Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!! by Vertigo Gaming Inc.
Those few who know of my true gaming habits know a deep, dark secret about me: I have a certain affinity for cooking games. I prefer cooking games to actually cooking. From the earlier Nintendo DS days of the Cooking Mama series to more recent mobile games like Cooking Fever, I can never get enough of that fast-paced cooking action.
Naturally, I jumped at the opportunity to review Vertigo Gaming Inc.’s Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!! Having spent hours and hours on the first Cook, Serve, Delicious! title, I was curious to see how such a fantastic game model could be improved upon in a sequel. I was not disappointed in the least.
Cooking from Scratch
Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!! is a furiously fast cooking game of satisfying (pro)portions. Where most cooking games focus on each individual aspect of food preparation, the Cook, Serve, Delicious! series is more focused on restaurant management: specifically, managing the lunch and dinner rush.
The first Cook, Serve, Delicious! title put the player in charge of their own restaurant, preparing food orders and doing chores simultaneously. The goal of having a perfect day meant not making any mistakes in order preparation and also making sure that customers weren’t grossed out by a lack of completed chores. The daily menu could be customized with up to six different items, and various effects such as weather, health inspections and robberies added to the experience.
More Chaotic than Your Average Cooking Game
Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!! continues in the fashion of its predecessor, but with a remarkable amount of gameplay additions. Controls remain similar, with the new addition of prep stations. Orders and chores pop up on the left. The player has a limited amount of time to complete an order or a chore before the customer will lose patience and leave. This tends to happen much more quickly during rush hour.
Once an order or chore is selected, there are button prompts on the screen that inform how to cook and build what the customer specifically wants or how to properly complete a chore. The prep stations are essential in this game. A lunch or dinner rush is doomed to fail if certain foods aren’t prepared beforehand to maximize speedy service.
This game has full controller support, but what I found especially appealing was the complete customization of hotkeys for the keyboard. Every time I play a Cook, Serve, Delicious! game, it looks as if I’m furiously working on something – a very handy side effect of gameplay, as getting through a lunch or dinner rush takes absolute focus.
As opposed to running one restaurant and changing the menu, Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!! gives you that option as well as the opportunity to earn your chops by working in dozens of other restaurants. Each day has the same completion standards in a three-medal system. A perfect day will award you a gold medal, while a small amount of mistakes on orders will award silver or bronze, respectively. The variety of restaurants varies from fast food to fine dining and everything in between. Each restaurant has its own theme of cuisine, and completing and unlocking more restaurants just adds to the beautifully organized chaos.
So Beautiful I Could Eat It
Visually, Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!! is far beyond its predecessor. The art direction for the food illustrations poured a lot of effort into making the dishes look as tantalizing as possible. I honestly can’t play this game without feeling hungry.
With an extremely vast selection of foods to prepare, repetition and practice is necessary to avoid getting behind during the rush hour. Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!! is one of the more stressful cooking games I’ve ever played, but I just can’t stop playing it. With a restaurant editor added along with a ton of new gameplay features, this is a sequel that dances delicately on the palette before bursting with flavor.
Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!! is available via Steam, GOG
Watch the official trailer for Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!! below: