The Great Chocolate Chase:
A Chocolatier Twist
Evangeline Baumeister, chocolate tycoon and owner of Baumeister Confections, wasn't satisfied running the world's largest chocolate empire. Perhaps the giant corporate world was too impersonal or the large factories couldn't provide enough unique treats to stay afloat. Whatever the reason, Evangeline teamed up with eclectic inventor Klaus Werner to take the chocolate business to the next level. In the past, when the Baumeisters needed help, they called on you to be their head Chocolatier. Now, as they open new specialty shops, they are relying on you to help them to succeed.
The third installment in the Chocolatier series, The Great Chocolate Chase: A Chocolatier Twist, has just been released. This one takes a new twist on chocolate-making — or is it an old twist? Rather than exploring the world in search of new ingredients, this version of Chocolatier will have you serving individual customers in gourmet shops, in a style similar to the now classic Cake Mania. Mix chocolates, fill them, shape them, add on delicious toppings or serve them up plain. Whatever you do, serve them quickly — Baumeister's patrons are a hungry, impatient bunch.
These gourmet chocolate shops are found in secret locations around the world — remote villages make the perfect testing grounds for Klaus Werner's wacky inventions. The mixes and presses are all run by steam engines, hissing and puffing. Werner even created a unique delivery system, using a small zeppelin, to deliver chocolates long distance. This clever steampunk theme adds a bit of whimsy to the already sweet Chocolatier series.
As Evangeline tests out the various machines, she will meet new customers, some of whom will challenge her (actually, you) to complete a variety of quests. Can you serve three customers in a row? Go an entire day without wasting chocolate? New gourmet ingredients — which can bring in more money — will be your reward, if you can pass their tests.
Earning more money allows you to upgrade the shop, like putting up new interior decorations like statues or art deco glass, learning customer service skills, or beefing up the steam generator. Upgrades are available for purchase at the beginning of each level (with the exception of the first couple levels.) Once Evangeline's shop is thriving and you've completed enough levels, she'll be whisked away to the next secret location, to try out new machines and ingredients. Along the way, the Baumeister story continues, and Evangeline may even run into some familiar faces and family members.
Analysis: I had mixed feelings about this version of Chocolatier. I never made a great server when I worked in an actual restaurant, and I seem to be no better at running virtual shops. However, the lure of new chocolates and funky steam-spitting machines kept me trying for hours to get to the next level or location. Since you are required to fill the customer's exact order, this version doesn't allow much experimentation with flavor combinations. However, many other elements remain the same, including the elegant graphics and props to the world's obscure geography.
Also, there were a few aspects from the old Chocolatier games that I didn't miss, such as running around and talking to the same people with the same stories in order to proceed. Instead of trying to talk your head off, most of the people in this game just demand chocolate and glare when you can't get them quickly enough. It's surprising how much individual personality the customers can have without speaking.
Fans of the Chocolatier series, steampunk aficionados, and Cake-Mania-style game addicts will likely enjoy the Great Chocolate Chase. And, well, who doesn't like chocolate and steampunk?