Papa isn't done conquering the restaurant industry. He did the pizza thing, nailed the custom-made burgers,and captured the hearts of taco lovers everywhere. Given all these savory foods Papa's been serving up, it only makes sense that he would decide to explore the world of sweets in Flipline Studio's newest time management release for the Papa's series, Papa's Freezeria. In this game, you'll be serving sugary delights in the form of 'Freezer' sundaes to ever picky customers. It seems like it should be a breeze working for Papa at his new shop. After all, it's located on the tropical Calypso Island with a population of only twelve potential customers... oh, and I suppose that mob exiting the large cruise ship over there may decide to stop by too. You'll be fine, don't worry.
Using only your mouse, you control the actions of either Alberto or Penny, whom you choose at the beginning of the game. You jot down your customers' wishes at the Order Station, fill their selected cup size at the Build Station, blend it all together at the Mix Station and finish it off at the Top Station. When you're done with their order, you wait with bated breath to see what score you've achieved. A higher score grants you better tips from that customer for both that particular day and in all future visits.
While the Order Station is as it always has been, the Build Station is where Flipline has added a new twist. Instead of simply clicking the essential ingredients to make your sundae, each part of it (the ice cream, mix-in and syrup) requires you to hit a timed 'Pour' button. An indicator runs back and forth across a meter and you have one chance to get it to stop in the green section. Doing so earns you extra tips and guarantees a higher percentage for that area, otherwise, you just get a lower score. The faster you can stop the indicator in the green the better the reward, but if this makes you feel nervous, just wait after a few cycles back and forth for it to slow. The Mix Station functions much like the previous games' Grill Stations, involving keeping track of how long the sundae is left in the blender, and the Top Station takes from Papa's Taco Mia, having you wiggle your mouse back and forth to pour the desired toppings. The Doorbell and Alarms are back to help keep watch over the different stations and new to this game are the Blender Boosters which allow you to speed up the time spent at the Mix Station (be careful not to boost into the red or else risk breaking the blender for the day) and the Auto Ice Cream, which expertly handles the first timed pour, giving you the best tip.
Having to be pretty strict with how the food is made, Flipline Studios has added a more 'creative' feature in Papa's Freezeria. All the funky posters and add-ons you're used to purchasing to upgrade your shop and help your score are now configured within the shop at your own discretion! That's right. If you want to sell your wall to the highest bidder, cover it with ads for Kahuna's Surf Shack and the cruise ship S.S. Louis. Want floor-to-ceiling windows and a floor covered in pinball machines? Sure, why not? If Papa's not happy with it, he shouldn't have left you to your own devices.
Analysis: Being a big fan of time management games in general and the Papa's series specifically, I was beyond excited to see this new entry. As always, the cartoon graphics lend a lovable quality to the characters (my favorite being Captain Cory, the gruff, female, tattooed sailor), and no matter how demanding a customer may be, I still find myself liking them.
I think the new features in Freezeria work well in enticing you to try it out while the gameplay keeps you hooked. Though I felt it started out too slowly, and I found myself being bored during the first game week, it soon picked up and became a more comfortable challenge where I was able to develop a rhythm to keep my scores high. While all the decorative upgrades are a plus, the ones for behind the counter are a must! Just in time to help you beat the heat of summer, sit back, grab a cold one (sundae, that is) and spend a few hours running Papa's Freezeria.