Let me start by saying that I am a HUGE fan of the first Cake Mania for the DS. It was fun, challenging, difficult in places (Halloween in Vegas, anyone?) and was easy top pick up and put down.
Cake Mania 2 (CM2) tries to fulfill that same role, but falls short.
It's fun. But not for too long. The game play is repetitive too quickly. You don't have the learning curve that the original CM had. Every level seems the same tasks.
I liked that there was more of a storyline and that you had options on where to travel next. The banter between levels was upbeat and original, too. This is an improvement, but, again, the game play in the levels was the EXACT same.
MY BIGGEST COMPLAINT: The game is way too easy. If you mess up meeting the goals on a level, you must be completely unfamiliar with games or using a stylus. I finished the game quickly with an excess of $40,000 several times.
The charm of the first game is lost. Remember the vampires that made other people in line nervous? Or the impatient, unshaven Easter bunnies? The CM2 characters are interchangeable and not really relevant. (Some are creep though.)
The graphics have also gotten worse. In CM, too, you could at least differentiate between the cake shapes. In CM2, the heart as a second layer looks like a round until you get used to judging shapes by the color.
There are more toppers available, but the graphics are so bad that the palm trees look like parsley on a dinner plate and the tiki torches are downright creepy.
I liked that there are more frosting colors and stations. That was a neat twist. I also like that you could frost from the topper stations with upgrades. These weren't very practical, but it was a nice twist.
I travel a lot. I like to take my DS on the road since it's portable and easy to cram in a suitcase. Single-serve games are important to me, so I always look forward to portable fun. Unfortunately, CM2 doesn't quite make the grade.