I feel very lucky that I get to play so many games for review purposes on Hyper Light Up and don’t get me wrong, I really love it. But between the puzzles I need to figure out in adventure games, the grinding I have to do in RPGs and the competitive hell that is Rocket League, I need some chill time, something to calm my brain down. So I thought, “Let’s pick up Cook, Serve, Delicious! that sounds like a casual management game!”. How wrong was I…
Cook, Serve, Delicious! is a restaurant management sim where you have to run a restaurant in a commercial tower. You need to prepare the orders for your clients, keep your restaurant clean, buy appliances to make your life easier and make sure that, at the end of the day, everyone is happy. You begin with an 1 star restaurant and with basic recipes like hot dogs, simple salads, beer and ice cream. As you progress and gain more publicity and money you can upgrade your restaurant and make it a 5 star with more complex recipies to prepare and of course lots and lots of people that you need to cater to their every culinary desire.
The graphics of the game are not that great, they are something you usually see in mobile games. Simplified interface and animation but detailed enough to get the job done. The music also isn’t that great, just playing in the background without getting attention. I used my own playlist while playing the game.
The controls are very interesting and you can play either with keyboard, gamepad or just the mouse. When an order comes in, there are keyboard shortcuts that represent each ingredient. You need to read the order and press the correct key or gamepad button that represents the correct ingredient. You can also just use your left mouse click but you will need to be more accurate. Each control scheme works great but to tell you the truth, if you want to master the game you need to use keyboard and learn the recipe shortcuts by heart. There will be times where rush hour will overwhelm you and moving around with just the mouse simply won’t do.
The gameplay is what makes this game intense and I really did not expect it. As I mentioned before, I thought I was going into a casual game and at first that’s what happened. I built up my restaurant, I bought my first appliances and created my first menu with simple recipies. You have the option to train in every recipe before you buy it for your establishment, so I naturally did that too. I read the welcoming mail and I began my first day. All was going fine, people were coming in, they were asking for their preferred food and ingredients, I casually prepared it and when it was ready I wished them well. And then Rush Hour hit.
Rush Hour is what happens in real restaurants too and it’s when people come in all together and you don’t know who to serve first. That’s what happened in Cook, Serve, Delicious! too. At 12pm to 1pm and at 6pm to 7pm is the game’s Rush Hour. A huge text appears announcing that, the music changes to something more uptempo and things get really intense. People storm in and your orders are filled up, so you need to serve anyone without missing an order, don’t make mistakes because if you do they will be unhappy and you’ll become unpopular and also take care all the chores, like cleaning the toilet and throw out the garbage. Believe me, the first time this happened I was glued to my chair thinking “What is going on!?!” and misclicking all over the place (because I started playing with mouse only. Since then I’ve learned though).
You learn quickly though and you get used to each recipe and it’s ingredients, the intensity of rush hour and how to manage everything. You can also go to a 2 star restaurant by using only the mouse but it might be better if you learn the keyboard shortcuts from the start. The thing I found really interesting is that the game trains your memory and your skill to multitask. If you want to succeed in greater levels you need to remember which order came first and prepare that so you will have more time with the other clients. You will also need to be lightning fast when you read the order and then prepare the food without making a mistake. If you do there’s no turning back, your order is ruined and your client will be unhappy, so you’d better keep calm and move on to the next.
Cook, Serve, Delicious! has enough modes to keep you playing for many hours. In career mode you get to create your own restaurant, manage it and get it from 1 star to 5 star. You will be able to manage everything, from buying and upgrading foods, creating your preferred menu, buying equipment and serve the people. There are some random events that happen like inspection coming over to see if your restaurant is clean, robberies where you’ll need to describe the thief while the customers wait without patience and bets that you can participate sent to you by grudgy cooks who think they are better than you or by CookBets.
If you want to just cook, you can try battle kitchen mode that consists of challenges that you can participate alone or with other players. In battle kitchen you will find the weekly challenge, strike challenge, endurance and eSports endurance, and also mystery box. These challenges begin from a standard difficulty and ramp up to incredibly mad levels with 8 orders coming in and no time to take a breather. Finally, you can also play local co-op with your friends if you like.
You can begin your own restaurant empire buying Cook, Serve, Delicious on Steam for 9,99€.
Cook, Serve, Delicious! is a great restaurant management sim. Its gameplay is intense and will challenge your multitask and memory skills. There are a lot of things to do in game as far as management goes and you can also try all the other modes if you want to just cook. The graphics and music are very basic but that really doesn’t matter much because the gameplay is solid. if you are looking for a cooking sim that will give you many hours of playing, then definitely check Cook, Serve, Delicious!.
+Challenges your multitask and memory skills
+Lots of modes
+Lots of gametime hours
-Dimitris “Dimi Kaye” Kalyvas