Sometimes, sequels can be rough.
They can be nothing like their predecessors and be really disappointing, but occasionally, sequels can go way above and beyond what you might expect.
A few years back, a fast-paced cooking game from developer Vertigo Gaming Inc was released called Cook, Serve, Delicious, and I was obsessed to say the least. It took me only a week or two to complete the main game along with all of the bonus extra hard levels. So when Cook, Serve, Delicious 2 was announced I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it and spend another 60+ hours obsessively hunched over my computer. And trust me, I will.
In Cook, Serve, Delicious 2 you’re a new chef just starting out in the restaurant biz. You’ve got your spot in the widely known Teragon Tower where you serve customers from 7am-10pm, with horrifying rush hours at 12pm and 6pm. In the original version of the game you controlled one restaurant where you changed up the menu at your own will, upgraded to higher quality foods as you restaurant grew, and finally became a 5 star restaurant. Things are a little different in the second instalment.
When it comes to gameplay, Cook, Serve, Delicious 2 is easy to learn and fiendishly difficult to master. You can play three different ways: your keyboard, your mouse, or a controller. I find it easiest to play with the keyboard, but you definitely have to be familiar with where the keys are placed so you won’t be constantly looking down to figure out which keys to press. If you’re using the keyboard or controller each button corresponds with a certain part of each food that you’re able to serve in your restaurant. For example, when someone comes into the restaurant and they are customer #1, you hit ‘1’ on your keyboard which brings up their order. Discovering that they’re ordering a corndog and would like mustard and ketchup on it, you click the letter ‘C’ to place the corndog on the plate and the letters ‘M’ and ‘K’ to add their toppings and then you serve it. Easy right? Well, yes, if you only have one customer at a time in an orderly manner, but this is not the case in Cook, Serve, Delicious 2.
When the day begins in your restaurant business will be slow. Customers will trickle in, giving you plenty of time to prepare their food just the way they like it. When it hits 12pm-1pm though, customers will begin to come in huge waves forcing you to multitask. While one person’s chicken is cooking you might have to prepare someone else’s nachos or salad or ice cream while also flushing a clogged toilet and doing the dishes. Clearly no one warned you how difficult managing a restaurant is by yourself. After the first rush hour you’re then given a few hours to collect yourself before yet another horrifying rush hour at 6pm-7pm. Rush hours are extremely difficult because customers lose their patience very quickly if you don’t pay attention to them in time.
One of the brand new features that fans of the first game will notice are the holding stations. The holding stations are used to “hold” food, so that when a customer comes in you simply have to prepare it the way that they like and send them on their way without having to wait for the food to cook. Some food you even simply prepare and they’ll be ready to go immediately when a customer arrives. Though, holding stations add an extra layer of difficulty as well as strategy to the game, especially considering that the food you keep in them doesn’t stay good forever. If it goes bad you’ll have to prepare a new batch of food to hold for when customers come in. Still, holding stations really do help during rush hours, enabling you to get through customers’ orders as quickly as possible.
In the first Cook, Serve, Delicious there were ways to make your customers more patient, giving you more time to prepare their food. Cook, Serve, Delicious 2 does things a little differently with the additions of sides. Side dishes are prepared whenever you want during the day and stay in the holding stations for people to snack on while they wait. Despite reading the tutorial about side dishes I didn’t quite understand at first what their purpose was. Eventually though, I figured out that even if customers don’t seem to be taking the side dishes, simply having them in holding stations gives customers more patience. I always try to have at least one side dish in a holding station at all times to keep me from getting overwhelmed during rush hours.
Along with its other new features, Cook, Serve, Delicious 2 also allows you to customise your restaurant using tables, chairs, artwork and more that you unlock by getting high scores in each level. For lovers of games like The Sims this feature might be enjoyable, but I could’ve done without this particular element of the game. The controls for placing and editing items are a bit confusing, and more than once I’ve accidentally placed 10 copies of a painting on my restaurant walls and left them there because I couldn’t figure out how to get rid of them. I found it particularly unnecessary because I rarely spend any time in my own restaurant during the game.
Cook, Serve, Delicious 2 also allows you to sub in at 30 other restaurants with their own custom menus. At Max Wieners you’ll be primarily serving corn dogs and hot dogs, for instance, while at Breakfast and Breakloose you’ll serve pancakes and omelettes. The more that you work at the other restaurants the more difficult each level becomes. Not every restaurant is available for you to play at the beginning of the game, but you unlock more by completing levels elsewhere.
I think my current 19 hours spent with Cook, Serve, Delicious 2 speaks for itself, but it is a really fun game. As with any new game there are plenty of kinks to work out, but the creator David Galindo has already updated it three times or more since its initial release and really listens to players about what needs to be improved, so if you come across any issues they will almost certainly be addressed if they have been raised. I highly recommend picking up Cook, Serve, Delicious 2 if you’re into cooking games that are hard as nails and really great fun.