Well here’s a change of pace for me; from the slow pace of many of the games I prefer (from the turn-based to the tactical) here comes a game that makes me move my fingers so fast that my mind can’t keep up. And I love it so hard.
It’s billed as “gaming’s first hardcore cooking simulator” and I’m going to let them have that. Because it may not be a simulator insofaras it doesn’t really do anything realistically, but boy is it ever hardcore.
When you first load up you’re going to be given ownership of a run-down 1-star restaurant inside an office tower. You get a bit of cash and then you go shopping. So far, so much like your average XYZ-tycoon game. I’m almost certain there have been plenty of games where you managed the running of a restaurant, set the prices, buy ingredients, train the staff, buy the best footballer, etcetera, etcetera. I’m sure of it even if I’ve never heard of these games existing. But here’s the thing; you don’t set the prices, you don’t have to buy ingredients, you don’t even have any staff. You are the boss, but you are also the only staff member. You’re going to be sweating it out in the kitchen, making all these bits and nutritious bots for your hungry customers.
So you’ve bought your food, you’ve set your menu, and then you click “start day”. Now the real game begins. Every dish has a specific way to prepare it; pasta must be boiled before you put the sauces and other ingredients on it, making it a two-stage process. Salad is a simple case of popping the stuff that your customer wants on it; no cooking, no fuss, no time wasted. Sodas must be the right size, the right type, and have ice (or not) and have a flavour blast (or not). Pizza? You gotta know your toppings.
And it doesn’t seem too complicated at first glance. Each ingredient has a keyboard button associated with it, they are all displayed on the right side of the screen. Press the button, get the ingredient put into the dish (with some exceptions; some soup ingredients gotta be chopped, for example). But as time goes on, you make enough money to upgrade your foods, they get more ingredients and recipes. More stages to prepare the dishes. You become a 2-star restaurant; you can serve more customers at once, you can have more dishes on the menu at once. More people come into your restaurant at the same time. And that’s to say nothing about Rush Hour. Between 12:00 – 13:00 and 18:00 – 19:00 you get a big influx of customers; typically all your serving slots will be filled with impatient customers. It’s really quite difficult to get to everyone in time, and as your dishes get more complex and your restaurant becomes more popular, it only gets harder.
But goodness me; it’s fun. There is something satisfying about it; and the feeling is doubled when you’ve managed against the odds to serve 50 customers exactly what they ordered without ignoring anyone, without neglecting any chores, and without making a single slip of the keyboard finger. It’s on Steam. Check it out.