Delicious: Emily's New Beginning
Hey, everyone, Emily is back! What do you mean, Emily who? Only the owner of a beloved restaurant, a former cooking TV show star and a local superhero, always there when her hometown of Snuggford needs her. Of course, I'm talking about the Delicious time-management series by Zylom Game Studio, and its newest member, Delicious: Emily's New Beginning. In the recent past, Emily got married and went on a honeymoon cruise, and now she has given birth to a lovely baby girl. The problem is that Emily can't imagine her life without her cozy little restaurant, so she decides to reopen it and take care of her daughter Paige at the same time. Ever wondered what it would be like to juggle a baby and a bunch of full plates, while impatient customers tap their fingers on the tables? If so, step right this way, please, and try not to trip over the toys scattered all over the floor.
In order to finish a level, Emily must rack up enough points for at least one out of three stars, though you can always try for all three, because one star is for people whose idea of a gourmet meal is dipping fries into tartar sauce instead of mayo. Emily will run around baking pies, scooping ice cream and smearing cream cheese on bagels, and you can make her job easier by serving several guests at once, which gives you a nice bonus. This time around, the customers are divided into types, differing in patience, tipping habits and how much they like Paige. Each day, you get to choose the menu, depending on which types of customers are expected to visit the restaurant. There's something really neat about being in charge of the menu for the first time in the series, and having twice the number of items to play with certainly can't hurt. Emily brings her daughter to the restaurant all the time, and little Paige loves crawling around and being the centre of attention. Some guests are happy to see her, but others seem to think a baby in a restaurant is as welcome as a fly in their soup, so you'll have to watch her closely.
The Delicious series owes a lot of its success to its ever interesting storylines which add a special flavour to the time management gameplay. Emily's New Beginning is no different, offering an intimate glimpse into the lives of a small town restaurant owner and her family. Cutscenes before and after each level, as well as special tasks that pop up every once in a while, tell an endearing tale of a young mother struggling to keep that delicate balance between work and spending time with her loved ones. But even though it deals with a relatively serious topic, the game is full of funny, wacky and heartwarming moments, many of which you can collect and view in a scrapbook. It's difficult to find fault with a game which has it all, down to the cute graphics and lovely music, but it could be said that Emily's New Beginning doesn't offer much of a challenge. Once you get a hang of dealing with Paige, getting all three stars is usually a breeze in normal mode. This also means that the game will seem pretty short, though its fifty levels should offer at least a few hours of first-rate fun. The thing about this game (which goes for most of the series as well) is that it's absolutely a full package, made with such care and talent that you almost owe it to yourself to try it, even if you aren't a fan of the genre. Don't be surprised if you find yourself falling in love with it – Emily is quite a charmer.
Note: Currently, only the Collector's Edition is available. It contains bonus levels and other material. Remember that Big Fish Game Club Members pay only $13.99 for Collector's Editions (or 2 club credits), and collector's editions count 3 card punches of 6 total needed for a free game.