Well, hello there again! Have you ever wondered if it could actually be that hard to own your own restaurant? And would you just like to try managing a whole team of employees without running the risk of losing your money? Then buckle up because Chef: A Restaurant Tycoon Game made by Inner Void is here! But does this live up to my expectations of being an overprotective wealthy restaurant owner? Let’s find out, shall we?
What we liked!
- Possibilities: In the game, you can almost pick everything you fancy. If you want to be a nice and cheap restaurant and have only pre-made dishes which the dev set ready for you? Then you can.
You want an expensive restaurant, and you want to make every recipe yourself? That’s possible as well (more on this later). It’s just so diverse, that I still feel that I only scratched the surface of the game.
- Specialization and skill system: Every single employee you hire, earns experience whilst working for you. This experience can be spent on making that character better at certain tasks, for example, main dishes for chefs, or seating customers for waiters. By doing so, they tend to eighter work quicker, or produce higher quality work there. Which overall can be leeway to more customers as your reputation continues to grow. With this comes the part that if you make a certain employee’s better at tasks, that you can assign them to those tasks only to maximize performance!
- Different audiences: During the game, you quickly figure out that you can totally adapt your menu to different types of audiences. If you, for example, want to sell a lot and have opened a restaurant in a cheaper area, then you see you a meter which shows you how attractive your restaurant is for these specific groups, which is an amazing touch!
- Music: Of course, a game wouldn’t be complete without some nice tunes to keep you motivated and hooked during sessions. Luckily Inner Void made the choice to add some nice songs, which have a groovy feeling to them. Generally really enjoyed those.
- Simple graphics: A game like this is, and will never be focussed on 4K textures, and detailed characters. But I do expect some semi-detailed characters and places, which is exactly what I got here! Every character has a nice look to them, a tad cartoony I must admit, but overall nice! With that also comes the ability to make your own chef/waiter/boss character which represents you!
- The story behind every place: Every place you can rent, cheap or expensive, has its own story/back-theme to it! Cheaper places tend to have issues like higher competition, being haunted, cockroaches, smell,… Which then can be fixed later on by spending more on cleaning/venting/putting entertainment points in waiters,… just an overall unique feeling!
- Custom recipes: Oh here we go! As a bit of a hobby cook, I felt right at home when I opened this tab. I was just so surprised to see that I could make and name my own plates, and choose to make my chefs make these! Every time I saw that quality meter go up, for example when I was finishing my lasagne with the right amount of salt, then there was just this very satisfying feeling to it. Also, this made me price those custom plates higher then the rest, which turned out to be the boost I needed to get to high level/paying customers. Lucky, if you fail your restaurant, but made some good recipes whilst being there, you can import from failed saves! So no time is waisted!
- Genuine starting level: Pre disclaimer: I am new to the genre and the game allows you to change the difficulty. That being said, the “normal” difficulty felt rather hard to get into. I kept loosing money, which was normal, but still. Genuinely failed a few restaurants before trying on the easy mode to get started. After I got used to the way I could actually price and level my characters, and what went well, and what didn’t, I swapped back to normal and found myself not going broke in 2 days.
- Bankruptcy: For starters, you go broke if you enter 10K debt. Which just feels rather shallow, but hey, you shouldn’t overcommit, and after 2 days of spending more then you earn, you should be making adjustments. But failing the whole save by going bankrupt, feels a tad harsh. But if you wouldn’t fail, then you would just lose money indefinitely. So partially justified I assume. I just feel like the bankruptcy ratio should be put a tad lower, so you can make some bigger investments instantly to get rolling quicker.
What we disliked
- Frankly enough, I didn’t have anything that got me feeling negative enough to be put here. So nothing to be said.
Overall, if you like tycoon games, simulation games, or just like managing stuff like the sims/little cities, then Chef: A Restaurant Tycoon Game is something that is really worth your money! I had an overall blast playing this game during the time spent reviewing it, and if I have some time in the future, I will probably spend even more time on this game. So young or old, casual or try-hard, this game could be something for you! If you decide to purchase this game, make sure to let us know on twitter whether or not you felt the same.