Australian Council on Children and the Media

Strawberry Shortcake Bake Shop - Budge Studios

app image

Short takes

This is a cooking app where the children’s character, Strawberry Shortcake, guides players to fulfill dessert orders by prompting them through their preparation, baking or mixing and decoration. Fine motor skills required to play. Parental guidance for ages 5 – 12 due to advertising and social media connectivity.

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No gambling content found in the levels played

This review of Strawberry Shortcake Bake Shop was completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 24 April 2017.

About the app

This section contains details about the app provided by an ACCM Reviewer.

Name of app: Strawberry Shortcake Bake Shop
Developed by: Budge Studios
Platform reviewed: Apple App Store
Cost: Free
Developer’s suggested age: 4+
ACCM suggested age: Parental guidance for children aged 5 - 12 due to online connectivity, advertising and expensive in app purchases
Gambling content advice: No gambling content found in the levels played

ACCM review

This review of Strawberry Shortcake Bake Shop contains the following information:

The level to which the game was reviewed

Only the free version was played as the paid version only provides access to more options in terms of cakes/desserts, ingredients, appliances, decorations etc, rather than additional functionality.

App description

This is an interactive app where players can select an order for a cake, cupcakes or dessert to produce according to a recipe. Actions at each stage are guided by the Strawberry Shortcake character. Players can then drag and drop ingredients, tip their device to pour liquids, mix ingredients and bake and decorate the cake.

Reviewers comments

The game narrative involves Strawberry Shortcake guiding players to fulfill dessert orders by following a recipe. For every order they fulfill correctly, players earn a gold star. The game begins with the player selecting a dessert to make, but only one dessert is available in the free version. Players then tap on measuring spoons to measure out, drag and drop the dry ingredients into the mixing bowl. The player is then prompted to mix the ingredients with a spoon or electric mixer (paid content). In the free version, the player must use their forefinger to follow the circular direction indicated to complete mixing the dry ingredients and progress to the wet ingredients. Younger players may find coordinating some of the movements challenging, such as when pouring the milk or cracking eggs. Again, the player is given an option of a whisk or electric mixer (paid content) for the wet ingredients with the prompt “to mix it in quicker, use orange blossom’s electric mixer”.

After pouring into a tin, the player is prompted to set a timer to bake the cake/cupcakes with the prompting to upgrade to the paid kitchen tools pack to access the faster oven. Once baked, access to frosting tools and decorations is limited to manual tools and few options in the free version. The game concludes with the award of a gold star. If the incorrect ingredients are added, the player will not be awarded a star, which may frustrate players, especially as this is impossible in the free version. The same dessert must be repeatedly made with different ingredients to earn all the stars on a selected dessert and it is likely kids will become bored before they achieve this.

This app provides players with the opportunity to learn about ingredients and baking and use their own creative flair to decorate their creation. The limited offer of the free app (only 1 dessert) means the full desserts pack ($22.99) along with a kitchen tools pack ($7.99) will need to be purchased to enjoy the full offer of the game. Fine motor skills are required to drag and drop ingredients, mix and decorate cakes. There is opportunity to follow instructions (correct ingredients are required to earn the star) and learn about sequencing as children are guided to mix dry ingredients first, then wet, add them together and then pour into a tin etc. Caution: Parent’s Corner section (easily accessed by entering a birth year) provides online access to Facebook, Twitter and the ability to provide email details and sign up as an App tester.

In App purchasing

Advertising popups for additional functionality and other apps as popups are present throughout play, which are problematic given the ease of purchase. The full desserts paid version at $22.99 gives access to all desserts (doesn’t include kitchen tools), alternatively individual packs can be purchased such as all kitchen tools for $7.99, Princess Pack for $7.99, Cupcakes and Toys for $7.99 etc. This means to at least have full access to desserts and appliances, players must outlay over $30. 

Online information

Online information or personal details required to download, play or interact with the app;

  • Log-ins
  • Location
  • Photo/Media/Files
  • Camera
  • Microphone
  • Connectivity with social media

Gambling

At time of review, the reviewer found no simulated gambling content. If you discover simulated gambling content in this app, please contact us with the details so we can update our review.

Advertising and product placement

Advertising popups of other games occur frequently throughout play in the free version. 

Gender stereo types and sexual references

This app is highly stereotyped towards girls with pink scenes, accessories and all female characters in line with the Strawberry Shortcake franchise.

Coarse language

None encountered.

Game playing behaviour which may be of concern to some parents

As with all cooking apps there is a risk that children may try to cook without supervision. 

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About our colour guide

Content is age appropriate for children this age

Some content may not be appropriate for children this age. Parental guidance recommended

Content is not age appropriate for children this age

Gambling content advice

Simulated casino style gambling. Not suitable for minors

Contains some elements of gambling. Some content is not recommended for minors. Parental guidance recommended

No gambling content found in the levels played

About games and gambling

Most games contain elements of risk, chance and knowledge, that is why they are fun to play. There is growing concern about the impacts of simulated gambling games on the health and wellbeing of children. That's why we are identifying games that contain gambling elements on our site.

The State Government of South Australia's web site http://nogame.com.au/ contains information about these concerns.