|Harder recipes tend to have more ingredients and more customisation|
|Reviewed by:||Mark Goninon|
|Release Date:||14 Sep 2017|
|Time played:||52.7 hours|
Coming Back for Seconds
I'm quite a fan of the original Cook, Serve, Delicious! and it's one of the highest rated games on Choicest Games, receiving a whopping 9 out of 10. The game rewards those that have an aptitude at touch typing yet also want a game where you get to run a business (in this case, a restaurant). The original game was released in 2013 but a sequel wouldn't surface for another 4 years. It wasn't until another two years after that, in 2019, that I managed to nab Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!! as part of the Humble Great GameMaker Games Bundle (along with another game that's been reviewed here called Don't Sink).
In terms of the story, the game takes place some time after the first Cook, Serve, Delicious!. The company that owns the building your restaurant is situated in has been illegally siphoning funds and has incurred a huge debt. Consequently, the tower is shut down and you lose your restaurant. Thankfully, you have savings but you have to use all of them in order to start from scratch again in a new building called the Teragon Supertower.
The game has a Metascore of 62 which indicates mixed or average reviews. Critics complimented its addictive gameplay but were less pleased about its lack of polish on release and lack of direction. The story is very different on Steam though as the game has a "Very Positive" rating based off 90% of the 1,953 user reviews recommending the game.
A Menu with Many Choices
At its core, the game plays very similar to the previous Cook, Serve, Delicious!: there is a restaurant management mode where you can decide what dishes are available on the menu and then there's the action part of the game where you work for a day in your restaurant, frantically racing against the clock to prepare delicious meals for customers with dwindling amounts of patience. The game can be played with a mouse but I much prefer the keyboard as this gives me the chance to make the most of my touch typing skills, allowing me to run the restaurant more efficiently.
The game feels bigger than the original in several ways. While I tend to ignore the emails in the game that are a means of advancing the plot, I do appreciate the many new dishes you are able to purchase and unlock. You're also able to work as a "chef for hire" at other restaurants in the tower which gives you the opportunity to prepare dishes that you may have not unlocked yet and you're rewarded with bronze, silver or gold medals for your efforts (in order to gain a gold medal, aka a "perfect day", you have to make no mistakes whatsoever). I didn't find myself completing much of these missions since while you can only unlock certain foods upon collecting a number of medals, the huge range of food on offer meant I didn't feel like I was missing out on much.
|Two chefs cooperating with each other in the same restaurant can be heaps of fun|
The game comes with different difficulty settings although I felt the normal or "classic" difficulty setting was the right fit for me. Whenever you're trying to get the orders out as quickly as possible during rush hour at a popular restaurant, there are bound to be slip ups, meaning a silver medal is usually the best you can expect. Practice makes perfect though and once you get familiar with certain foods and pick those same foods as choices on your menu, you can do quite well.
Besides setting the difficulty manually the game also automatically adjusts the difficulty based on how much "buzz" your restaurant generates. If you continue to make no mistakes and offer side dishes to ensure your customers are receiving "delicious" meals, your buzz will increase. You'll become a victim of your own success as when the buzz increases, your restaurant becomes pretty popular, which means a lot more customers. While this means you could potentially make even more money, it also means you're going to struggle to deliver everybody's orders on time.
For those wanting a more casual experience with this game, there is a Zen mode where everything goes at a much slower pace and you can even give your customers infinite patience (Yes! In Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!!, a world without "Karens" is possible)! I found this to be very handy for my kids since they wanted to enjoy the process of running their own restaurant without feeling rushed. But what made the game even better and a favourite for me and my kids is the ability to play it co-operatively on the same computer. While common sense would suggest not having too many cooks in the kitchen, two chefs playing the game at the same time is a load of fun. You can probably use controllers but we settled for playing the game with a keyboard for one player and a mouse for the other and this setup works fine. The feeling of completing a Perfect Day as a team is one hard to beat.
|You'll have plenty of things that you can use to decorate your restaurant|
A Restaurant with a View
Another welcome addition to the game is the ability to design your restaurant's interior. There are quite a few customisation options available including the walls, flooring, windows, countertop, tables, seating, lighting and decorations. You start off with limited options but as you progress through the game, more and more will unlock and become available to you. The only real criticism I have of the restaurant designer mode is that it's not very intuitive, especially when it comes to deleting objects. Still, it's one of the better new features to the game and is a greatly appreciated addition for kids or casual games wanting to express themselves in a creative manner.
|Sushi is a popular dish but difficult to prepare|
The only real issue I have with this game is that it can feel really grindy in the "late game". I put quotes around "late game" only because it's not entirely fair to criticise and my definition of "late game" is trying to level up your chef past level 40. Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!! can be tailored into the experience you want it to be. If you want a casual, low stress experience where you can dabble around for a few minutes, this game lets you do that. If you want to play the Dark Souls of cooking games, you can bump up the difficulty and that's exactly what you'll get. If your goal was like mine though, playing the Classic mode and aiming to reach Level 50, it's a bit of a grind and can get a little repetitive after a while. If you're in that weird middle ground, there really doesn't seem to be any goal in this game except reaching a higher level or unlocking more food and furniture. And it's probably around that time where most of you will drop the game for something else. Although by that stage you would've got a solid 30+ hours of fun gameplay and that's nothing to sneeze at.
Gameplay is very similar to the original and the game can feel like a bit of a grind when you get to higher levels, but before you reach that stage, you'll most likely enjoy this sequel to Cook, Serve, Delicious! as it's bigger and better in every way. Not only are there more recipes to cook but there's also the ability to design the interior of your restaurant. You can even enjoy some local co-op and if difficulty is ever an issue, there are options to make it as easy or challenging as you wish.
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