Coffee Shop is so much more than your typical math game. While most games in the genre focus on math first and game play second that is definitely not the case with this one. Combining the fun and entertainment of time challenge puzzle games with the educational value of math games, this is a great game to play to help you strengthen your math skills and keep you entertained at the same time. It isn't all about math. It's about planning, adjusting your plan and doing everything you can do to make your coffee shop a success. The goal? Make as much money as you can in fourteen days. If you want to do well, you need to balance the cost of running your shop and maximize profits without lowering the quality of the product you're selling. Definitely not an easy thing to do but that level of difficulty is what makes the game so appealing.
When you start each new day in Coffee Shop you will be in 'prep mode'. This is where you will plan your strategy for the day. In prep mode, you'll buy ingredients, change the recipe for your product and change the price of your product. All of these things are of extreme importance and must be considered together. You need ingredients to make your product so you need to make sure you have enough ingredients to get through the day. If you run out, you'll lose money. At the same time, you don't want to go nuts buying ingredients. If you buy to much, you'll be hurting your end of day profits. Your recipe is also important. People want something that tastes good. Bad coffee isn't going to help your reputation and isn't going to keep people wanting more. Finally, your price needs to be fair - not just to customers but to you as well. If your price is too high, people won't pay it. If your price is too low, you won't turn a profit. You need to make sure you at least make enough money to buy more ingredients. If not, your game comes to a quick end. All of these factors go hand in hand. If you want to do well in the game you need to consider them all equally.
There are four ingredients you'll be using in each cup of coffee in Coffee Shop; coffee, cups, milk and sugar. This isn't the real world. Not everyone is going to order something different. All of your customers are going to want a little sugar in their coffee and all of your customers like their coffee creamy. Take that into account when you're planning your recipe. You are always going to buy equal amounts of coffee and cups. No one is going to want an empty cup and no one is going to want to take their coffee without a cup. As for sugar and milk, that depends on your recipe. If you have two sugar and two milk in each cup of coffee, you're going to want to buy double the amount of sugar and milk.
The actual inventory screen in Coffee Shop (where you'll be purchasing your ingredients) is pretty easy to understand. This is also where the game really becomes a math game. You have your four ingredients in a list on the left side of the inventory screen. In the next column, you'll see how much of each ingredient you have in your inventory at the time. When you start the game, you have nothing in your inventory. To the right of inventory, you have a light gray box with three columns. You will be clicking on the boxes that make up those columns to purchase your ingredients. When you hover over the boxes, you'll see all of the pricing information you need. For example, hovering over the boxes in the 'cups' row one at a time, you see buying 10 will cost $2.00 ($0.20/cup), buying 25 cups will cost $4.00 ($0.16/cup) and buying 50 cups will cost $6.00 ($0.12/cup). The best deal is obviously the 50 cups, but chances are good that you won't need 50 cups right away. The more ingredients you buy, the less money you'll start the game with. Buy conservatively through the first few days so you can tinker with your recipe and price to find what works.
On the right of your inventory screen in Coffee Shop, you see the information for each ingredient and how it will figure into you recipe. When you hover over that section, a new panel opens in place of the buy screen. You can adjust your recipe from here. I would recommend doing that before you purchase your ingredients. Use the slider bars to change how much coffee, sugar and milk will be in each cup of coffee and set your price (the slider bar at the bottom). The weather is important when considering price. Make sure you don't ignore it. On a cold day, customers will pay more for a hot cup of coffee. The weather is shown at the top right of the screen. Make sure you take that temperature into account when you're setting your price. From there, you can start purchasing your ingredients. Make sure you pay attention to your money and are careful not to spend too much on something you don't need a lot of. If you do, you'll run out of money fairly quickly and won't have enough supplies to make it through the day. Once you've set your recipe and purchased ingredients, you can start serving customers.
Finding the balance between spending money on ingredients and making money is probably the most difficult part of Coffee Shop and is really the element of this math game that makes it so challenging. Pleasing your customers with a good recipe isn't really all that difficult. You just need to pay attention to the bubbles that appear over their heads as you serve them. If there is a coffee icon in the bubble with an arrow pointing up than you need to increase the amount of coffee in each cup. The same can be said if there is a coffee icon with the arrow pointing down. That goes for a sugar or milk icon as well. Be careful not to buy more milk than you think you'll need as it spoils at the end of each day and you'll wind up needing to buy more.
Finding a good price for your product in Coffee Shop can be a bit more difficult. Your customers will let you know if they feel your product is too expensive. Don't wait until the end of the day to adjust your price, though. You can adjust your price while still serving customers using the slider bar at the top left of the game screen. If you wait to adjust your price, you will be costing yourself money. This really is a challenging little math game that involved a lot of thinking and planning. It is entirely possible to make it through all fourteen days without going bankrupt but it isn't easy. That's really what makes the game so appealing. If you're looking for a good challenging game that will really make you think, this is definitely the math game for you. Just stick with it. You'll find the winning combination with a little patience and you'll have a lot of fun in the meantime.