Review: Papa’s Freezeria Deluxe - Sundae Fundae | GameLuster (2024)

I knew before I even touched Papa’s Freezeria Deluxe that I would like it – because like many of us, I’ve played it before. The original Papa’s Freezeria was a web-based Flash game, and one of the many victims of the discontinuation of support for Adobe Flash. I spent countless hours as a kid (many of which were in school, I confess) playing this game, so it was honestly quite sad to see it go. It’s safe to say I was particularly shocked when I found out the original developers over at Flipline Studios were reviving the game on Steam.

It has been years since I last played Papa’s Freezeria, and I worried that the original simplistic joy of making virtual ice cream to pass away the minutes during a boring IT class wouldn’t exist anymore as an adult. I’m happy to say that, after once again sinking hours into Papa’s Freezeria Deluxe, the joyous nature of Flipline’s Papa’s games is timeless.

Review: Papa’s Freezeria Deluxe - Sundae Fundae | GameLuster (1)

The premise of Papa’s Freezeria Deluxe is a basic one. Your customizable character is hired to run an ice cream shop, and after a simple tutorial you’re right into the action. You manage four stations to take orders, pour out the right ice cream flavors, mix the dessert to your customer’s preference, then add their requested toppings before serving. You’re ranked with a percentage for each station, which results in a total score and cash tip from the customer.

Building the ice cream is the most enjoyable part of the gameplay. There’s something incredibly satisfying about trying to pour on chocolate chips, squeeze out syrup and top the ice cream with cherries in the most aesthetically pleasing way possible. The physics of the toppings also tingle your brain, with the whipped cream piling up fast if you linger, or the sauces pouring out slowly and sticky, being cautious not to drip it outside of the container. The core gameplay loop is incredibly simple, but almost therapeutic in just how calming it is.

Review: Papa’s Freezeria Deluxe - Sundae Fundae | GameLuster (2)

It helps that everything is incredibly bright and colorful. Being a time management game, it’s essential the player is able to quickly click the right buttons without getting them confused, and the art definitely serves that purpose. Buttons are big and symbols are clear, with that classic Flash game style of 2D flat icons, thick outlines and simplistic character shading giving the game a cohesive and identifiable visual style.

Making ice cream isn’t the only thing you’ll do in Papa’s Freezeria Deluxe though, as this upgraded version of the original release also includes minigames. You earn tokens for completing orders in the day, and then use them to play the minigames you’re offered after closing. The Foodini’s Minigames section is as fun as it is rewarding, letting you earn new clothes and furniture to decorate both your character and your store respectively. They’re a welcome distraction to break up the ice cream-making gameplay, especially given how varied they can be, offering everything from sliding puzzles, first-person shooting, customer trivia and more.

Review: Papa’s Freezeria Deluxe - Sundae Fundae | GameLuster (3)

Furnishing your store doesn’t just switch up the look, it also affects customer patience. As the days and weeks pass, there will be special holiday periods like Christmas, Easter and Halloween. Adding decorations that fit the season and dressing in holiday clothing will make your customers even happier, adding an additional element of variation through gameplay.

That’s the real challenge of a game like this. Papa’s Freezeria Deluxe is built around one satisfying and enjoyable gameplay loop, but was originally designed to be played in web browsers for short bursts. Dropping on Steam with a (cheap) price tag attached was a risky move, because the game’s core audience are older now, and Steam has a lot of games to compete with. Flipline Studios have succeeded though, with enough variation, new additions, unlockable special recipes and fun minigames to overcome the potential monotony of the base repetitive loop. Papa’s Freezeria Deluxe even has collectible stickers that operate as achievements to track your progression.

Review: Papa’s Freezeria Deluxe - Sundae Fundae | GameLuster (4)

Even beyond the wonderful gameplay, what Flipline is doing is incredibly admirable. The loss of Flash on web browsers erased an entire generation and subculture of gaming, but Papa’s Freezeria Deluxe shows that these games still have a place in the modern gaming landscape. It’s affordable, it’s addicting, it’s fun, and I want more already. There’s a vast catalogue of previously existing Papa’s games and the infinite potential of making more. Whatever Flipline Studios cooks up next for Steam, I’ll be ordering – but until then I’m going to fill myself up on ice cream.

Bobby played Papa’s Freezeria Deluxeon Steam with his own code.

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Flipline Studios successfully pull off a triumphant return of a beloved web-based Flash game that's bigger, better and tastier than ever.

8/10: Brilliant - Bobby Recommends
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Review: Papa’s Freezeria Deluxe - Sundae Fundae | GameLuster (2024)
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