Cooking Simulator review

Cooking Simulator lets you unleash your inner Gordon Ramsay without burning down your kitchen. You’re hired by an up and comer restaurant owner looking to turn around a failed restaurant. When you get to the kitchen, everything is in disarray and broken down. You’ll first have to quickly fix a few things before getting to the cooking. Can you help bring new life to the restaurant?

Cooking Simulator has you rummaging around the kitchen picking up utensils, dishes, food and concoct delicious meals by using 60+ of the in-game recipes. Given that this is a simulator, you have to use the same logic as you would in a real kitchen, minus the negative repercussions (or delicious meal). So if the in-game chef tells you to cook something for a specific time, don’t let it cook a second more otherwise you’ll “fail”. You can fail, but you’re left in limbo if you do. More on that below.

The kitchen has everything you need to cook and prepare the various recipes; even a store… well sort of. In a corner of the kitchen, you’ll find a few boxes which serve as stores. Opening boxes lets you purchase the necessary ingredients among the 120+ available throughout the game. You’ll also find some of the ingredients in the refrigerator.

Overall, the gameplay is pretty simple. Pick up items here and there and follow the Gordon Ramsay clone’s instructions. It’s technically pretty simple and as long as you pay attention to the steps, which can be displayed with a nifty tab on the left-hand side, you’ll be fine. The game also highlights the proper items in green to help you follow the steps. Also, when asked to reach a specific thing in the kitchen, the game will also display a green marker on the ground; which can be quite handy.

While this could make for a great relaxing title, this game has quite a few frustrating issues the first one being the tutorial/training modes. You’d think they’d make it user friendly. When I was starting the Cooking School mode (sort of tutorial), I was up to the point where the game wanted to explain how to cut the food. It does not tell you how to cut the food. With the knife in hand, an **Advanced Functions button** prompts which you’d assume would lead to cutting. It does not. The game never tells you to simply press A to go into the cutting mode. I spent 20 minutes trying to figure out how to cut a freakin’ tomato.

The other main problem, which I understand it couldn’t be done in real life, is the lack of a rewind option. So if you screw up, you can’t undo your mistake and you have to reload your last save. For example, I accidentally dropped my burned trout on the counter but given as it was hot, I couldn’t pick it up. Yet the in-game clone of Gordon Ramsay kept telling me what to do as if everything went according to plan. Pretty nonsensical; the game should recognize fails and confirm that you want to reload.

Being a simulator game, it’s a double-edged sword. They expect us to fix a stove within 1 minute and a half, yet I can’t pick up a simple burned fish on my counter to drop it back on the plate? It’s a lack of basic consistency if you ask me. Had they not included a “fixing” the kitchen sequence early on, this could be fine, but if you expect me to fix a stove under 2 minutes, let me pick up my trout.

Cooking Simulator is marked as a game with advanced cooking mechanics and realistic physics, but it’s difficult to apply those concepts to the virtual world. It feels more arcade-y (as far as arcade a cooking game can be). The joystick and face buttons can’t really compensate adequately for a mouse or a touch screen for a proper realistic experience. The same thing can be said when using a driving wheel for racing simulators.

The game looks fine. It’s highly colorful and the kitchen is well designed and everything can be accessed within a few seconds; to be honest, I would not have expected anything different. The aforementioned highlighted items are a nice touch. The soundtrack is annoying and unbalanced. You launch the game, and then when you start a mode, the sound cranks up to 11. It will make your ears bleed.

To be honest, I was looking forward to giving Cooking Simulator a shot. Unfortunately, the game will make you go through some unnecessary loops to understand what to do or how to do it such as cutting ingredients. Once you finally graps the concept, it’s pretty enjoyable for what it is, but gets old fast.

Overall
  • 55%
    CX Score - 55%
55%

Summary

Pros

  • Great variety of recipe to play around with
  • Can be relaxing once you get a hang of things

Cons

  • Tutorial isn’t helpful

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