In the Search for Cooking Games
Been trying to find decent cooking games for ages now. I Guess this genre does not attract the gaming market anymore. Even so, there has to be something, something memorable… You see, If it’s racing games we’re talking, you know there’s Need for Speed. Or if it’s Shooters then you know there’s Black Ops or Far Cry… There’s a monumental game for each gaming genre. But what about cooking? Anyone know a really cool cooking game?
After spending few hours trying to find a SINGLE game that was all about cooking I failed to find a decent product. It’s like they (devs) mix cooking with something else like Strategy or time management or even Horror (but I don’t want to talk about it). The point is, I looked everywhere, in Google, in Steam, Amazon website, everywhere I could possibly look. First of all let's talk about the most valuable features in cooking games:
- Decent GFX and animation – The primary audience for this kind of games are the girls of age 8-13 years, so at very least characters and the game world has to look cute.
- Educative Materials – and again, we’re talking about kids, so there has to be some sort of educative content in games at some degree, cooking ingredients from fantasy world is no good.
- Simple Gameplay – simple or at least not too complex gameplay. For example Cooking Dash game at Steam store came really close, but despite all the comments and descriptions that mislead me to it, the gameplay wasn’t nearly as “easy” and simple as I hoped for.
- Focus on Cooking – It is really hard to find cooking games that are focused on cooking and not something else. Like time management in cooking is a horrible, really horrible idea, it makes you think that developers just CBA implementing complex cooking procedures into games and they divert attention to time management, which is totally wrong. Cooking is an art, and it’s deep… so many recipes and so many events to explore, time management puts X on everything. Just think of it, if you were interested in cooking games what would be your preferences? A) Exploring an exotic recipe and spending 30-60 minutes to cook a perfect meal or B) spending 2 minutes to cook a pancake, worrying about not making it in time? Obviously, the correct answer is A) even if you don’t want to spend 1 hour playing cooking game, the answer is still A). But the reality is, you won’t find a single cooking game that features long and in-depth cooking process.
There are however few games, 3 to be precise that are not complete trash, and let me tell you, it took a while to find them… testing and analyzing every single flash or HTML5 game, every free game on the net, watching gameplay videos of those that are not free, takes a lot of time…
- Papa Louie’s Restaurant
- Cooking Academy: Fire and Knives.
- Dinner Dash 2: Restaurant Rescue;
Ironically, none of these games have features from my wish list above, and ironically 2 of them are time management games / game series. Simply because I couldn’t find a better alternative, I had to stop on these 3. All three are part of game series. And please keep in mind, I don’t recommend any of them, except maybe Papa’s Games that are free to play but still…
Papa Louie’s restaurant management games, 11 mini games, part of 1 family. An Italian restaurant chain owner Papa Louie is the symbol and trademark for all 11 games: Freezeria, Cupcakeria, Cheeseria, Hot Doggeria, Burgeria, Pizzeria, Pasteria, Wingeria, Donuteria, Taco Mia and Pancakeria. Flash game series developed by Flipline Studios feature decent art and not so too bad gameplay. The biggest issue with all Papa’s Games is that they are very repetitive and a player gets bored too soon. Regardless, kids absolutely love these games including my 11 years old sister. Not just kids actually, all of these games except for Pizzeria (which is really old) are excellent time killers, even if you’re not into cooking at all, will probably enjoy spending 15-20 minutes baking donuts or cheeseburgers. Best thing about Papa’s Games is that they are all free to play. However, all 11 games are identical, no difference in gameplay, only in ingredients.
Cooking Academy: Fire and Knives
This game is available at Steam Store for $9.99. But I can’t tell if it worth the money. So I don’t recommend or recommend against buying it. In fact all 3 games / game series are horrible, I was just not able to find anything better. I don’t know much about other 2 games form Cooking Academy series but I’ve personally tested Fire and Knives. The game has really low system requirements and it is available to play in English, French, Italian, German and Spanish, which is all very nice, however, developers should have spent more time and effort working on actual gameplay rather than marketing features.
50 unique recipes featured and ability to improve skills such as chopping, frying, mashing etc. improving skills is a unique feature to this game, and it’s actually quite fun. Another good thing about Cooking Academy is the part where you unlock new recipes by passing exams. There are also mini-games like Foodini Mini games in Papas Games, but not as cool as Foodini games. And finally the Trivia thing, one of the reasons why I chose Cooking Academy, you could actually learn thing or two about cooking through the Trivia in Fire and Knives.
Dinner Dash 2
Cliché of all cooking games, the restaurant owner (Darla) is in trouble (in this case restaurant is about to be demolished because of financial problems and as a friend, you are asked rescue Darla and her restaurant. The game intro, cut scenes and movies are all presented in comic style, and the artwork is pretty good. But the game-world outside the restaurant looks awful. Well actually inside the restaurant isn’t that different unfortunately.
Flo arrives to help her friend Darla’s manage her restaurant. Which is where you proceed with the game tutorial that supposed to help you learn the basics. First impressions… this sucks! But let’s not forget the game is quite old so let’s ignore the graphics for a moment. This supposed to be a cooking game, in which you get to cook right? However soon we find out this is a restaurant management game only, you don’t cook anything, you just take orders and serve customers. Despite all that Diner Dash 2 can be entertaining, if you just close one eye on ridiculous aspects of the game, like for example when you have to drag customers to empty tables, like literally drag them.
I wasn’t going to include Dinner Dash 2 into this “Top 3” Cooking Games list but then again, for some crazy reason, when someone mentions Cooking game today, people associate it with restaurant management game, so. I’d really appreciate any feedback and game suggestions, even if it’s a console game but really is a good one, I’d like to hear about it. Thanks for reading my blog, I’m new at IGN, nice to meet you all.
Answers to following questions:
What are the best cooking games of 2015 for PC?
What are best free online cooking games?