I enjoy my food. If you’ve ever seen me enter a room and observed the ten second warning you get when I do, then you probably already know that about me. If you didn’t already know that, then you do now. Either way, it’s probably clear by now that when a game comes in that’s all about food, you can bet that it’ll be me that gets asked to review it.
Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!! is the sequel to Cook, Serve, Delicious if that wasn’t obvious, and this second helping gives the game a massive graphical overhaul. But is this a dish fit for a king or will it leave a nasty taste in your mouth?
There’s two major new enhancements to the game this time round. First, and most noticeable is the addition of food holding stations for complex dishes, as well as side dishes. This is a nice touch, meaning that you can prepare some of the more popular things ahead of time so it’s ready to serve immediately when a customer comes in. This mechanic means that the rush hours are even more hectic than before, and you get an hour warning so you can get ready preparing the dishes you think you’ll need.
The second notable change is the restaurant designer. You can now make your little restaurant your own, with a number of different items available to purchase or earn through the loot boxes that pop up after you’ve successfully completed a day. These aren’t purchasable with micro-transactions thankfully though, it’s just a way of unlocking everything.
I know I said that there were only two major changes here, but actually that’s not quite true. There’s a third major overhaul, and that’s the removal of about half of the game. I have no idea why, but Vertigo decided that what was needed for the sequel was less features. The minigames are gone, there’s no longer an email inbox with updates in it. The first game had different buzz factors to each menu item, and there was a skill in finding the perfect menu; that’s gone too, and now menu items are only different in terms of profit margins and aesthetics.
The first game felt a bit more simulator-like, with a lot of micro-management of your restaurant. I enjoyed that side of the game and I hoped for an expansion on that, to give more finite control like in games such as Theme Park or Prison Architect. In fact, the opposite has happened, and the game has more of an arcade feel this time, with less to do, but a much faster pace.
Don’t get me wrong, this is still a fun title, and if you liked the puzzle nature of the first game more than the restaurant sim part of it, then you’ll probably get more out of this. The holding station mechanics are a nice addition, and I particularly liked the fact that you now get a tonne of pre-made restaurants to play with, but it does play differently to its predecessor.
The other slightly irritating thing is the fact that almost all recipes now span across multiple pages, meaning that there’s more keypresses needed to make anything, even simple dishes like cereal go over two pages. You get used to it, but it doesn’t seem to add anything to the game so I’m not sure why they chose to do it.
Overall, I kind of enjoyed Cook, Serve, Delicious 2!!, but I still feel like it’s missing quite a lot. With less features than its predecessor, and that game being three quid cheaper, it’s difficult to recommend this in its current state. The developer has stated that more will be added in time, but as it is at the time of review, I would suggest you just buy the first title instead.
Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!! (Reviewed on Windows)
The game is average, with an even mix of positives and negatives.
Cook, Serve, Delicious 2!! feels like a step backwards when compared to the first game. A lot of features are missing and those that have been added aren't enough to make up for them. Save your money and buy Cook, Serve, Delicious!