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‘Cook, Serve, Delicious!’ for iOS and Android game review

Cook, Serve, Delicious! is a restaurant sim. You are given charge of a new restaurant and it’s your job to turn it into a place worth of a five star rating.

Cook, Serve, Delicious! has you taking orders from customers and then crafting those dishes in the kitchen. Along with catering for your customer’s appetite, you also have to look after the place, manage your inventory steadily increase your restaurant’s rating. Sounds interesting? Let’s take a closer look at it then.

Title
Cook, Serve, Delicious!
Developer
David Galindo
Platform
iOS
Android
Content rating
12+
Medium Maturity
Size
88.5MB
45MB
Price
$4.99

Gameplay

Cook, Serve, Delicious! has you doing many things, but the primary thing you will be doing is cooking. But before we get to that, we first have to decide on what items we will have on our restaurant’s menu. You get to choose from a range of quick and not so quick recipes that you can have on your menu and each comes with a host of pros and cons. Some are quick and easy to make, could give you a lot of tip if done right, will be ordered regularly at all hours or won’t generate a lot of trash at the end of the day. On the other hand, they could be too fatty, which will put some people off, complicated to make and time consuming, not get you enough tips, will go stale if you have it on the menu for too long and generate a lot of waste and dirty dishes for you.

Your job is to carefully consider the pros and cons of each dish and have a balanced menu that is beneficial for you and your customers. Depending upon what you choose, you earn money as well as generate buzz, the latter giving you that higher star rating that you are after.

The depth and intricacies to the gameplay is really quite amazing. You need to have the right equipment to cook particular food items. Some food items don’t work in a particular time of the day and work better during other times. You can’t have too many of a certain type of food item as it may get you negative buzz from a certain group of people. You have to keep rotating the menu or else people will get bored of eating the same things every day. Along with cooking the food you also have to regularly clean the toilets, do the dishes, take out the trash and place mouse traps to keep the mice away. And this you have to do while serving orders. There are often inspections in the restaurant and you better be at your best behavior then; that means making sure your customers get their orders on time and the way they ordered and that you keep the place clean and well maintained.

You can also upgrade your skills, such as get a dishwasher to cut down the time to wash dishes or a better toilet to reduce the amount of toilet cleaning or a gun to protect you from robberies, which also happen later on in the game. Other than that, you can also participate in optional events, where you can put your cooking skills to test.

One nice touch is an inbox where you get mails from people, telling you about your food or a upcoming inspection, at times even weather reports so you know which items to have on the menu that would work well for a particular weather. There is also amusingly spam sometimes, and you can purchase an item from the game store to curb it. Note, all items in the store can be purchased from the money you earn in the restaurant. There is no exchange of real money here. Basically, no IAP, at least not for purchasing any items.

It does sound overwhelming at first and really when you first start the game it seems like there is a lot to learn. But it doesn’t take long before you understand the intricacies of the game and are cooking like a boss. That is when the real thrill comes. Managing a restaurant might sound like a dull thing to do in a game but the breakneck speed at which the game moves sometimes is really thrilling. During the rush hours, especially, the orders come in thick and fast and you better be quick on your fingers if you want customers to leave a good rating and tip. Not only do you need to get it done quickly but also get it done to their exact preferences. And then there are the chores that you need to do as well. Skip those and you automatically offend the customers who’ll just walk away.

It’s all really incredibly addictive and it never really feels repetitive. You can keep switching and adding new items to your menu and upgrade your skills and equipment. As you earn more, you spend more to make the place better. Eventually you get really good at it and then it gets easier to get a good rating and earn a lot more from your customers.

Graphics and Sound

Cook, Serve, Delicious! has a simple hand drawn look to everything. The drawings are actually very good and I’d be lying if some of the food items didn’t make me feel hungry. Only complaint with the visuals is that on the iPad with Retina display, the images look slightly blurred, as if they are low resolution drawings being upscaled for the higher resolution display. The game works best on a tablet but I was surprised at how playable it is even on a comparatively smaller screen of a Nexus 5.

Sound-wise, again, Cook, Serve, Delicious! is pretty good. The background music is the kind of stuff you’d expect to hear in a restaurant and sounds quite nice. I especially liked the sound effects for everything, from the sound of chopping to cooking to something being poured. The little audio cues of the customers mumbling their satisfaction or dissatisfaction to you getting their order right or wrong are especially amusing. Overall, the game is satisfactory on both the audio and visual fronts.

Verdict

Cook, Serve, Delicious! is exactly the sort of game that the so-called “hardcore” gamers will ignore at first glance because there are not enough guns and semi-naked women in the screenshots. But if you’re someone who enjoys games regardless of the genre they belong to, Cook, Serve, Delicious! will absolutely win you over. There is a slight overload of information at first and too many things to remember but that’s where the challenge lies. And you’d be surprised how satisfying it is to complete a day without messing up a single order or chore and getting a generous rating in the end for it. And for all the thrill and satisfaction it provides, Cook, Serve, Delicious! also deserves a generous rating.

Rating: 9/10
Pros: Fast paced, exciting gameplay that never gets boring, attractive visual design
Cons: Visuals don’t look very sharp on a high resolution display

Download: iOS | Android

This game was reviewed on an iPad Air and Nexus 5.

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