Review Cupcake Mania: Thanksgiving
Highly addictive match 3 game with cakes
Author: Tariq Abdulla
Date: 24 Nov 2014, tested on HTC One S
Perfect soundtrack, quality animation, really addictive
Tempting in-app purchases
Cupcake Mania for Android is a highly addictive match three puzzle game that does a great job of introducing novel gameplay elements. I think what makes this game particularly addictive is the fact that each level only takes a short time to complete. This means you keep getting rewarded, and you know that each extra level you play isn't going to take a big investment of time.
There are loads of match three games out there. In this one, you are matching up colorful cream cakes, pastries and macaroons. I get a stomach ache just from looking at them; but their distinctive shapes and bright colors makes matching them together a breeze. When you get matches, the sound effect is a steel drum, and for concatenating matches the notes keep getting higher and higher. This makes that aspect really rewarding and fun. If you have any moves left after passing a level, you get a big flashing "Cupcake Mania" and everything goes a bit crazy.
Cupcake Mania does not involve a lengthy tutorial, as some of these games do. It has oddly shaped levels and interesting features right from the start. After each match, adjacent cakes will have bonus points added to them, so you can score extra points by matching more cakes repeatedly in the same area. Some levels feature "flour dusters" which fire across the cakes in a straight line, adding points to the color you just matched for each turn. Matching more than three cakes together creates bonus tiles, which fire out in different directions, or add even more points to cakes of the same color.
There is a slowly recharging energy system in place. I found that I got to level 9 before the targets became such that I had to play the level multiple times before winning. Usually I could have finished in "just one more turn", making the purchase of extra lives a devilish temptation. Make sure you have password protect on in-app purchases before letting children play this.
In this version of Cupcake Mania, to celebrate thanksgiving, there are 6 extra levels in a special area. You can go there by tapping on the turkey, after you've unlocked level 13. The levels have a thanksgiving background, and there are also some raspberry filled spongecakes that that you nibble away at by matching adjacent cakes.
I must have played about 20 of these match 3 games, and I can honestly say this is the best one I have come across so far.