Suburban Timewaster

I play video games and review them.

Archive for the tag “delicious”

Mary Le Chef: Cooking Passion (Gamehouse)

Mary Vanderworth dreams of being a chef while her parents want her to become a lawyer, like them.  Therefore, she has to maintain her job at the restaurant while working at a law firm to pass the bar.

The storyline is similar to the first venue of Cathy’s Crafts, except this one takes up the entire game.  Mary moves from restaurant to restaurant mastering her chosen profession while meeting other people along the way.  One in particular is a man that wants to be a comedian despite his father’s wish that he take over the family business.  I loved the parallels with Mary’s own conflict and that, in both cases, it takes awhile for the parents to realize that they need to set their children free.  The difference is that he can stand up to his father while Mary is still trying to make her parents happy.

However, I didn’t like one plot element.  This element takes the form of Mary’s boyfriend, Peter.  Not only is his addition pointless to the story, but he shows excessively jealous tendencies towards Mary.  He also shows himself to be indecisive and fickle by breaking up with Mary only to go back to the ex-girlfriend he despised.  While Peter is right that Mary is destroying herself by becoming a lawyer rather than a chef, we didn’t need him to point that out for us.

The game play is similar to the Delicious series with you delivering the required items to the customers.  Then you check them out at the cash register and clean the tables for sitting customers.

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Be quick about it, or customers will leave if they don’t get the table they want the minute they walk in the restaurant.  Believe me when I say it gets frustrating.  You need to reach the first star of every level in order to continue the game, but try for all three if you feel lucky.

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Each level comes with a special challenge you have to complete in order to get diamonds you can spend on gifts for Mary’s room.  You can also win trophies throughout the game by complete special tasks.  Did I mention that you can upgrade the products throughout each venue? However, I should tell you, the game doesn’t really give you an exact idea of how close you are to the newer products and the trophies.  This makes it even more irritating.  Completing venues also unlocks recipes for your cookbook.  Emily’s nemesis, Carl the mouse, also appears in every level for you to catch. That’s right; Emily makes a cameo appearance to explain about the mouse that drove exterminators crazy.

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This time, Carl doesn’t appear in the exact location every time.  Therefore, you had better be quick.

This game is fun, but has a couple of flaws.  I give it 6 out of 10, one point off for the boyfriend and another for the game play issues.

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Heart’s Medicine: Time to Heal (Gamehouse)

When the head surgeon won’t take Allison Heart as an intern, she has to make do in other specialties.  Meanwhile, Allison’s ex-boyfriend, Daniel, becomes the new head of the hospital and Connor, another old flame, dates another intern.  Can Allison succeed in her career while also having to juggle her personal life?

This is it, the long awaited season 2 of Heart’s Medicine.  Your favorite characters are back and new characters join in the fun.  Even Emily makes a cameo in her own special levels, but I’ll discuss that later.  In the last game, each venue had a side plot to go with each doctor’s specialization.  This game starts out similarly until you get to the Emergency Room.  Then you have one issue you have to solve for the rest of the game.  Not only is it heartbreaking, but we also learn more about Allison’s past which I won’t give away.  This case will follow Allison all the way to surgery, where she’ll meet a doctor who cares more about efficiency than he does about his patients.  This conflicts with how Allison develops emotional attachment to her patients.  As for which I think is better, this situation reminds me of the movie Patch Adams.  For those of you who haven’t seen the movie, it’s about a doctor who believes that you can heal patients through emotional connections.  According to the Nostalgia Critic, the movie undermines its own moral through the side-plot with Patch Adam’s love interest, Carin.  She starts out cold and distant until Patch persuades her to start trusting people.  This leads her to go to the house of a medical patient with severe mental issues who ends up killing her.  The Nostalgia Critic uses this scene to undermine Patch’s sarcastic argument asking about what would happen if the doctor developed emotional attachment to their patients, would they explode?  Then points out that, when you get emotionally involved, you make bad decisions that could be potentially lethal.  However, Dr. Quinn (the head of surgery) makes decisions based on what would save the hospital money and doesn’t really put his full-effort into helping his patients.  In fact, like the medical staff in Dr. Strange, I suspect that he would be more likely to cut off an organ donor.  It’s the very reason why my mother refuses to have her organs donated and encouraged me to do the same.

As I said in the first paragraph, the love triangle from Season 1 returns.  In the first game, Allison had to choose between the sweet and stable Daniel and the jerk with a heart of gold Connor.  Here, the two have switched roles with Daniel becoming more reckless and Connor turning into the stable one.  What I’m about to say comes with spoilers, so feel free to skip this paragraph.  The stress of becoming the new head of the hospital gets to Daniel as he turns into a pill-popping maniac, stealing medicine from his own hospital.  Despite the seriousness of the situation, I’m very happy about this development.  Usually, when people want to have a drug addict in their stories and still want to keep the rating PG-13, the go to drug is marijuana.  Amateur writers treat these users as if they’ve just been discovered using heroin, one prominent example being a cartoon drug PSA movie I watched in Middle School that the Nostalgia Critic tore apart in a review.  In this game, they use an actually addictive drug, Ritalin that often has the street name of kiddie coke, to demonstrate Daniel’s addiction.  Connor becomes the voice of reason Allison depends on to help her through a tough emotional time.  Many people are unaware of this, but there is a label known as the Madonna Whore complex saying that a woman can either be an innocent and virginal wife or an evil and manipulate whore.  There is no middle ground.  While the gender reverse can happen in fiction, people usually give the bad boy of the love triangle more sympathy than they would give a bad girl.  In this story, neither one of them are the good boy or the bad boy.  Daniel and Connor are just people with strengths and flaws who can’t be so easily labeled as to which one is good or bad.  The woman version of this makes an appearance in the game with Connor briefly dating the new intern, Jenny.  While Allison does show jealousy, Jenny is not evil.  She’s just the new intern who happens to be dating Connor and breaks up with him because they’re incompatible.

The game play in this story is similar to Season 1 with a few notable differences.  For instance, you can now play special challenge levels and, once a venue, you can play as Emily in the hospital cafeteria.

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These levels are my favorite because it’s such a unique take on the Heart’s Medicine game with the addition of a familiar character that is, in a way, responsible for Allison’s existence.  Had it not been for the success of Emily’s series, Delicious, the same people would have never made Heart’s Medicine.  Another difference in this version is that the game will occasionally show cut scenes set to music that sets the mood of the situation.

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Other than that, the game play is not so different from Season 1.  You click on patients and take them to the treatment center that they request.  Then heal them and check them out.

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Some patients will require you to play a mini-game, which can get rather difficult, believe me.

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When they get their full health back, you can check them out at the front desk.  You need to get at least one star to advance to the next level but try to get all three, if you feel lucky.  You can find Oliver the guinea pig and complete a challenge in each main story level.  Every challenge you complete gives you more diamonds, which you can use to buy items for the new hospital wing.  You can also collect trophies throughout the game and view character profiles.  One thing I didn’t like about the profiles was that the game classifies Dr. Quinn as slightly autistic.  As someone with autism, I found that classifying one of the game’s sociopathic characters as such is a little insulting.  When I played the game, I assumed that, because many patients die in Dr. Quinn’s profession, he just stopped caring.  To say that he’s slightly autistic feels like putting a label on him the same way a girl I knew used to put a label on me.  She would go so far as to see a rude character on TV and loudly declare them autistic.  Last but not least, be sure to check out the ending credits for a little Easter egg that’s almost guaranteed to make you laugh.

This game is heartfelt and challenging.  I give it 7 out of 10; it loses a point for the issue I touched upon earlier.

Delicious: Emily’s Miracle of Life (Gamehouse)

Emily’s gone through serious changes.  Not only is she the star of her own cooking blog, but she’s also pregnant with a new little brother or sister for Paige.  Can she find a way to manage her blog and her pregnancy?

With a summary like that, you’d think the game would be more about Emily’s blog.  Unfortunately, it’s all about the pregnancy.  How Emily has so much to do with her restaurant, preparing for the baby and keeping house.  Apparently, Patrick fails at this due to one comment about how he fails at doing laundry in a washing machine.  People, it’s the 2010s; these jokes about how men can’t keep house and how women have to do everything are seriously outdated.  I should warn you that I’m about to discuss spoilers, so proceed with caution.  Patrick does give up his man cave to make a baby room and sell his motorcycle to buy an expensive crib.  Let me explain that, in one venue, Emily works at a baby store making cupcakes and coffee.  This same baby store has two expensive cribs that no one’s buying.  To me, it makes sense because you don’t really need to spend a ton of money on a crib.  Babies don’t care where they sleep as long as it’s sturdy.  My mom told me that I slept in a second hand crib and I didn’t throw a fit over it.  Well, Emily wants them for her baby whom she thinks is going to be a girl.  The owners can’t get rid of the cribs, so they have a contest to give one of the cribs as a prize to lucky number 500.  Francois and Angela win, so they end up giving the crib for a baby girl to Emily at the baby shower.  Then the baby turns out to be a boy so, as I said earlier, Patrick buys the crib as a gift.  Actually, Emily’s having twins and the monitor couldn’t detect them.  Allison claims that this can happen, although it’s rare.  If you ask me, this is just a contrivance in order to shock the player.  They go so far as to drag this out by putting Emily in the hospital due to false labor pains and the doctors won’t discharge her because Allison’s busy in the Emergency Room.  Therefore, Emily has to deal with Dr. Bozo, a man that tries to make her laugh whether she likes it or not.  Emily’s having a stressful time and doesn’t want to deal with any of this, but everyone else just tells her to give Dr. Bozo a chance.

There are some good points in the storyline, such as a daycare teacher not knowing how to handle kids.  You also have a laugh out loud moment when, after Emily agonizes about what to do for her Mother’s Day special, she accidentally gives birth live on her blog.  Thankfully, her viewers love it but that might be a bit of wish fulfillment.  I don’t know about you but, if I saw someone giving birth on their video blog, I’d have the same reaction Chandler and Monica had when the former popped in a video tape about a woman giving birth mistaking it for porn.  Another good point is that Emily’s grandpa Vito is in this game and dealing with his own terminal illness.  He dies in the end in a scene that choked me up.

I’ll admit there’s one part of the game that I feel neutral about at best.  In one venue, Emily visits a yoga studio and talks with the owner who’s expecting her own baby.  Apparently, she didn’t give her husband a say and he leaves her.  I think she was a little pushy, but it still doesn’t justify her husband abandoning her and the baby.  Don’t worry; she meets another love interest from her past in another contrived coincidence.

The game play is typical of Delicious with you delivering items to customers either at the table or at the register.  Then you check them out and, in the case of seated customers, you clean the table after they leave.  I’ll admit that, considering the summary mentioned Emily having a blog, I thought the level would be more of a computer type setup similar to Fabulous Angela’s Sweet Revenge.  Instead, you have the traditional map setup and you navigate through it like any other game with special challenge levels for more diamonds.  You can also play the daily challenge to earn more diamonds and you spend them on baby supplies.  You have to spend diamonds to purchase all three variations of the same product, which seems like a waste to me.

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You don’t always play as Emily throughout the game due to all of the venues being different.  However, you do get to play as Angela in the last venue where she prepares food.  Sometimes I think the game forgets that Angela is a seamstress.  You could’ve had this be Mary’s level from Mary Le Chef and hire her for catering.  Angela could prepare baby clothes as Emily prepared cupcakes at the baby store.  Each venue also comes with mini games that you can successfully complete for more points.

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You can also catch the mouse in each level and earn diamonds in some levels for story events.  Like the previous games, you can win up to three stars and, in this game, you can win up to three diamonds in the challenge levels.  The daily levels reset every 24 hours and you can earn up to six diamonds from those.  You can also win postcards if you meet certain conditions that you can customize and share on Facebook.

This game is contrived and mediocre at best.  I give it 5 out of 10, not awful, just disappointing.

Delicious: Emily’s Message in a Bottle (Gamehouse)

When Emily was three, her grandfather went on a voyage at sea never to return.  Now, he’s back and he’s lost his memory.  Can a family reunion be enough to restore the memories of Emily’s grandfather?

Yes, it’s the old amnesia cliché favored by soap opera writers.  Let me tell you, that’s not the only cliché in this game.  Another common theme is about getting what you want rather than appreciating what you have.  In this game, you get to go to Italy and meet Edward’s brothers.  I should tell you that, in the beginning of the game, Emily’s grandfather gives each of his sons a silver dollar to start making their fortune.  Edward’s bitter because he never started a restaurant empire with his dollar, even though Evelyn reminds him that he has a loving family and is a great provider.  I do like that, when Edward tells Evelyn that anyone can do those things, she told him the truth that they can’t.  Since I know people who fail as family providers, she couldn’t be more right.

As for Edward’s brothers, one opened a seafood shop yet has trouble getting good catches.  Another runs his own farm and socializes better with animals than humans.  The final one opened a vineyard and fired his workers, replacing them with machines.  When Emily and her family visit each restaurant, they fix things by teaching the fisherman how to be patient and wait for the big catch.  They also teach the farmer the value of working with others.  Finally, they teach the winemaker to brew his own wine instead of making cheap wine that tastes like shoes in order to make himself more money.  Though I don’t get how the third brother is rich if his wine tastes terrible.  Then again, Taco Bell still manages to stay in business, so maybe it’s not beyond the realm of possibility.  Anthony only makes one mention of how he spent his dollar and references his son from Delicious 2.  So the series hasn’t entirely forgotten Anthony’s son, they just don’t add him as a regular to the cast.  I forgot to tell you that, before Emily’s grandfather left, he tells his sons that their mother to put a special ingredient in all of her food that made her a success.  Anyone familiar with this cliché knows that the secret ingredient is love, but the game insists on stretching it out into one huge and unnecessary mystery.

The game play is typical of any Delicious game with Emily serving both standing and seated customers in each restaurant.  You deliver the food they want, check them out and, in the case of seated customers, clean the tables.

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There is one issue I have with the last part. However, I’ll admit that it’s rather minor.  When you clean the tables by yourself, you see a sparkle effect.  Eventually, you get a cleaner but the said effect is gone and, let me tell you, I love that effect.  Try to get three stars on each level and don’t forget to purchase upgrades in-between levels.  You also have special challenges to complete, a mouse to catch and, the more products you use, the more you unlock.  The special challenges will give you diamonds that you can use to invite various characters to the Delicious family reunion.  The only one absent is Angela, but Emily explains that she’s in New York participating in the contest shown in Fabulous: Angela’s Fashion Fever.

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You can also collect trophies and read the notes left by various real life Delicious fans and, let me tell you, the notes are very heartwarming.

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This game is fun but doesn’t really sound out.  I give it 6 out of 10, a good distraction wrapped up in a cliché plot.

Fabulous: Angela’s High School Reunion (Gamehouse)

When high school students come to Victoria’s shop for prom dresses, it causes Angela to flashback to her own disastrous high school affair.  Now she wants to make up for it and that’s by having her own high school reunion.  Can Angela make up for her own terrible prom, or will the reunion be every bit as disastrous?

Anyone who’s even glanced at this game on Gamehouse’s website knows that Angela will end up in prison.  The spoiler is how she gets there, which I will discuss.  Let me say that it’s not entirely Angela’s fault, ‘not entirely’ being the key words.  Angela gets herself into this predicament by wanting to throw a reunion so badly that she uses the old rundown school building to have the party.  The building is a safety hazard as Angela’s sister, Emily, points out.  However, another fellow student, Janet, claims that her father gave them permission to have their reunion in this very building.  Janet is Angela’s former rival for Prom Queen and current rival for Reunion Queen.  Angela’s hatred for Janet is so great that she tries to cancel the reunion because of not wanting Janet to ruin her good time.  It gets so bad that Angela carries an idiot ball by telling Janet that she’s canceling the reunion.  You can bet that all this will do is encourage Janet to take over and that’s exactly what she does.

I’ll admit that high school is a subject I know very little about.  My parents had me home schooled after I graduated from middle school in order to spare me from what they call ‘their terrible high school experience.’  Neither one of them have ever been to their reunions because they claim that, when you do, it’s back to the old pecking order.  The people who attend are either reliving their glory days or trying to rub their success in the face of everyone who picked on them.  The only people who attend and leave happy are the former.  In the case of Angela and Janet, I said that their prom blew up in their face.  However, I didn’t explain how this happened.  I did tell you that they both competed for the title of Prom Queen.  As the alpha bitch of Snuggford High, the students favored Janet as Prom Queen.  Angela decided to run against her due to Angela and her friends wanting to become popular in high school.  Janet went so far as to manipulate two brothers against each other to ruin Angela, something that backfired on both of them.

Those who follow me remember when I talked about the double standard in the last Fabulous game, which the characters address but the story never fully discusses. Well, this one takes it a step further due to not addressing the double standard in this game.  As I said in the last paragraph, Janet played two brothers against each other in order to become Prom Queen.  However, what I didn’t explain is that Janet dated the popular brother, Matt, first.  Keith, the unpopular brother, would make moves on Janet while she dated Matt.  Keith clearly sees Matt as the evil brother and Janet as the sweet victim that he must rescue.  However, he doesn’t see Janet as a person as much as a trophy.  Keith ingrains himself so deeply in his fantasy that he refuses to acknowledge Janet’s faults, even when Angela points them out.  In fact, when Angela comes across Janet’s pregnancy test, Keith sees it after she leaves and assumes that Angela is pregnant with Matt’s baby.  However, instead of talking to Angela about it, he reports Matt to the principal to get him expelled.  When Angela becomes Prom Queen, reveals to the entire school and reporters that she’s pregnant.  Angela is not going to take this lying down and says that Janet’s the pregnant one, which shuts the school down and, in effect, cancels the prom.

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It also shows how unobservant Keith is by not recognizing that Angela shows no signs of morning sickness while Janet displays it on a regular basis.  As for Matt, they never really delve into his character, but the Principal does claim that Matt gets in trouble with the school.  Janet also hints that Matt has a wandering eye, but will always come back to her.  They never explore this, so I don’t know if it means that he cheats on Janet or he just flirts around.  He does refuse to help Janet with her election, despite expressing how important the Prom Queen election is to her.

Don’t worry, Janet isn’t innocent in this either.  As I said, she did play two brothers against each other.  However, one wonders how close those brothers really are if they let one girl come between them.  Anyway, Matt breaks up with Janet because he’s tired of how selfish she is.  When she manipulates Keith against Matt and Angela, pretending that she cares for the latter, Janet proves him right.  The years have not changed her as she goes as far as putting her own desires to become Reunion Queen over her daughter, Chloe, wanting to know who her father is.

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In the second paragraph, I mentioned that Janet lied about her father giving them permission to use the rundown school building for their reunion.  Yet Janet is so desperate to have the glory days a news report ruined, she lies to Angela and her friends.  However, in all reality, Angela didn’t exactly listen to Emily about the place being unsafe due to having the exact same desires as Janet.  The only difference is that Angela doesn’t have a kid, so she has more freedom to behave irresponsibly.  This doesn’t change the fact that Angela and Janet allowed their own desires to blind them to the danger of the building until it falls apart.  I can’t even begin to stress how lucky they are that no one died because of their own selfish desires.

I mentioned that Emily makes a cameo in the game.  She acts as the voice of reason for Angela, who refuses to listen to her.  I’m sure that many of you are aware that Emily is the star of Delicious, and Fabulous is a spinoff starring Angela.  Since Emily is the more serious and responsible of the two, her stories have a more calming narrative.  Angela, on the other hand, is more wild and crazy.  Therefore, her stories have a more wacky narrative.  It definitely shows in this story, with a couple of humorous moments.  Anyway, some people claim that over the top characters can’t carry their own story and, sometimes, this is true.  Anyone who’s watched the Friends spinoff, Joey, knows what I mean.  However, House and Sherlock are both over the top, yet are quite capable of carrying their own shows.  Despite what many people will tell you, in the writing world, there is no ultimate judge of good and bad.  Writing is an art, which is what makes it unique and, if there’s a right way to do it, all stories would be the same and people would get bored.  That’s not to say that there’s no wrong way to write because, believe me, there is.  As for whether Fabulous is doing well with their over the top main character, I think that they’re somewhat succeeding.  Angela is still trying to find her way and, like the last story, she’s making mistakes and learning from them.  Some might say that Angela just relearns the same moral she learned in the last game through different events.  This is what TV tropes refers to as Aesop amnesia, and believe me when I say it happens in real life.  There is a problem with Angela’s temporary love interests, the first being a cop, the second a model and the third one Matt Miller.  Though temporary love interests are quite common in fiction, Angela goes through these boys without dating the first one and the second one disappears with no explanation.  As for the third one, he does get an explanation in the end with a hint that he might get with Angela later, but I highly doubt it.

The game play is quite similar to many games in the Delicious franchise.  You get the required items, deliver them to the customers and check them out at the register.  Sometimes, you have to clean up after them and, in this game, you get a bonus at the end of the level for it.  Each level comes with a special event and some levels are just extra challenges for you to complete.  This game also features endless levels that really serve no purpose.  It’s the same with the challenge levels, because you don’t get any diamonds for completing the events.  This is also the only game past Emily’s Home Sweet Home where you don’t purchase gifts for any reason.  You do get to purchase upgrades for each venue in a style similar to Emily’s Christmas Carol.

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You also have to catch the mouse in each level and earn trophies in the form of yearbook photos.

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I did find one serious problem with the game play.  Believe me when I say that it deserves its own paragraph.  You know how Emily and Mary always cook in their games, Cathy always makes crafts, Maggie makes movies and Allison saves lives?  Well, Angela’s talent is sewing and, this being a Fabulous game, you’d expect her to be making clothes.  Unfortunately, Angela only sews outfits in the first venue.  Most of the game is about Angela and, in the second venue, one of her friends preparing food.

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This is a serious oversight and undermines the whole point of Angela starring in this game.  If you’re going to have most of the game play be about preparing food, you might as well have made this another Delicious game.  Hell, with a few tweaks, Emily could’ve been the star of this story with Angela being a side character.

This game is addictive, but pointless.  I give it 7 out of 10, a few good moments but doesn’t really feel like an Angela game.

Fabulous: Angela’s Fashion Fever (Gamehouse)

After Angela quits her job and leaves her husband, she finds herself competing on a reality show hosted by the one and only fashion designer, Truly.  The prize is a chance to become the next big fashion designer.  Does Angela have what it takes to win?

Do you remember the cliffhanger at the end of Sweet Revenge where Angela thinks she might be pregnant?  Well that gets resolved in the very beginning, she’s not.  It makes the whole game and its cliffhanger null and void.  The only important events from the first game are that Angela doesn’t work for Yum-Mee anymore and she’s single, giving her all sorts of potential love interests.  The first one is the cop who helped her in the first game, who makes a cameo appearance in this one.  The second one shows up later in the game.  I don’t know if I already talked about this, but I think that the designers had to get rid of Jimmy.  If you’re not familiar with the Delicious series, Jimmy is, or was, Angela’s husband first introduced to us in Emily’s True Love.  Jimmy functioned in the series as comic relief, Angela’s glorified sugar daddy and a possible connection to the mafia.  Now that Angela’s found her own way as a designer, she’s outgrown him.  However, if Angela divorced Jimmy in order to pursue younger and more attractive men, it would cast her in a shallow light.  Therefore, they had Jimmy cheat and Angela can dump him without looking evil.

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The designers went so out of their way to get rid of any connection to Jimmy that they tossed a plot device brought up in the first game out the window.  Personally, I feel that, if you drop a bombshell this huge, you need to be prepared to follow it through.  Otherwise it’s all for nothing.

The plot line has similarities to the Delicious game, Emily’s Taste of Fame.  For those of you who never played it, the game is about Emily getting an offer to host her own cooking show.  Along the way, she meets the colorful characters of Snuggford and helps them with their problems.  When Emily finally gets on the show, she realizes that the life of a TV star isn’t for her, quits and goes back to her humble life in Snuggford.  In this game, Angela gets her chance to be on a reality show and travels all around the world.

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Unlike Emily, her sister, Angela loves her life of fame and craves it the way an alcoholic craves liquor.  She even forgets to send a text to one of her friends on her birthday in favor of signing autographs for her newfound fans.  This illustrates the differences between the two sisters as Emily is more of a homebody who runs her restaurant and is content with her humble small-town life.  Angela craves a wilder lifestyle and loves being the center of attention.  The tone of their games further drives this point home, as Emily’s games are more along the lines of shows like Modern Family while Angela’s games are more along the lines of How I Met Your Mother.

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I’ll admit that I’ve always felt more drawn to Angela rather than Emily due to the former’s nature that is more carefree.  However, some of Angela’s behavior in this game is truly disgusting.  I understand that the game is trying to illustrate Angela’s corruption by the famous lifestyle.  However, the writers never address one issue.  Be warned that this paragraph contains spoilers so read with caution.  Truly’s show is a sham as she schemes to eliminate each contestant and competes under the alias Lori.  She even goes so far as to blackmail one of her models, Eric, into seducing Angela.  Eric is, for lack of a better term, Truly’s whore and the game does not portray it for comedy or make light of the situation in any way.  I should explain that one of the rules of Truly’s competition is that the designers are not allowed to get involved with models.  If Truly finds out about Angela’s relationship with Eric, she has reason to kick her off the show.  However, when Angela finds out that Eric is Truly’s boyfriend, she does not question why Eric is unfaithful to her.  Later in the game, Truly invites Angela’s friends to come see her.  One of them, Jenny, becomes a model for Angela and flirts with Eric at a club.  Jenny has no idea that Angela and Eric have a thing and apologizes to Angela when she finds out.  At no point in the game does Angela confront Eric about this.  Instead, she takes all her anger out on Jenny by stealing her dress and using it to get Eric’s attention.  Understandably, Angela’s friends are angry about this and leave but still come through later on when she needs them.  As for Truly’s scheme, Angela does get her revenge.  This is another illustration about the differences between her and Emily.  When someone wrongs Emily, the people she helps throughout her adventure return to help her overcome the one who wronged her and, if possible, tries to make amends with them.  When someone wrongs Angela, she takes matters into her own hands by getting revenge in creative ways.

The game play is similar to Delicious with clothes instead of food.  Angela makes outfits, jewelry, gets cosmetics for her customers or models, and checks them out.  Some of them visit the changing room or, in some levels, get their hair done at the mirror.  Angela has to clean up after that for extra points.

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Some levels even require an extra activity for Angela to complete and get more points.  Each level has their own mouse and, unlike Delicious, offers cleaning bonuses.  The layout of the second game is rather different from the first due to Angela not marking each level with her own Facebook posts.  I have to admit, I rather missed that aspect.  Angela also gets her own pure activity levels throughout the game, though they’re the same in each section.  Pick a dress for Angela to design, draw sketches for it, move the box of supplies, collect the supplies and finally sew the dress.

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In the second venue, you have to chase the different contestants away from your dress so they don’t sabotage you.  Believe me it gets repetitive after awhile.  You can also buy upgrades for each venue and even purchase entertainers and checkout clerks.  Though you have to buy the latter two every single level, another aspect that’s rather grating.

This game is fun but needs improvement.  I give it 6 out of 10, a nice distraction but rather lacking in both storyline and game play.

Delicious: Emily’s Christmas Carol (Gamehouse)

It’s Christmas in Snuggford and Paige is the star in the Christmas play.  As luck would have it, she screws up during rehearsal.  Therefore, Emily, Patrick and the rest of the family board the Miracle Express to meet Santa Clause and boost Paige’s spirits.  Unfortunately, Evelyn doesn’t want to come.  Can the family boost Paige’s spirit while finding out why Evelyn is so afraid to board the Miracle Express?

If the plot sounds predictable to you, you couldn’t be more right.  This is one of those Santa Clause is real storylines that became very popular in the eighties.  Such a subject is very delicate and you need to handle it with tender loving care.  In Fables, they did say that Santa’s real and, just like the rest of the characters, he’s a fable.  Therefore, in that case, they managed to pull it off.  In this one, they do an okay job but it’s not great.

The Miracle Express is, like the Polar Express, a train ride to see Santa.  The game, at one point, claims that only believers can power it.  However, Patrick and Emily do talk about having the former dress up as Santa in order to give Paige a pep talk.  Yet the train carries them to their destination with no problem.  Even when people ask why they would want to do such a thing, they still assume that it’s the workers taking the Santa act too seriously.

As I said earlier, the game is predictable and explores every Christmas Special cliché in the book.  In one venue, Paige manages to nurse Rudy the reindeer back to health so he can ride at the front of Santa’s sleigh.  If you’re wondering who Rudy is, let me give you a hint.  He has a big and shiny red nose.  Another venue explores the story of a rich and friendless kid who keeps all of his toys for himself.  You can bet that Paige befriends him and teaches him how to share.  However, I should tell you that, in my opinion, said child’s transformation happens a little too quickly to be believable.

Despite the many clichés, the game does have one shining moment.  It claims that Christmas magic can be for anyone at any age.  Anyone who’s read the Narnia chronicles knows that, after Prince Caspian, Peter and Susan could no longer visit Narnia.  According to Aslan, they’ve become too old and must live out their lives in the real world.  This also brings to mind a discussion two people who host a channel called Bad Fanfiction Theater had when reading My Inner Life.  They talked about Labyrinth and discussed one thing they loved about it.  Despite Sarah maturing at the end, the magic in her life doesn’t leave her.  It’s why they love the movie because, in their opinion, if you found a magical place you could no longer be part of when you grew up, it would drive you insane.  I have to say that I agree with them.  This is why, at the end of the game, when Evelyn starts to believe and wants to ride up front, she claims that you’re never too old for Christmas magic.

The game play is typical of your average Delicious game.  You deliver food to customers at tables or at the cash register.  In the case of the former, you have to clean the table in order to seat new customers.  You have to reach at least one star in order to advance to the next level, but try for three stars if you feel lucky.  Each level comes with a mouse you have to catch and a challenge you need to complete for diamonds.  Use the diamonds to invite people to Paige’s school play and, this time, Angela’s included.  You can also purchase upgrades between levels and unlock new products throughout the game.  Don’t forget to collect all of the trophies, if you want an extra challenge.

The game is simplistic and yet fun.  I give it 6 out of 10, not the best Christmas themed game but worth checking out.

Cathy’s Crafts (Gamehouse)

When Cathy’s parents go on vacation, they put her in charge of their store.  Meanwhile, her boyfriend wants her to go to New York with him.  Can Cathy find her own path in life, or will she live according to what other people expect from her?

The plot is your typical young girl wants to follow her dream job while everyone else around her is planning her life for her.  Thankfully, this only lasts for one section.  The rest of the game is about Cathy finding her way while her boyfriend, Mark, goes to Paris and tries to convince Cathy to get a job there.  I’ll admit that I have mixed feelings about him.  On the one hand, Mark does want Cathy to go for her dream and supports her for it.  On the other hand, Mark also has a tendency to be a little selfish and takes questionable actions.  For instance, Mark is the reason Cathy’s parents don’t come back to the hardware store in time because he used his hacking skills to send them to Timbuktu.  He also doesn’t really contact Cathy except to send pictures of himself in Paris.

In my opinion, Cathy is a terrible judge of character.  Let me tell you, when she gets a job at the florist shop, she fails to see that her co-worker is sabotaging her.  Let me point out that Cathy’s boss has a habit of playing favorites and it turns her co-worker, who’s been there longer than Cathy, against her.  Whenever Cathy leaves this co-worker alone with her tasks, they always end up sabotaged and, when this co-worker offers advice to Cathy, it goes against her.  Spoiler alert, instead of this being a lesson about not trusting everyone you meet, Cathy’s co-worker feels guilty and apologizes.

I should tell you that this game exists in the Delicious universe and Emily and Paige make a few cameos in the game.  The structure itself is similar to Delicious: Emily’s New Beginning where you have to pick the crafts for each level based on what customers will be shopping at your store.

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You also have a cat named Ming to take care of, who inspires many of Cathy’s designs.  Either the customers will go to the cash register to pick up crafts or they will go to a table to make their own.  When everyone’s done, you check him or her out and try to make enough money to get the first star in each level.

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Try to go for all three stars, if you feel lucky.  Between levels, you can purchase upgrades for each venue.  You can also get trophies and, if you’re anything like me, you’ll want to collect them all.

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This game is fun yet a tad bit cliché.  I give it 6 out of 10; only buy if you want to play every game set in the Delicious universe.

Fabulous: Angela’s Sweet Revenge (Gamehouse.com)

Emily’s fun-loving sister, Angela, moved to the Big Apple to start her career as a fashion designer.  Unfortunately, she has to work for Yum-mee, a stuck up boss who thinks she’s all that. To make matters worse, Angela’s husband, Jimmy, doesn’t support her.  Is it because there’s something going on between Jimmy and Yum-mee, or is Angela just being paranoid?

Yep, it’s a simplistic cheating plot.  Though, I have to say, I’m glad that Angela’s mad at both of them.  Warning, there will be spoilers for the game so read with caution.  The name of the game is Angela’s Sweet Revenge and she takes it out big time.  Don’t get me wrong, cheating is not a matter that you should take lightly but the way Angela goes about it seems very wrong.  With Jimmy, she goes so far as to throw seeds on his car so that birds will poop on it.  Yum-mee, on the other hand, gets to be publicly humiliated at an event she organized.

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Something similar happened in Emily’s True Love and I had a problem with that as well.  Once again, I will say that Angela has every right to be mad.  However, there are better ways to go about things like this.  I admit, people have screwed me over in the past and it is tempting to sink to their level.  That doesn’t mean that you should do so.  Let’s take the song, Before He Cheats by Carrie Underwood.

When I first heard it, I thought it was a song about empowering women by destroying the cheater’s car.  I told my mom about this and she said that the behavior is destructive and insane.  You can take the moral high ground by confronting the people who’ve hurt you honestly and openly.

The game play is similar to Delicious with clothes replacing food.  You deliver the required clothes to customers and check them out at the register.  Some of the customers will try on an outfit before they purchase it.

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During each level, you can make new clothes and complete a mini-game associated with each one.

Unlike previous games, this one’s layout is made of Facebook entries for each level, and you can like each comment.

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I thought it was a unique system.  It also shows how different Angela is from Emily.

The game is short but fun.  I give it 7 out of 10, it doesn’t take up that much of your time.

Delicious: Emily’s New Beginning (Gamehouse.com)

Emily just gave birth to a beautiful baby girl and she and Patrick couldn’t be happier.  That is, until Emily goes back to work.  Now she has to learn how to balance running a restaurant with taking care of a child.

You read that right, the plot is about career vs. family.  Emily’s trying to run a restaurant while keeping her baby under control.  Surprisingly, some customers don’t like having a baby bothering them while they’re eating.  This starts to become a plot point in the cafe portion of the game where many of Emily’s regulars don’t like Paige (her baby).  I can’t say I blame them.  When I go out to eat, I don’t really want some stranger’s baby bothering me.  Though it really becomes a plot point when Emily has to work for her competitor, Wu, after her family restaurant burns down due to her father and her uncle competing to be Paige’s favorite relative (I’ll explain later).  Wu doesn’t allow babies in his restaurant, so that means Emily has to sneak Paige in there behind Wu’s back.  Wu also won’t let Emily have any say over the menu, though I do see Wu’s point about having a baby in the restaurant and I’m not sure if pies fit his atmosphere.  However, that doesn’t give Wu the right to treat Emily like his slave.  Therefore, I can’t hold her rebellion against her.  This doesn’t end even when they get a restaurant together, with Emily having no say about how her restaurant’s run, though she does stand up to him and makes it clear that she’s the one in charge of the menu.

Again, Emily’s family is a huge part of the plot and you can always count on them to make the plot fun.  For starters, I mentioned Edward and Antonio competing to be Paige’s favorite relative.  This escalates into them buying similar presents with one of them being better than the other and even buying similar toy cars, then racing them around the restaurant to prove that their toy car is better.  Of course, this results in them accidentally burning down Emily’s restaurant.  This forces her to work for Wu.  Though Edward and Antonio learn their lesson, they still have to one up each other at Christmas by dressing up as Santa.  Truthfully, my favorite family moment includes Jimmy when Emily yells at him for buying Paige (who’s three years old in the Christmas levels) a lighter.

The game play is similar to the previous Delicious games with Emily serving customers who sit down or order from the counter.  After the customers at the table finish eating, you clean up after them.

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In between levels, you can purchase equipment to help run your restaurant including an entertainer that you can send to your seated customers to cheer them up.

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The only problem is that the entertainer takes a little too long doing their job.  The game also has a new feature where you can decide your menu based on what customers will be going to your shop on that very day.

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Choose right and you can get generous tips to help you achieve a three star goal.  Some levels will require you to complete an activity relating to the story.  Another thing that separates this game from previous ones in the series is Paige, who will crawl around exploring the restaurant and bother some of your customers.  Therefore, you have to take her back to her playpen.  This feature still exists in the Christmas levels, when she’s three years old, which makes no sense whatsoever.

This game is simplistic yet fun.  I give it 8 out of 10, a fitting installment for the Delicious series.  Though I do have one question.  If Emily’s so busy with work, then why can’t Patrick take care of the baby?

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