This game has given me a full appreciation for chefs, short order cooks, and everyone else in the restaurant business. Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!! by Vertigo Gaming, Inc., allows you to virtually experience the rush and adrenaline of preparing food at a restaurant, and let me tell you, it is much harder than it seems. You have to juggle a constant stack of food orders, impatient customers, and maintenance facility issues, and the fast pace, high pressure, and intense fun that results is both enjoyable and rewarding. Combine that with sleek, bright graphics, and you have a game worth playing.
Something about this game that I really appreciated was the high level of detail and intricacy in every aspect of the cooking process. In other words, you do more than fry burgers all day. You can create your own menu of entrees, sides, and drinks (sides and drinks also boost customers’ patience levels) that customers can pick from, which leads to a huge variety of recipes and ingredients that must be mastered. In addition, different foods require different preparation processes; for example: a small group of meals must be made on a “holding station,” which makes multiple batches of the same food item but takes a longer time to cook. However, once the batch is ready, any customer who comes in and orders that food item can be served immediately. Another advantage of hot stations is that you can use them to make any food item before the restaurant even opens, which can ease a lot of stress at the start of the day. Besides food, there is a plethora of tasks to perform, such as filling drinks, cleaning the bathrooms, exterminating vermin, and even putting out stove fires. Instead of a mundane job consisting of repetitive, boring tasks, this game is filled to the brim with dynamic variety and energy.
One of the unique aspects of the gameplay is the use of keyboard typing for making meals. Each ingredient is added by typing a specific key, and your customer satisfaction decreases if you press the wrong key or type out of order. I have personally not seen many games utilize the keyboard for the main controls, so I thought this was both clever and inventive. On the other hand, you must click on the customers to prepare their specific orders, and once you have clicked on someone, you must fully complete their order before clicking on the next person. Sometimes the food item takes a long time to cook, and this can cause you to lose other customers even if you type as fast as humanly possible. When I played the first few times, I was extremely frustrated by this. However, once I familiarized myself with the menu, I could remember which orders took longer and, therefore, needed to be started early or spaced out.
At first glance, Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!! may look like your basic, simple cooking role-play game. But once you play your first round, you immediately realize that it is a challenging test of skill, time management, and memory. I love how the controls utilize all your fingers with keyboard typing instead of just your hand with a mouse, and how the flexibility and variety of the menu constantly forces you to reshape and re-sharpen your skills. So if you want high-key fun, check out Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!! I promise the game will be as exciting and energetic as its title.
Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!! releases today for PC on Steam. The game is also coming to soon to PlayStation 4.