded the demo of Cake Mania Main Street with some reserve. But, I absolutely loved it and can't wait for more. My only complaint after 60 min of play is that the story parts are a little corny and sometimes long when I was ready to play. But, I guess that adds to the fun. The graphics are great, I enjoyed being able to try out the Burger Shop and I am thankful they went back to Main Street!

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I only really liked the first Cake Mania because it got pretty repetitious in the 2nd and 3rd one. But I love Cake Mania: Main Street because there are actually more things to do. Too bad the free trial is only 60 minutes.

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I'm an unfortunate user of a mousepad but I got through Cake Mania 3 just fine [if not with some struggling]. Cake Mania Main Street is what I consider the best out of all of them... especially the burger shop and the refreshing change of game play. Sometimes I wonder if they could just make a game off of his burgers... then I'd be content xD. I loved the concept but I'm not sure if it's just in the burger shop, everytime I use the TV the customers don't just go to five hearts. They only retrieve one. =] it's a bit of a struggle but I loved it all the same.

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This is a great game. I had so much fun and I really enjoy how in this version it allows us(Jill) to help friends re-open their shops and help make a variety of food instead of just cakes. I was really upset after my 60 minutes of trial was up.

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I love the Cake Mania series. They seem to get better with each episode. This was one of my favorites. It was exciting to see new characters and get to see some of the old ones. It's especially fun to have different shops to manage and upgrade. It makes the game much more fun and challenging. I love it and can't wait for more adventures with Jill and family.

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I have all but one cake mania games, I need back to the bakery,at 45 yrs old I just love this game, cake mania main street is a great game the hour went to fast lol I love playing it all the new twist is great,running 4 shops at a time is what is so good get bored with one shop go to another great game sandlot keep them coming,,,I for one can never get enough cm.

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Just completed the game, a great installment to the Cake Mania series.

Here's a list of tv-channels the different customers enjoy:

Catgirl - green
Business man - blue
Black lady - yellow
Superhero - red
Hippie - green
pirate - green
Hot dog guy - blue
Mobster guy - blue
Ninja - yellow
Jill - yellow
Jack - red
Cupid - green
Dracula - red
Old lady - green
Marquis - blue
Alien - blue, will lock tv channel to scifi when around.
French chef - red
Two kids in coat - green
Tiny (the sumo) - green

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it was really a fun game to play!

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christina October 12, 2009 7:09 PM

I have been trying for HOURS to get through the Flower shop, Day 15!!! I can't, for the life of me. I've completed all of the other levels, I just have this to get through. Any advice? It's the level that serves up mainly the double orange flowers in yellow tissue.

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I wish they could let us continue upgrading the shops even after we're finished with the game, and are replaying levels! I mean, yes, I know it would make the game way too easy or something, but I just feel like I missed out on something when I've got so many machines in the flower and cake shop that I didn't manage to upgrade all the way lol. (I didn't even buy the very first cookie machine for some of the shops, because I was trying to save up for other stuff lol).

Many thanks to JIG for the game :D I really had great fun!

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I am finding the vampires changing everyone's minds all the time really frustrating, and then the people keep getting more and more angry as if it's your fault their original cake was finished then they changed their mind!! Stupid vampires. Anyone have any tips? Because this is really frustrating me.

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yes.. i don't like the characters that make people change their minds.. freezing people isn't *that* bad in comparison, coz at least i can leave the stuff somewhere until they get 'thawed' lol...

as for vampires... i guess we could say they make the game a 'challenge'... though sometimes it borders on irritating/frustrating for me :P (especially if you hafta keep repeating a level lol)...

the only 'tip' i have is to try to serve the vampire first to get rid of him, though sometimes it's quite impossible to work fast enough... alternatively, if you see a vampire about to work his magic (i think the speech bubble flashes blue/white?), then maybe try working on someone nearer the end of the line, coz i *think* the effect usually affects the first person in line (if the vampire is standing 2nd in line, that is. i'm not too sure about this though, coz i was usually too busy tending to the machines to make careful observations LOL)... but yea, try to tend to the vampire first. ^^

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Cakemaniac October 27, 2009 2:51 PM

The tips I can give are to just buy ONE machine and upgrade it completely instead of trying to upgrade more than one. You'll be happy with one upgraded oven, froster/wrapper, decorator, etc. In the cake and flower shop, I found it helpful to upgrade my cake/flower stand to at least the two cake/flower refrigerator before most everything else and to then fill it with high end cakes/flowers - especially if you have a decorator and/or ribbon to add. You'll earn money faster and be able to buy more upgrades :)

As for the vampires (and the chefs!), yes, they're a PITA. They'll change everyone in line, not just the people after them. Try to serve them first or at least ASAP, or wait til he changes everyone and go from there.

Your TV will give people more hearts if you upgrade it. I've had less luck with the cupcakes giving people hearts, though it does stop them from walking out the door.

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I can't beat level 15 of the flower shop, can anyone help?

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Anonymous January 11, 2010 9:32 PM

Level 15 in the flower shop is easy if you do this:
Position your two wrapping machines as close to the flower machines as possible. You will need all 3 flower machines. Use just one for the hippies - they take unwrapped flowers.
When playing the level, make sure to pick up the money from the counter as every 4th (approximately) customer is the French guy who gives you the speed bonus. If you keep picking the money up, you get an almost nonstop speed bonus throughout the level.
Hope this helps.

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Anonymous January 13, 2010 1:59 PM

Thank you so much for the Day 15 tip!

I've been trying to get the super score for a long time now, and got it on the first try with your suggestion. :) Who knew you could move the flower wrapper so close! Love it. Thanks!

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how do you get the tv to work in this game?

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alexisdigerolamo Author Profile Page July 31, 2013 2:45 PM

Ok I seriously cannot get a superstar goal on day 24 in the sushi shop. help?!

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