Review: Cooking Fever
At a Glance
|ESRB Rating:||E - Everyone|
|My Rating:||Ages 10 and up|
|Review Published On:||November 27th, 2020|
The main issue with this game isn't its content, but rather the constant need to use gems for various things. While they can be earned very slowly via gameplay, gems are normally purchased using real money.
If only! You'll nearly always have more customers coming in than workstations available, so somebody will be waiting while you prepare orders. Juggling dishes and ingredients is core of the gameplay, and it's often more about planning ahead than improvisation. Each restaurant features forty levels of cooking fun, with new dishes opening up as you progress. You can also replay a level at any time, so feel free to go back and try for a better rating, more money, or just for fun.
Between rounds, you can purchase "upgrades" to your kitchen or restaurant that will help you earn more money or make the game easier. Purchasing quality furnishings like fancy tables, TV systems, pinball machines, or decorations will help the customers feel more comfortable hanging around, and this in turn will encourage them to leave better tips or wait a little longer for their food. Kitchen upgrades generally come in two flavors: ingredients and appliances. Upgrading the quality of your ingredients increases their sale price, while upgrading your cookware makes things cook faster or in larger batches.
Eventually, you'll be ready to purchase new restaurants and grow your cooking empire. Each restaurant has its own menu and difficulty curve, so be ready for a new challenge every time you unlock* a new restaurant. If you end up disliking how a restaurant plays, it's not a total loss -- every restaurant you own generates a small amount of income every day, regardless of whether or not you've played any of its levels recently.
But, as much fun as this game can be, there's a problem that lingers like the smell of old cheese. Cooking Fever's premium currency* is known as Gems. Like many games with a premium currency*, these are used to purchase more expensive items and new restaurants. The problem though is that many, if not most, upgrades cost a small amount of Gems. While Gems can be earned through normal gameplay, the amount you need to do much of anything greatly exceeds the amount you can reasonably earn, effectively locking most of the game away behind a paywall*.
This is a game I'd like to recommend, but the requirement for Gems will just ruin the game for many people. If you do decide to try this game, spend your Gems with care -- you should probably focus on buying restaurants first, then kitchen appliances, then furnishings. Wait to upgrade the ingredients until later on, as they don't really effect the gameplay.
Points of Interest
An important thing to note about the level design is that they are not random. Each level has a fixed roster of customers and orders, making it possible for you to memorize who will order what and when. Thus, if you get stuck on a level, paying attention to the customers can help a lot.