I have a secret shame. I am addicted to time management games.
Time management games involve a lot of clicking things in the right order, which isn’t exactly intellectually stimulating, but I don’t even care. Put me in front of some hapless animated character trying to run a restaurant/spa/roadside stand and I will tirelessly click until I beat the game. It doesn’t even have to be good, which is fortuitous, because a lot of time management games aren’t. Trust, I’ve played most of them.
GameHouse has created a series of time management games over the past two years, centered around main character Emily. “Delicious: Emily’s Taste of Fame” has her competing in a reality cooking challenge, “Delicious: Emily’s Childhood Memories” has her working at her family’s farm-slash-restaurant, and “Delicious: Emily’s True Love” has her traveling to Paris to win the love of her childhood sweetheart. All three games are cross-platform, and can be played on Android, iDevices, PC, Mac and online.
Caveat: These are not really feminist games. Outdated gender roles and stereotypes abound, although, in general, GameHouse does a better job than many other game/app companies trying to appeal to the casual lady gamer. Emily is portrayed as smart, kind and capable, but each of her story lines end up with her trying to get a fella. Not that there’s anything wrong with getting a fella, but the game wouldn’t lose a bit of fun if it kept its focus on Emily and her career instead of bringing a romance angle into it.
GameHouse has done a great job of creating stories for each of the games in the Delicious series, aside from the Sweet Valley High subplots. The plots have a clear beginning, middle and end. Each interstitial between rounds adds a bit of character development to Emily and other characters. The stories are cute, and I bet they’re very appealing to tweens and teens.
All the Delicious games are fast-paced, and it’s easy to jump right in and play without a tutorial. The difficulty progresses nicely, each level is slightly more difficult than the previous one, and new skills or tasks are introduced at regular intervals. That’s not a feature many time management game developers work in, and it keeps the Delicious games from becoming tedious and repetitive.
The UI is fine, it’s easy to do whatever needs to be done in the game, and the tools are intuitive.
I’ve never experienced a bug in any GameHouse game, which shouldn’t be a huge pro compared to other time management games, but it is.
I am especially fond of the art in the Delicious games. It’s very well done, and unlike many other TM games, you can tell what everything is. (Other developers: C’mon, at least act like you care.) I attached some screenshots below.
While it’s not going to bust through any glass ceilings, the Delicious series is entertaining and well-made. There are free versions available of each game, which let the user play through an entire level of the game before investing in the full version. The premium versions run around $4.99 USD, but that’s flat — there are no in-app purchases after you buy the full version.