Sugar Shack – Review
Follow Genre: Cozy Management Game
Developer: MadLife Divertissement
Publisher: Freedom Games
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Sugar Shack – Review

Site Score
Good: Unique map mechanincs, Fun multiplayer experience
Bad: Bland presentation, Not a very relaxing cozy game
User Score
(1 votes)
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VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Cozy games have become a staple in the gaming landscape. Nothing beats coming home from a hard day at work, putting on pajamas, and sitting down with a feel-good gaming experience. This often takes the shape of tending to a garden, getting to know other characters, and crafting some items to decorate this world you inhabit. This is exactly the feeling Sugar Shack is going for, making you the owner of a maple syrup restaurant and tasking you with developing the ever-growing island you find yourself on.


The story of Sugar Shack starts pretty abruptly, with you getting pushed out of a flying plane. When you land on the island you’ll be spending the rest of the game on, you’re greeted by none other than the devil himself. This encounter is much nicer than you would expect since he gives you everything you need to know about collecting maple and opening your restaurant. When you develop the island further, more and more characters will turn up with their own shops and workplaces.

That is all there is to the story of Sugar Shack. The main focus of the game is developing the island with new locations and resources, that you then can use to further upgrade your shack. All of the new characters that are introduced mostly function as an introduction to the new mechanics they bring into the game, like crafting and farming. While they do have a unique design and personality, it would have been nice to have more of a storyline with each of them. The game clearly focuses more on gameplay and upgrading your equipment, but we can’t help feeling that a more present overarching storyline or missions are missing to keep players engaged.


The graphical side of Sugar Shack isn’t that notable. The game looks fine and everything is clearly recognizable, but there isn’t any uniqueness to the art style. The world does have a nice aesthetic with a permanent winter vibe that fits the cozy game formula. The character models on the other hand aren’t that great, especially your player character. This takes a lot of fun away from character customization. The only special feature you can see is the hexagon tiles the world is made of, but even this gets old fast thanks to the small size of these hexagons that cause big trees to obstruct the view.


One of the most important aspects of a cozy game is its atmosphere, creating a place where players feel safe and at ease. An element that has a big impact on this is the sound design of a game, delivering some warm tunes. This is where Sugar Shack doesn’t do anything bad, but also nothing of note. The background music doesn’t do anything special and there is no voice acting to accompany the short interactions you have with the other residents. This isn’t a problem since the sound design doesn’t take anything away from the experience, but you won’t be remembering any of the songs after you turn the game off.


Sugar Shack is a cozy management game where your main objective is to run a maple syrup restaurant and develop the island to further expand your available resources. This is a gameplay cycle that expands throughout the game, introducing new crafting materials and customization options.

The place where you will spend most of your time is the titular shack where your restaurant is located. This starts as a pretty rundown place with only some equipment and one table, but you can add a ton of new things throughout your playthrough. Players who are familiar with cooking games like Overcooked will be familiar with this aspect of the game, where you have to run around to process ingredients and combine them into dishes. This is a fun addition to the game since most games where you run a restaurant like this don’t offer such an interactive experience. There are a ton of recipes to unlock and players can choose what to serve based on the ingredients they have available.

While running this shack is the main objective of the game, there are a ton of other activities that are crucial to succeeding. Outside the restaurant are tons of things to do like collecting resources, farming ingredients, and crafting new items to make everything more manageable. This is exactly what you would expect in this type of game, offering a ton of crafting options and ways to run the restaurant depending on the food you harvest and the equipment you build. The big unique element in Sugar Shack is the fact that the island is expanding in the way you want it. The world is built of hexagonal tiles, much like a board game, that you can place in any way you want. This gives players the option to place resources that are combinable close together to maximize their time management. New tiles can also be bought, giving you access to the resources you need more of.

While the game has a ton of unique elements to it and should work very well on paper, the actual fun and cozy feeling of Sugar Shack is a bit of a disappointment. This is because the game feels unbalanced. This might be quite an odd way to describe a cozy management game, so let us explain. Where you normally fall into a rhythm with this type of game, alternating between harvesting and progressing regularly, the days in Sugar Shack feel too short to do everything you want to do. Most of this is due to the lack of inventory you have, meaning you need to pick up every single item one by one. Things like collecting wood or picking crops take so much more time due to this, switching out the feeling of comfort for frustration. There is a basket you can bring with you that can hold up to three types of items, but this still takes up way too much time. This is a choice to put some more realism in the game, but sometimes it’s better to prioritize fun over realism. The game offers multiplayer for up to four players, which can negate the struggle of having no inventory by splitting up the tasks. Nonetheless, this still makes it a bothersome experience for solo players.


Sugar Shack is a cozy management game that misses the point of a cozy game. The world feels pretty bland with a small amount of story moments and a lacking presentation. Especially the gameplay is a letdown, offering some interesting concepts but delivering gameplay that is often more frustrating than relaxing. There is fun to be had with Sugar Shack, especially if you’re coming into it with friends, but there isn’t any good reason to pick it over another game in the genre.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Sugar Shack - Review, 5.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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