I love to cook in my spare time, so Cooking Simulator was a game that immediately caught my interest. I worked in a busy and fancy restaurant as a sous-chef so I know how its like to prepare everything before the shift starts and how the pressure of serving on time feels. The game does an excellent job recreating that. The satisfying and rewarding feeling of seeing happy people eating your food is lost with some bad design mechanics. While we aren’t MICHELIN or GaultMillau, let’s give Cooking Simulator a rating to see if it is a culinary experience that you need to play.
What we liked!
- Enough guidance: By holding your hand the game teaches you how to successfully play Cooking Simulator. It fails to mention a crucial part and that’s organising your work space but this is something you’ll learn naturally while playing. What I mean with this is knowing where everything is, having some basics as salt and pepper near. Having a good natural flow to safe time is important for getting the most tasty and hot dishes. Everything else is explained perfectly, from how to order and buy ingredients, learning new dishes or getting food to the hungry. You have a very short tutorial in the menu but I suggest just starting the campaign as the first days are with enough guidance and easy task to get you started.
- Campaign becomes too hectic: Frustration quickly appears out the ovens as time limits for some dishes are really strict, too strict. I wouldn’t say that I am a perfectionist but it kinda hurts my motivation when I have to make four difficult and complex dishes in a too short time and have to choose what dish gets priority.
- Visuals: Even the health inspection will think Cooking Simulation looks too clean and shiny. The game looks highly detailed and realistic, a tomato looks like a tomato, fish looks like fish but it is a bit too general. Each ingredient always looks the same and that’s a bit of a bummer, little more variation would have done a lot in making things look more real and believable.
What we disliked
- Dressing a plate isn’t an option: Taste is the most important thing about a dish but having a great looking plate gives even more satisfaction for some food-lovers. In Cooking Simulation you literally just throw your food on a plate. Sometimes it is even a miracle that everything stays on the plate. The physics are sloppy and one of the most important things from serving food is neglected here.
I like my steak rare and Cooking Simulator is something between Medium and Well-Done. It is still eatable but slightly disappointing. My main issue with this game is not being able to dress your dish properly, that’s what cooking in a restaurant is all about so it is really weird that this is completely neglected.