by Kelly and Chris Brown
Gourmania from Alawar Entertainment is affectionately called in our household: Where’s Waldorf Salad? Gourmania is a object search combined with a time management games that is perfect for the Apple iPhone and iTouch gameplay. In Gourmania you are a small-time chef trying to make it big on an Island filled with various types of restaurants. You start out small as a sandwich maker filling orders which requires the player to search the screen for various ingredients to complete the steady stream of orders. The player can earn bonuses on orders for connecting a string of orders together, which comes into play in later, more difficult stages. As orders are filled, you have to click to collect the money and another order will pop up as long as time remains. Depending on the numbers of orders players fill and the bonuses that are earned, each stage the player are graded on their skill level. In the middle of each level/restaurant is a bonus stage in which plays must fill in the cupboard, so to speak, to earn bonuses.
The gameplay is fairly easy to pick up and play. Gourmania does a good job in explaining how to get more money and better bonuses. The player can tap the screen to enlarge it to search for objects. The found objects respond easily to touch to fill the orders. Sometimes it can be difficult determining what object the order is calling for. The player can either do a lot of guessing trying to discover what Red Cavier look like or the can tap the Hint button and then tap the ingredient that are trying to locate. The restaurant owners who appear at the start of each level are fairly droll, but thankfully their appearances are brief and don’t impede upon the hours and hours of hectic but fun gameplay.
As mentioned, Gourmania is a good example of what gaming on the iPhone and iTouch does best; short bursts of gaming that fills the time. Each stage typically lasts no more than 2 minutes, and each stage is saved when the player exits the game so very little backtracking has to be done. The game offers several hours of game play and stages can be replayed so that players can attempt to get higher skill rankings or money earned. There is a good mix of different orders to fill including sandwiches, drinks, Japanese food, and more. The difficulty of the game does increase as the player progresses, but that difficulty was always rewarding and not frustrating.
There is not any multiplayer game play (Wifi or Bluetooth), or social media functions such as tweeting scores on Twitter or Facebook posting. It would have been nice to compete against another player in a timed race.
All in all, for a game that is competitively priced against other game apps, Gourmania is a great choice for a download. It is a game that we see that young and older players will enjoy, and comes highly recommended.
Gourmania is now available on the Apple iTunes app store. A copy of Gourmania was provided to The Married Gamers for evaluation and review.
Married Gamers Grade: A