Sushi and Tea Time!
When it comes to games about food, Sushi Time’s quick clicks and micro restaurant management make for an easy to swallow treat. This game isn’t too expansive or active, from one point of view, in one restaurant location, players severe customers one of two things. Either a tantalizing variety of rice-based meals or two different types of tea. The core of the gameplay is mixing up meals for googly eyed sushi suitors, and that entire experience is a little lacking. This simplicity does not hold the game back from being enjoyable, but it is certainly small in scope and left wanting a few more bites.
Just like a real sushi bar, customers come up to the counter, and you are rewarded for the accuracy and quickness in which you fill the order. You can hit them immediately with beverages (if you have them pre-poured) but each food item must slowly travel to them on a river of sushi boats. Sushi Time! is a mobile-like games package with the familiar mini level structure and three-star rating system. As you progress through the levels, you’ll unlock new ingredients, new recipes, and if you like Asian cuisines you will walk away hungry.
Unlocks and Upgrades
As you play the levels, you unlock for new types of food to fill your sushi rolls. Carrots, cucumbers, and seafood of all types stock your table and are combined in different ways to make different meals. Patrons come to the counter with a small order bubble near them showing the symbol of the finished item they would like to eat. This is where the fun and “Where’s Waldo” aspect of food hunting begins. You can either remember every order or you can look at the small picture to decipher what’s in the concoction. Speed is of course a key element because faster order fills lead to more money.
Cash tips are used to upgrade your restaurant aesthetics and bonuses (like bonsai trees and mood lanterns), but you can also upgrade your prep tools. I spent most of my time saving up cash to max out the sushi mat, but players can also put points into faster teapots and consumable cookies that add time to orders in levels. It was funny that your tips are based on the speed of service and not the size of the meal. This is basically the opposite of a real restaurant where larger orders typically yield bigger tips, but since those take longer in Sushi Time! the payout is usually lower: Last but not least in the unlock category are the achievements, this small list of challenges yield coin rewards that add to your overall money count. Most can be earned in typical level play, but the “lose a customer”, “lose a game”, and the “lose 3 times in a row” achievements are particularly annoying because they reward failure and force you to lose.
For as simple as the game is, I did enjoy it. I think my biggest criticism is the lack of names on any of the meals. The customer’s orders are symbol-based, so I never know what kind of food I’m preparing. Even a simple description would have worked for me, but the lack of any names is bizarre. There is no menu in the “available recipes” list, and none of the items are named. Not like a real restaurant at all, and I believe the developers missed out on a big educational aspect. Players should recognize the cucumbers, carrots, and avocados in their prep station, but many of the meats are unrecognizable and unnamed to the sushi layman like me. Their lack of a learning experience and a possible gameplay hook being missed is curiously omitted from the game.
Graphically I wasn’t expecting much in this mobile-like affair. I will say that many of the customers look terrifying and I prepared their meals as fast as possible so they would leave my shop. It’s the big ghoulish eyes. I also secretly judged some of the 2D patrons as they entered. Of course, “the sweater guy” would order a rice sponge with tea. He certainly looks like the type. For a technical view, the game is fine, and there are no hiccups from a stability standpoint, but sometimes what you can do as serving actions makes no sense. My character must have had four hands because I could pour both teapots and roll sushi at the same time. Strange.
Sushi Time is very simple, from its music to its levels to its single-game location. There is no larger story at play and no big fuss. This is a time passing game with a sushi spin. Even with its limited features, this tightly wrapped package is a relaxing and enjoyable one. Sushi Time! is a throwback to the three-star era of mobile games. You’ll certainly replay levels, unlock items, and ingredients in their quick pick up and play challenges. While it’s not reinventing the restaurant genre in any way, it is still somewhat tasty. My advice: Don’t come to Sushi Time! hungry because it will make you want to go out to grab food.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Nintendo Switch code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Sushi Time Review
Gameplay - 4/10
Graphics - 4/10
Sound - 6/10
Replay Value - 6/10
User Review( votes)
Sushi Time! is a well-wrapped package that needs a little more time in the kitchen.