Order Up!! is a cooking and time-management game hybrid that teaches us being chef is hard work. Not only do chefs need to focus on cooking the best dishes possible, but maintaining their restaurants and keeping their clientele happy is as important as keeping their culinary skills in check. Order Up!! has seen several ports in the past few years, but this 3DS version is perhaps the best way to run your restaurant, even if it does get a bit stale at times.
Developed by: SuperVillain Studios
Published by: UTV Ignition
Genre: Cooking simulation
Play it if: You’re a fan of cooking and time-management games
Skip it if: You get bored pulling lettuce leaves
The moment your chef begins his or her journey to stardom, you’ll get a whiff of the hilarity that comes packaged in the game. Your chef will jump out of an airplane into a dumpster and plop out next to a fast food joint that acts as the game’s tutorial. Once you learn all there is to know about flipping burgers, you’re off on your own and become the owner of your first restaurant in the lively island of Port Abello, home of colorful characters and witty waitresses.
Each day at your restaurant involves cooking food to order. Your wait staff will bring you the order and then you’ll need to tap each ticket to begin the cooking process. Each recipe requires different preparation methods that, in turn, require you to do different things with your stylus. The faster you are at pulling lettuce or the more accurate you are at tap-slicing carrots, for example, the better chances you’ll have at nabbing a Perfect rating for that ingredient that goes into the total score for that dish. The better your dish, the more tips you’ll get from your customers. Controls are responsive and everything is easily accessible despite the size of the touch screen.
Once you get multiple orders, things start to get a bit hectic and the time-management component of the game truly kicks in. Finished dishes get cold once they are completed and customers might even leave your restaurant if they have to wait too long for their food, so you’ll need to juggle cooking as many items as you can at all times. This causes problems for players who want to cook each ingredient perfectly and still get the most money at the end of the day.
All your hard-earned money lets you buy improvements to your restaurant that makes cooking things easier and pleases your patrons even more. Spices can be added to foods too to increase their flavor and each of the game’s characters has his or her unique preferences that give you bonus tips when you satisfy their cravings. You can even hire an assistant to hand off some of your tasks to when things get too busy, but I found that these sous chefs don’t have the best skills and might keep you from making Perfect dishes.
You’ll need to play through several days at your restaurant to get enough money to buy upgrades and ultimately buy more establishments, so the game does get repetitive at times and will force you repeatedly revisit the kitchen for more money. Each restaurant simply adds a few new patrons and additional dishes, but it all starts feeling the same after a while. There are a few mini-games thrown in here and there to mix things up a bit like putting out kitchen fires or flicking rats out of your kitchen, but even these will start to get old.
Still, Order Up!! is a great game to play for anyone that loves the madness of time-management games and appreciates the fun of cooking simulators. Despite being on the 3DS, the game doesn’t utilize any of the handheld’s additional features, except, of course, its 3D graphics, which don’t add much to the game since most of it takes place on the bottom screen anyway. It does get repetitive after a while, but if you have yet to play the game, this 3DS version of Order Up!! should satisfy your cravings for a good cooking game.