Puzzles have been around forever and people love them as they keep their minds young and alert. No matter your favourite, you’ll always want to push yourself further, trying harder and harder challenges. I love logic-based problems and I don’t mind what format they come to me. But, when a computer game lands in my inbox that tests me from start to finish, I get genuinely excited. Freshly Frosted is a cute factory conveyor belt puzzle game that is as sweet as it is difficult.
It is developed by Ty Taylor, Amanda End, and Ally Overton and published by The Quantum Astrophysicists Guild. This colourful problem solver is still in early development and is one of the Steam Next Fest titles available to try. The gameplay could change between now and release, however, what I’ve tried so far is addictive, fun, and comprises an array of interesting mechanics.
Freshly Frosted is deceptively difficult.
As you load into the game you are welcomed by a light and airy screen that makes you warm and cosy. You’ll look at the first world of puzzles and feel comfortable you’ll nail it. Quickly, though, you realise that your overconfidence is misplaced. The levels soon become complex nightmares and many mechanics are chucked into the mix to keep the gameplay as fresh as the doughnuts.
Each of the twelve worlds is presented as a unique box of treats. Very apt, I know! Each box comprises twelve levels of consistently increasing difficulty. The aim of the game is, however, simple. Place conveyor belts across the map, decorate the doughnuts, and get them to the delivery chute. Sounds easy, right? Hell, no it’s not! Some cakes require icing or sprinkles, or both. Others must be plain and you must use tools in the factory to ensure your operation runs smoothly.
This isn’t just another factory sim game.
Now, I know many games use the factory setting at their core. But Freshly Frosted is unique. It has lots of different mechanics, but its gameplay is simple to follow. You must remember the order of when to apply the icing, cream, or sprinkles. It quickly gets out of hand and planning your conveyor belts can be a challenge.
Add in the array of new mechanics and you are constantly kept on your toes. You will use splitters and pushers, mergers and cloners, teleporters and randomizers, and more. Each tool alters the planning stage and a minor mistake will affect your production line. You will juggle many problems to ensure your doughnuts get delivered perfectly.
Freshly Frosted is a breath of fresh air.
I adored the developer’s vision for their game. The pastel colours and fixed screen perspective make it easy to look at. Using contrasting tones and shapes to highlight each mechanic was genius. It made it much easier to play and you could instantly identify which tool to use. The clean UI was the right decision and its basic appearance allows you to focus solely on the puzzling action. I also liked how the backgrounds changed for each world. This added variety and enhanced the atmosphere created by the audio.
Freshly Frosted puts other indie games to shame with its wonderful music choices. With different tunes for each world, you’ll never tire of what you are hearing. The music reflects the colour and images and delivers some spectacular scenes. You’ll travel through the seasons, from night to day, and through surreal realms. I loved all the elements that make this work, but the audio is done to a high standard.
Lots of layers, but easy to play.
This could have been complicated because of its many layers, but fortunately, it wasn’t. You have a selection of control methods depending on preferences and both are easy to master. Introducing new mechanics doesn’t complicate the control setup. So, once you know the fundamentals, you’ll fly through this. It’s very user friendly and its only challenge is to solve the puzzles.
I cleared this demo in one sitting because it’s short and the gameplay is super addictive! When the action stopped, I was desperate for more and I believe the full game will be just as moreish. There was no achievement list, though I’m sure one will be added. With 144 levels of doughnut frosting fun, this game will keep you happy for hours.
Freshly Frosted is as addictive as sugar!
Even as I write this preview, I’m desperate to play more levels, such is the addictive nature of Freshly Frosted. The demo gave me a taste of the treats ahead and now I want the whole cake. I can’t wait to see the end product and I guess I’ll have to be patient while it bakes a little longer. The demo is available for a short period, so download it here! Run your factory, frost your doughnuts, and keep calm. After all, how tough can it be to make the perfect doughnut?
Freshly Frosted is an addictive puzzle game with many elements. Set your conveyor belts, use your tools, and deliver the perfect treats. As addictive as sugar, I can’t wait for the final product to finish baking in the oven.
(Reviewed on PC. Also available on Mac, Linux, Xbox, Nintendo Switch and PlayStation.)