LadiesGamers Sugar shack header, showing two of the playable characters holding a bottle of maple syrup and the sugar shack in the background.

Sugar Shack Demo Impressions

Demo code used, with many thanks to Stride PR.

Sugar Shack is an upcoming maple syrup management game by MadLife Divertissement.

LadiesGamers The Devils is teaching the player how to collect maple syrup.
The Devil is teaching us how to collect maple syrup.


In Sugar Shack, our hero wakes up in a maple wood, greeted by the Devil. He shows us the “Sugar Shack” and leaves us to our devices. After a bit of snooping up, we meet another character, Corriveau, who is much more patient and helpful and serves as our real guide in the world of Fleur-de-Lis. The Sugar Shack mentioned above is a bed and breakfast hotel where we serve guests while exploring the world around us. 

Sugar Shack LadiesGamers We meet Corriveau for the first time
We meet Corriveau for the first time.


Gameplay-wise, the game allows for a mouse and keyboard combo or a gamepad. The mouse and keyboard option wasn’t immediately available for me, and then it suddenly worked. After some trial and error, after the intro dialogue is done, the keyboard and mouse become available. This is probably a glitch. However, it is understandable for a demo version of an incomplete game.

With the mouse and keyboard, the movement is made by the WASD buttons and interactions with the mouse’s left and right buttons. Controlling the character is quite intuitive!

There are detailed tutorials within the game of all the things we can do at this point, such as cooking certain dishes, crafting some tools, collecting resources, and so on. At the same time, the tutorials show us how to create a menu and manage our clients, farm, use workstations and carry objects. We can also change our appearance from the default blond-haired male to a female character. There is a vast choice of hairstyles, hair and skin colours, and all kinds of winter clothes.

Sugar Shack LadiesGamers Our sugar shack at the beginning, dirty and in need of fixing up.
Our sugar shack at the beginning was dirty and needed fixing up.

The Sugar Shack

I was interested to learn that a Sugar shack is a real thing; it is a cabin or a group of cabins where sap is collected from maple trees and boiled into maple syrup. In the sugar shacks, food is also served. There are mainly found in Eastern Canada and northern New England.

The Sugar Shack in the Game is our home and workplace within the world of Fleur-de-Lis. It is a cute two-story building whose interior we can personalize and improve. We have a kitchen, where we prepare food such as pies and hot drinks. In the maple woods around the house, we collect and cook maple syrup, which can be used in recipes.

At the beginning of the game, we also unlock Corriveau and her cottage. On the map, at a later stage, we can find some farm animals, lakes and rivers, and places to mine stone or forage for food. In the woods, we can also find the Devil’s home, in whose yard we have a chest to sell things. We can find everything we need to run a successful Sugar shack here.

Sugar Shack LadiesGamers The cheat menu.
The cheat menu with all its options.

Unique features

Sugar Shack has one exciting feature, although I am not sure it will migrate to the full game when it is released: a cheat menu. It allows you to unlock all available content, automatically complete current quests, generate resources like money, rearrange all world tiles, and change the time, weather, game speed, teleport, and other options. It is undoubtedly a nifty feature for people who enjoy the serving customers part of the game. Even for the rest of the player base, it could be a fun addition to the game- especially the time and weather options.

Sugar Shack is touted as a co-op game, allowing up to 4 people to play together. Given the variety of appearances and wardrobe choices, you can recreate a diverse cast of players.

Sugar Shack LadiesGamers Our hero wandering the winter woods.
Our hero is wandering the winter woods.

Final Thoughts

The demo version of Sugar Shack is more than enough to show the game’s potential. It offers a solid foundation for endlessly entertaining games while showcasing what’s more to come. That being said, it also indicates that the game is early in its development. I saw some small and big details that need to be included. Unfortunately, I also experienced some back-to-desktop crashes. Still, it is a demo worth trying out and a game worth waiting for.

The Sugar Shack demo will be available to download during the Steam Next Fest; you can find the games Steam page here. 


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