IGN Review of Candace Kane's Candy Factory
From candy shops to lollipops, sugary sweets are taking the world of pop culture by storm. The reach of this colorfully wrapped commodity has spanned the gambit from hip-hop to casual puzzle titles. We're here to discuss the latter in the form of Candace Kane's Candy Factory for the DS.
Lady Kane has made herself known with the online and Wii gamers of the world and now hopes to get in on some handheld DS action. Candy Factory is a puzzle game of Tetris lineage that focuses on a sweet tooth theme. Your objective is to help Candace (Candy) build up her uncle's candy factory and customer satisfaction so that she can win Syrupton's Annual Candy Cup.
Candy Factory is played in stages that last about five minutes or a "typical" work day. Patrons will enter your candy shop via the DS' top screen and request a certain combination of candy. You will work in multiple factories throughout the game, each with a different curving conveyor belt. As candy travels down the belt, simply tap one piece then another to swap them. Customers' orders are met by putting candy in their desired sequence.
The basic principle of filling orders is fairly simple and straightforward, but Candy Factory does a good job of throwing in variables to change the tip amount customers leave. First of all is the customer patience. Above your clientele, you will see a meter representing their patience. Characters like old ladies can wait around for a while without your tips being affected, but figure skaters are a little more demanding. Knowing which clients need servicing the soonest is critical to meeting your daily goal.
Another tip variable to consider is the quality of candy. As you beat levels you will acquire money to buy machines that increase customer satisfaction and your tips. Candy that passes under the candy coater is sweeter to customers, and they'll pay more for the extra sugar. Other tools like the candy wrapper will put orders into nice gift boxes also increasing your tip. Machines are also simple to use which keeps rounds flowing nicely. No input is required for the candy coater (you just wait for the candy to pass beneath it) and to use the candy wrapper you simply tap it.
Rival candy makers will often try to sabotage Candy's factory. These levels offer a change of pace by changing factors of the stage such as the speed of the conveyor belt. While it's something different, none of these rivals really bring anything to the table that can't be overcome by playing the game as you normally would.
To jazz things up a bit, there are different goals for each level. Earning the stage's default sales quota will earn you the bronze award. Silver and gold are attainable for those who consider themselves queens (or kings) of candy production.
Additional income can also be made by selling sale candy on the side and stacking candies. To put candy on sale, just arrange any three or more pieces of the same candy on the conveyor belt. Sale candy isn't worth as many orders, but it can make the difference between a silver and gold ranking. Candy values can also be increased by stacking certain candies. For examples, star candies can be stacked up to three times which will increase customer satisfaction.
Visually, Candy Factory fares better on the DS than its PC/Wii cousins. The top screen is dedicated to customers and their orders, allowing for bigger sprites and a clearer view of the combos you need to create. The entire bottom screen is dedicated to your conveyor belt and machines giving you a clear view of the factory separate from the constant flow of distracting customers. Candy Factory DS uses the same art style as other iterations, but it feels more acceptable and natural on the DS than its higher horse power friends.
Sound also comes off on a more positive note than the PC or Wii. The DS version features the same "Sunday Drive" music which doesn't work well for a semi-tense puzzler. However, a major DS advantage is the lack of customer voices. Other versions have two or three lines that all characters will say upon entering the candy store that get very annoying very fast. The DS version simply uses the ding of a bell to signal someone has come in and needs your attention.
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