If you are a fan of cooking sim games you may think that Order Up! To Go is just another game in a long line of similar apps at first glance. But in actual fact the game – which is an IOS version of a 2008 Wii platformer – is part cooking sim, part time management game and as it is currently being offered free by Chillingo Ltd in the app store although I can’t say I am a big fan of either gaming genre I thought it would be worth at least giving it a try.
Sounds and Graphics 4.5 /5
As you might expect for a mobile version of a platform game the graphics in Order Up! To Go are pretty darn good. The world of Port Abello – the one you will be working in to grow your restaurant is bright, sunny, colorful and very charming.
The characters have a cartoonish appeal that would not be out of place in Saturday morning cartoon show and unlike some of the other cooking sims I have tried over the years you can actually tell what the food you are cooking which really does add to the appeal of the game in general.
The voice acting is a bit of a surprise, at least when it comes to mobile games because well, its very good. This again may be another benefit of the fact that this game was originally created as a Wii game (and will also be coming out for PS3 soon) and the standards console games are held to is much higher.
Taking all of this into account in this category Order Up! To Go merits a 4.5/5
If you are looking for a game that is easy to get through then Order Up! To Go is NOT the game for you. to get through this sim you have to like hard work because that is what it is.
In very basic terms the object of the game is to build yourself a nice restaurant empire in the town of Port Abello. Every “day” you must buy enough ingredients to prepare an estimated number of meals to sell later in the day. estimated because you have no way of knowing how many guests your establishment will attract. Its a lesson in management – buy too little and you will have to turn away customers (never a good thing) but buy too much and you will lose money on food you have to throw away.
When you open the doors of your restaurant and send your server out onto the floor he takes the orders table by table and brings them back to you to cook. And the cooking mechanism is quite complex. To prepare a meal as simple as burger and fries, you actually have to put in quite a lot of virtual graft. As the chef you have to drop burger patty onto the grill, then gesture to flip it only when it’s at the perfect level of doneness. You then have to drag your french fries down into the fryer and leave them there until they are properly cooked. At the same time you are chopping lettuce and tomatoes, trying to get them to meet the size guidelines. As each ingredient is finished you drag it to the plate and when the meal is ready to be served ring the bell fore the server to take it to the waiting hungry customer.
Every meal you prepare is ranked, and those rankings translate into cash, something that in this game you need plenty of. The ultimate aim is to buy better and better restaurants but there are also cleaners and staff to be paid, an inventory to maintain. Cleaners I discovered in my game are very important. Having forgotten to pay one I ended up locked in a mini game fighting off a rat infestation!
At the moment there are six restaurants for you to aim to own and they range from a rather low rent Mexican greasy spoon to a high end fine dining establishment that Gordon Ramsay might be proud of. In the original Wii game these restaurants were unlocked by meeting certain goals, here, as this is a freemium game, you can work for ‘em or, you can part with some real cash and buy them.
I liked this game a lot more than i thought I might but it is hard work. As a nice daily distraction though I think it would be cool and it deserves a 4 out of 5 for sure.
Value for Money 4/5
A free game is always good from a financial standpoint but freemium games can get annoying and this one is no exception. There are always going to be certain things you just can’t earn and that can be frustrating if you are not a fan of paying for in app purchases.
If you like to have to GRIND when playing a sim game then Order Up! To Go should suit you. And if you like cooking games like Cooking Mama then this game should suit you too. But you don’t have to take my word for it, go try it for yourself while its still being offered free in the app store (because you never know when that might change)