Game Review: Cook, Serve, Delicious!
Release: October 5th, 2012
Developer: Vertigo Gaming
Available Platforms: PC/Mac
Cook, Serve, Delicious! is a restaurant game putting you in control of an anonymous restaurant owner as you rise up from a lowly one star restaurant to a gleaming five star top restaurant. Cook, Serve, Delicious! takes the gameplay of managing a restaurant that people are used to and changes the way that you expect to play a game of this type. Instead of clicking around the level, moving your cook from one oven to the chopping board and back again, slowly and accurately trying to slice up a carrot in perfect lines and then finally clicking the send order button. Cook, Serve, Delicious! tries something completely different.
As soon as you press the begin day button, you may as well throw your computer mouse to the ground as you won’t be needing that for at least ten minutes. Cook, Serve, Delicious! completely uses the keyboard while you are managing and cooking in your restaurant and it’s a refreshing look that allows you to sit back, put your feet up, rest your keyboard on your knee and serve up some burgers with ease. The way that you control Cook, Serve, Delicious! is simple, the customers stroll into the basic 2D animated restaurant and their order appears on one of your open slots at the top of the screen. You have the choice to choose between which item you want to start work on first (such as making sure that the fish is cooking in the background before you start serving the drink) and this order is completely optional as long as you serve the customer before they get impatient and walk away. Once you pull up the order you have a few keyboard buttons to press to get the order served up. Serving beer is as simple as holding the down arrow key until the glass is fill to the brim and the press the enter button. When you start making more advanced items like the pizza, it becomes more of a challenge, especially when you have to add all the toppings, cook the pizza and get it out while plenty of other orders are flying in. The game starts slow and you only have a couple of recipes to work from, very little customers know about your restaurant and it’s not too difficult to get through the day. Pretty soon Cook, Serve, Delicious! starts showing it’s true colors and your fingers are bouncing around the keyboard pretty fast, just so you can keep up.
You have the choice of around 20 food and drink items that you can add to your menu, as the days go on you will slowly make profit from the items that you sell that will allow you to unlock more food to put on your menu. Each menu item has a different group of stats, such as burgers will lower your rating as its considered as junk food and steak will rot much more easily and require you to take out the trash on a more frequent basis. Doing chores pop up on your order list occasionally and it involves simple tasks such as taking out the trash or cleaning dishes. It doesn’t really get in the way but you’ll need to keep on top so your customers don’t act negative or the health inspector picks up on it.
After playing Cook, Serve, Delicious! for a couple of hours, you know without looking at the screen around 10 recipes. Large diet coke with fruit blast and ice? Sure. Up Up Right Right Right Right F I Down Enter, and don’t forget your coat on the way out. The progression between the levels slowly gives you more and more challenges to do whether it is to get a certain amount of perfect orders out in a row without failure, or just opening the restaurant for a certain amount of days.
While Cook, Serve, Delicious! is a really high quality restaurant game, I found myself wishing a couple of things worked out a little bit better. The graphics in the game are only 2D and while they aren’t bad, you are limited to around five different customer designs and I’m pretty sure that one dude did not visit my restaurant 13 times in one day. While you play along the game has a nice little soundtrack chirping along in the background, it does a great job at setting the mood when the fast paced rush music kicks in on the twice-daily rush hour when the restaurant floods with customers, but it would have been nice to have a couple more songs and a little bit more variety in the soundtrack.
I loved my time with Cook, Serve, Delicious!. Growing my restaurant from sunrise to sunset is a very rewarding feeling. On a day to day basis it can become a tiny bit repetitive to endure the same orders again and again but the game does a great job at providing you with new challenges, new upgrades for your food and enough variety on the gameplay to keep you coming back for more.
+ One of the best restaurant games around
+ Large variety of challenges to keep you aiming towards something
+ Refreshingly simplistic restaurant organization
+ Good control scheme that keeps your eyes glued to the screen and your hands flying around the keyboard
– 2D Graphics make the restaurant design quirky but dull
Score: 7 out of 10
Cook, Serve, Delicious! is currently on Steam Greenlight. I recommend you hop over there and give it a thumbs up!