Shinezone's Dessert Shop has recently taken off in popularity on Facebook, as players are once again greeted with the challenge of creating a successful virtual bakery, one prepared pastry at a time. Dessert Shop has over one million players, and the game is definitely fun enough to justify having so many fans, but it's an incredibly familiar experience that's most easily described as "ChefVille with desserts."
Most every feature in Dessert Shop has an equivalent in ChefVille, from the ingredient stalls that recharge over time (and require three energy to "unwrap"), to the Coffee system that allows you to unlock land expansions like Roses do in ChefVille. Putting it simply, Dessert Shop skips right past the "inspired by" idea and jumps straight to "clone."
There are only a few slight differences between the two games, as players can grow individual crops in garden plots in Dessert Shop, which isn't available in ChefVille. In addition, guests serve themselves in this experience. Instead of being served by a waiter, they walk to a cash register and pay their coins before sitting down to eat. Everything else though, is a straight ripoff of something found in ChefVille.
Players can expand their owned land, while the bakery itself will remain the same size until a player purchases extra wall pieces and flooring tiles. Serving Counters and Tables for guests are limited based on his/her level, and even most of the user interface is straight from ChefVille. It's unfortunate that we have to make so many comparisons between the two games, but Shinezone did so little to cover up its "inspiration" that it borders on hilarity.
The only real promise of uniqueness in Dessert Shop is the locked Research & Development feature, which contains portions that are either "Coming Soon," or are locked to players that are less than Level 27. Progress is pretty slow in Dessert Shop, so it will take even a diehard player quite a while to hit that point.
With ChefVille being the incredibly fun, and incredibly successful game that it is, Dessert Shop is also pretty fun to play as a result, so long as you can quickly find friends to play the game with you and send you the many building materials you'll need for appliances and ingredient stalls along the way. The game does become rather slow in spots, as you must watch lengthy cooking animations the first time you prepare a new dish, and the amount of coins earned per served customer is simply too small to allow for fast progress.
Ultimately, it's hard to really recommend playing Dessert Shop, unless you're one that's either never played ChefVille, or stopped playing ChefVille long ago for your own reasons. The gameplay here is sound, the graphics are lovely, and the soundtrack is relaxing, but it's hard playing even a game as cute as this when each moment reminds us of something else.
Play Dessert Shop on Facebook >
Have you tried Dessert Shop? Did you notice the similarities between Dessert Shop and ChefVille? Sound off in the comments!