Cooking Simulator – Cooking with Food Network Review

Play Cooking Simulator – Cooking with Food Network to be badgered by a Gordon Ramsey icon. Career mode is where you work to get a kitchen out of debt. You have three minutes to prepare your kitchen for an entire day’s worth of work. The first meal of baked trout ought to be out to the customer in less than eight minutes or the next dish resets the timer (and thus you make no money from the trout, no matter how close you were to finishing it). Your score gets calculated and rated against other players’ performance for each dish.

Winter holidays mode has a mountain kitchen, which will require you to re-familiarize yourself with the location of all the items and gadgets you use.

I’m not sure what the tutorial is for. If you don’t understand the game mechanics, go to cooking school mode. Gordon Ramsey goes from helpful to neutral to denigrating faster than you can grab your knife.

The learning curve for game mechanics is steep. I began in the tutorial, which is a timed meal-preparation scenario. Cooking Simulator neglects to indicate that you must click on the TV screen icon to read your recipe. I expected a paper recipe or to be able to read from the cookbook, but the cookbook does nothing.

What took me a while to realize, is that there is a tutorial select button in the lower right portion of the main menu. If you leave it on, Cooking Simulator – Cooking with Food Network will explain what you need to do, in detail, to get that kitchen up & running & out of debt.

Any tutorial mode in the game will give you pop up directions at the top of your screen that appear with a literal popping noise. If you take longer than the game thinks you ought to, the direction repeats itself. When you have a six-part task, the repetition of the message and the popping noise irked me.

The mouse sensitivity needs to be just right in order to be able to do anything in this game. You have to get your mouse in the general area of the item you want to interact with, and it will be highlighted yellow when you’ve targeted it. Unfortunately this did not seem to always be when you were directly pointing the mouse at an object, so that was frustrating.

With the detail of the graphics, this game would probably work better in VR, without the frustration of a mouse. You are allowed to choose between a classic and modern kitchen, which is an aesthetic choice. The event kitchens can be fun and cute, with offerings such as the Fourth of July and Hallowe’en. You earn decorations and eventually get to customize your kitchen.

Cooking Simulator – Cooking with Food network combines everything I hate about action games with timed coordination moves being necessary to progress. Day one with the tutorial going in career mode holds your hand and leads you through cooking the baked trout. You spend points on perks like unbreakable dishes, being able to handle hot items without gloves, etc (and earn them at levels 1, 3, 5, 8, 11, 14, 17, and 20). You have separate points to spend on skills that allow you to have more time before a dish is due out or that make it harder to lose fame. On day two, I thought I’d be clever and do a bunch of preparation in advance for baked trout, salmon and boiled potatoes, and tomato soup. I shouldn’t have. Gordon Ramsey still holds your hand, leading you through the process of cooking salmon and boiled potatoes step by step. I still can’t figure out how to get liquids to pour. I tried to get chicken broth for the tomato soup to pour during my preparation time, but I couldn’t get the tilting to work with the left click of the mouse or by holding down the left mouse key. I tried again with the sunflower oil used to fry the salmon patties and didn’t get any further pouring liquids then, either.

The music is relentlessly cheerful. A radio on the desk may be set to use MP3s, internet streaming, or to different stations with different songs: Cooking Malaga by Ibuproaudio (Cheesy FM), Hola Hola Bossa Nova by Juanitos (Jazz Station), Fantasy in C Major (‘Wanderer’) by Franz Schubert (Classic Radio), Souvenir de Florence by Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky (Classic Radio), Something Elated by Broke for Free (altstat), Molten Snow by Jesse Spillane, My Always Mood by Broke for Free (altstat), Cooking Jazz by Ibuproaudio (Cheesy FM), or Cooking Satie by Ibuproaudio (Cheesy FM). Not all songs are available all the time. I’m not sure what the mechanism is that offers you more choices at different times, but you rotate between about five stations: Cheesy FM, Jazz Station, Classic Radio, altstat, and perhaps one more.

Sandbox mode allows you to wreak havoc in your kitchen. I’m not particularly interested in destroying anything, so I’m clearly not the intended audience. Sandbox mode unlocks all 114 recipes and eight possible perks.

The cooking school lesson on the meal can get stuck if you lose your spatula outside the designated area. Then you’ll have to start the meal over. You can have completed salting the steak and have “Gordon Ramsey” yelling at you to go back to basics, because you shouldn’t be in this kitchen; because even though you have the proper amount of salt, apparently you’re doing it wrong. The game lets you use the cooking board for meat and then vegetables, which is bad kitchen hygiene. I tried to use the sink to wash dishes, but I have no idea if you’re even able to. The least Cooking Simulator – Cooking with Food Network could do is teach a few kitchen hygiene basics while you get to smash everything to pieces, but after playing this game I don’t even want to cook in my own kitchen.

REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to editor@bonusstage.co.uk.

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Cooking Simulator - Cooking with Food Network Review
  • Gameplay - 0/10
    0/10
  • Graphics - 10/10
    10/10
  • Sound - 5/10
    5/10
  • Replay Value - 0/10
    0/10
Overall
4/10

Summary

After playing Cooking Simulator – Cooking with Food Network, I don’t even want to cook in my own kitchen.