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Chocolatier is a simple trading game where the goal is to make enough money and expand your chocolate empire enough to help save the Baumeister family chocolate company from bankruptcy or a hostile takeover. A simple, casual, easy, relaxing and fun game, Chocolatier doesn't offer a whole lot in the way of gameplay innovations, but it's simple, addictive style is compelling and fun.
Gameplay in Chocolatier is simple. You are provided with a world map that slowly unfolds itself, revealing port cities where you can travel. Each city has a market where you can buy cocoa beans, sugar, milk solids, or other base ingredients required to make chocolate. Each port also has a number of buildings where you can meet various people, some will gamble with you, some give you advice, (the same, and over and over) and some have missions that they want you to complete, usually in exchange for money or a recipe. Some ports also have factories for sale, where, given the right recipe, you can turn these raw ingredients into chocolate by playing a mini game, but more on that later.Once you have the chocolate, you have to sell it to one of many chocolate resellers around the world. Eventually you will be able to take over some of these resellers, and they will then often offer you better price.
The goal of the game is, then, simple. Buy ingredients when the prices are low, and sell chocolate when the prices are high. Random events will push the prices for things higher and lower. For example, selling one type of chocolate for too long will lower the price, and random fluctuation will sometimes drive the demand for a certain kind of chocolate in a certain region through the roof, leading to short-lived but impressive returns on investment. Use the money you make to buy more ingredients, and repeat.
With the gameplay basics mastered, it's a simple matter of opening more factories, finding more recipes that offer higher profit margins, and eventually making enough money and chocolate to save the Baumeister family from financial ruin. There is a simple storyline presented through clips of text dialog throughout the game, but for the most part is the expansion and trading that will keep you playing.
The mini game that you play when you want to start a factory making chocolate is simple yet fun. A series of rings, displaying the ingredients needed to make a single chocolate, float around the screen, and you fire a series of ingredients at the rings. Fill the rings up with all the right ingredients, and you've made a chocolate. Once you've set a rate for your factory, it will continue to make chocolate as long as all the necessary ingredients are available.
Chocolatier is simple, yes, but most of the good games are. If the exploration and trading gameplay grab you, you could end up loosing quite a lot of hours to this game.