This mini-review was originally published as part of Niche Games To Add To Your Collection this Christmas Part #3.
At first, Cooking Simulator from the development team at Big Cheese Studio felt like a game that would immediately become a hit with Youtubers and then slowly pitter off into obscurity. Occasionally wonky physics and far too many ways to get things wrong sounds like something that would be more fun to watch than actually play. I have been surprised that the game was not what I first expected. Instead, it proved to be a quirky and eccentric cooking simulation game where you fill the shoes of a chef who has to cook increasingly varied and complex dishes, adequately enough while working against the clock, to meet the needs of customers outside the kitchen.
I don’t personally enjoy cooking in real life, and should that dehydrated food technology featured in Back to the Future II ever became a reality, I would be all over that. However, the rapid pace, almost puzzle-like way of creating dishes saw me quickly getting on board with making dozens of unique dishes I know will unlikely ever be cooked in my kitchen. Sure the physics can be janky and not everything looks realistic (or nice) when served on the plate, but the journey to getting a good score is a fun one!
Although mostly through paid releases, Cooking Simulator continues to receive active downloadable content updates to keep the experience fresh. This includes a collaboration with Food Network, the ability to open a patisserie, craft your own authentic (??) pizzas and more. Give it has been out for more than a year and a half now, you should be able to find good deals on the game during End-of-Year sales.