Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!! is the second title in Vertigo Gaming’s cooking sim franchise and it brings with it all the best mechanics from the first title and improves upon them in every manner. After PC and PS4, the game is now out on Xbox One and Nintendo Switch as well and this is our review of this intense and exceptional cooking sim that had me on my toes the entire time I played it.
To start with, Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!! is a cooking simulation. When I say, cooking simulation, it is not for the casual gamers which means that you need to be exceptionally good at this game to actually win and run your own restaurant. However, it does not mean that if you are a casual gamer, there is nothing for you here. It blends the complexity of cooking with simple and easy controls and allows for a stellar cooking experience that few titles have delivers in the past.
You start the game as a chef in a well-established organization but bad things happen and you are left with nothing but a small room that you need to turn into a proper restaurant again. The main story is nothing too special to worry about however the main aspect which you should worry about is cooking and that is solid. When you take charge of your own restaurant, you start from the very bottom.
The game features an amazing list of recipes from all over the world. As far as I know, the game has over 200 recipes which include drinks, side dishes, and entrees. When I thought of a dish that came in my mind and I looked in the food catalog, it was there. The amount of recipes in the game is very impressive. You can find all of your favorite dishes in there and you can cook them without worrying about doing the dishes. Well, sort of, because you still have to do dishes chores in the game.
The main aim of the main campaign of the game is to run your own restaurant and make it as better as possible. Having a higher buzz is important because it will attract more customers to your restaurant. As you perform well every day, serve happier customers and do not miss out on basic chores, your buzz will increase and the next day will bring in more customers. Missing chores and returning bad customers will do the opposite.
Before you begin your day at your restaurant, you can pick the mode you want to play the game in. Like I said earlier, if you are a casual gamer, the game will not disappoint you. You can play each day as Standard, Classic, Stress or Zen. Zen allows you to set your own terms and make the game easier like turning on unlimited patience for customers and more. It will allow you to experience the game at a more casual pace.
Before you start your day, you can choose your menu for the day as well which includes entrees, side dishes, and drinks. You can serve drinks and side dishes to waiting for customers as they wait for their main course. This allows you to focus on cooking their dishes and not lose some nasty customers. Not every customer in the game has the same patience level so you will need to be good with your side dish game.
You can customize your restaurant by choosing floors, walls, and décor. As you run your restaurant, complete days and perform better, you will level up and unlock more furniture and items for your restaurant. You will also win some items for reaching milestones like I won a historic wheel and being a gearhead, I instantly mounted it on the wall of my restaurant. You need money for all the purchases and you earn that at the end of each day.
You will also get some bonus objectives for each day which include some daily challenges, milestones, and performance-based challenges. Completing these bonus objectives will earn you medals and rewards which can be beneficial for you in the long run. You also get monetary rewards which will help you purchase more furniture, items, and recipes for your restaurant.
Another way to earn some money is by working as a Chef-for-hire in different already restaurants in the game. These are specialized restaurants like a sushi bar, ice cream parlors or fast food joints. Each place comes with its own unique dishes and challenges. Complete as many as you can for good money. These are initially locked and you unlock more and more as you level up.
At the end of each day, you will get a detailed stat sheet of your performance which will show all your accomplishments and blunders for the day. It will show how many customers you served, how many went happy, how many went angry, how much buzz you gained for your restaurant, how much you lost, your income and all that sort of information.
When it comes to gameplay, Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!! is intense. It will keep you on your toes right from the very start especially during rush hours. While playing, the game will suddenly warn you of rush hour timings and then the mayhem really starts. I was literally sweating myself during the rush hours because the game became extremely intense and it very hard to focus on everything going on the screen.
You get more chores and more customers to serve during rush hour. Thankfully the game comes with some really excellent mechanics such as the Holding Stations. You can cook some food before the customers arrive and keep them in these holding stations and serve them in an instant when an order comes for the dish. This allows you to cater to the customer instantly without lining up in the queue.
It really helps in times such as rush hour as you can quickly serve some customers and get some time to complete some chores along with cooking. You will also need to cook sometimes such as steaks or other meat recipes so these recipes will also take some time. Everything is shown on the screen and the information is very clear allowing you to easily manage everything at the same time if you are quick enough.
The game demands solid time management and excellent observation skills if you want to be the best restaurant around. You will need to keep an eye out on chores, customer patience, holding stations, cooking recipes and making sure that you put the sauce on your customer’s steak before giving it out. The game can be absolutely brutal at some times but it is also the most fun during these times.
I highly recommend that you play the tutorial right at the start of the game so that you can quickly catch up to the basic controls of the game. Some tutorials are text-based while some are actual tutorials or practice sessions which you can play. Complete all of them before jumping in the main game. They will help you a lot in getting better in the early hours of the game. Without the tutorial, you will have absolutely no idea what to do in the game.
One of the best aspects of Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!! for me is its Food Catalogue. It lists all the different recipes present in the game and you purchase more recipes for your restaurant from here as well. But the best aspect is that here you will find all sorts of information about these dishes as well. For someone like me, who likes to cook and know more about dishes, this information is amazing. It will tell you about the history of the dish, how it originated as well as its country of origin.
To help you with the chores, you can also upgrade your equipment such as invest in bug sprays, better rat traps, automated flushers and more. This will allow you to focus more on cooking and less on extra chores that serve as a major distraction during your cooking. I highly recommend that you invest in better equipment because it will make your game much easier especially in harder scenarios.
Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!! also comes with co-op gameplay allowing you to team up with a friend. However, do not expect that bringing a friend along will make the game easy. The game adjusts the difficulty accordingly when you are playing in co-op so you and your friend better be ready to tackle the rush hours together.
Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!! is a solid cooking sim and is bound to keep you busy for hours if you like cooking simulation titles. The amount of dishes present in the game is amazing and the fact that you can completely customize your own restaurant and work in other cool restaurants really offers a lot on the plate. Whether you like your game rare or well-done, this game is going to keep you busy for a long time with its intense gameplay and diverse cooking scenarios.
Final Score: 9/10