Thank goodness this doesn’t come with smells, like the upcoming My Name Is Earl smell-o-vision episode, then it would be impossible to play without craving chocolate. You may want to play Chocolatier on a full stomach, as the graphics clearly show every delicious ingredient in the 60 different kinds of bars, squares, infusions and truffles.
The game comes with Story and Freeplay modes with over 130 quests taking place in 14 cities. Working through the tutorial, the game looked complicated. But it wasn’t. Give it time and it will become as addicting as chocolate. Thankfully, unlike chocolate, this didn’t hurt my waistline – maybe my bottom from sitting on it for hours in eager anticipation to progress in the game.
Not only do players buy ingredients, make new products, sell chocolates, buy factories and stores, and travel the world; but they also try to get the story behind a family squabble. Since we only use the finest ingredients, we must travel to cities around the world for specific ingredients. The two U.S. cities didn’t carry cacao. In fact, they carried the least amount of ingredients in the whole world.
Expensive products sell at higher rates because they contained ingredients specific to a region like the Sulawesi Macadamia Cacao Infusions, which contain one ingredient from Sulawesi. When you don’t have a lot of dough, you want to travel to the locales that pay more for the chocolates you have available.
Upgrading a factory from bars to truffles doesn’t simply involve changing the ingredients, but also buying new equipment. Those cost you a pretty pound. As soon as you assign a new recipe to a factory and have its ingredients, it turns into a race. You have to make as many as you can of the candy following the recipe within a set time. Unfortunately, this made me dizzy considering my susceptibility to things moving in circles. The amount of chocolates made during that time is the amount the factory can produce in a week. The bars are easiest to make since they contain two or three ingredients while the truffles can contain six unique ingredients.
Every city contains a store that buys chocolate, a market that sells ingredients, a special crop for the hard to get ingredients, and one or two local hangouts for talking with people to get the scoop on the business and the family. Some hangouts also give you a chance to gamble and double your money, or lose it.
The game screen has a message section. This section lets you know about any problems in your business — such as degrading food supplies — along with any action items you promised to take and tasks you’ve done. This message section is small, hard to read and slow in scrolling. Sometimes I had more than one action item and it was a chore to find them in the message section when they didn’t appear at the top as current tasks did.
I loved the diversity in this game. There was no right or wrong, or a set path you must take. You could make whichever recipe, and travel to the destinations of your choosing unless you needed to find an ingredient only available in one place. You could help people along the way and haggle prices. The game slowed when I had tons of money, but still needed more recipes and couldn’t accomplish things until I found the right person. During that time, I traveled from port to port trying to find someone to help.
When I finally got a hit, the game picked up again and kept me hopping for the rest of it. I never thought I could manage six factories — the thought of that sounded like too much multi-tasking — but it wasn’t. In fact, I wish I had more places to visit. Chocolatier didn’t attempt to copy any of the “run a business” style games. Rather, its creator developed it from scratch as the game package turned out as beautifully as the chocolates.
System Requirements: Windows
- Windows 98SE/ME/2000/XP/Vista
- 700MHz or faster Processor
- 128MB RAM
- 800×600 minimum screen resolution
- Sound Card recommended
- DirectX 7.0 or later
- 30MB+ available drive space
System Requirements: Mac
- Mac OS X 10.3.9 or newer
- G4 800 MHz or faster or G5 or Intel processor
- 800×600 minimum screen resolution
- 21MB+ available drive space