||I'm going to begin my review by stating that the 7/10 I'm giving is review of this game.
Many reviews make the mistake of saying; "This game is only a 5 because another game does it better."
That isn't fair, since games like this are in a genre of their own, and casual games aren't meant to
be compared to games like Blacklist or GTA.
Now that my rant is out of the way, C-S-D is great game, especially for casual one.
You're goal in Cook is to manage the food, cooking orders, and chores of a restaurant.
I've never been a fan of games that put my speed to the test, not because I can't do it,
but because it's usually just annoying. I like to do things certain ways, and time trials
have this bad habit of disallowing routine. Cook however somehow manages to balance good
gameplay with a timed day and a bit of stress.
You start your day by selecting your active menu, which can be either 3 or 4 items to cook.
Each has their own pros and cons, creating either positive or negative buzz to your restaurant.
So before you even begin your day you have to plan out a little; things like soda can be served
everyday because they're staples, but steaks and soups etc. get menu rot and have to be changed
every couple of days. Others are good money makers but take an excessive time to prepare.
Soups being a great example, they have different recipes but unless you're quick with the keys
can take a long time to prepare and longer to cook; which frees time to prep another customers
meal in peace, but at the same time can burn if overcooked ticking off the customer lowering your
rating and at the same time wasting time another patron can be sitting during.
The game gives you a lot of choices, cook slow for high profit and tips, or run the kitchen the way
a line order cook does and be 100 hot dogs and fill 30 sodas. It all depends on what works better for you.
While all this is going on it can be very easy to screw up a key press, ruin your streak and lose
some precious cash you want to upgrade your setup. There are plenty of options as well, not only can
you purchase new foods, but as days progress you can upgrade them, giving them more options as well
as higher incomes, again forcing you to balance your (in the early days, is a very) small income.
You can purchase equipment which can save time on things like a dishwasher making it happen less
often so you have a chore out of the way wasting precious time you can be using to make money, but
some things like a fryer you need to be able to purchase foods. There are even certain milestones
you need to make to increase the star rating of your restaurant. These can be simple things such as
meeting a certain tip amount, playing a certain number of days, and buying certain amounts of new foods.
Some can be complicated, such as passing a health inspection which increases the amount of chores and
shortens the time you have to complete them, and reaching a certain perfect streak for a certain
number of days.(All of these mentioned are just from 1 star to 2.)
The controls are smooth, but the game doesn't give off a smooth learning curve. You pretty much have to
master the controls or you're gonna be in deep. There's the option of using the mouse, but only for
complicated recipes did I find this useful, otherwise it was simply better to use both hand on the keyboard
to get through my day of prep. Preps for salads for example can be done with a keyboard in less than a second.
The visuals are very nice, while nothing current/next-gen is shown, none of that is needed. The simplicity
gives it its great charm and no matter what makes you want to go another day to see how you can do with a new
combo. You're never short on information while you're playing, the animations of what you're cooking/prepping
along with the bars and clock keep you focused.
The sounds, graphics, and music keep the mood of a well paced game where you can't try to create too
much of a strategy; and while there are some "easy" ways to make money the creators did a good job of
not making them good money makers. Along with the restrictions of play and upgrades. You won't finish or
master the game in 10 days or have a 5 star restaurant on a week no matter what you do. There's plenty of
content to keep you going, or even start a new game to try a totally different approach. It definitely could
use a bit more to it to keep it from getting stale, such as more interaction with the customers or maybe
special events during the day, as the setting gets a bit repetitive and sometimes you can feel overwhelmed
just from not knowing how much something is going to affect something else. But the fact you can practice with
a new food before buying it is nice, as it gives you a taste (no pun intended) of its routine to see if it fits
your overall play style.
Overall Cook - Serve - Delicious is a great game (that maybe could have used a better title, but it is funny)
that lets you manage a restaurant in many different aspects and offers you many choices in how you go about
cooking through your day while offering a simple enough setting anyone can get it. Despite it's steep learning
curve and sometimes repetitive gameplay it's something any casual or food game aficionado should try.
Or if you're just bored and wanna try something quirky and fun, it's a good game for you.