From Cake Mania and the Diner Dash games to Turbo Subs, Chocolatier 2, Hot Dish and Family Restaurant, game makers appear to have a serious obsession about food. Fortunately, this pervasive culinary theme has spawned some of the finest casual games in recent memory. And soon you can add Go-Go Gourmet that that list – it’s the latest restaurant simulation soon to be released from Oberon Games that had us hungry for more minutes after we stopped playing.
The story is as follows: Grandpa Henry left his rundown bistro to his niece, Ginger, while he sets off to find the world’s hottest chili recipe. Ginger is up for the challenge, of course, and studies under some of the wackiest restaurateurs in the city to gain experience, add recipes to her cookbook and earn enough cash to renovate her uncle’s dilapidated bistro.
This tale, which is told through comic book sequences, is cute – as are the colorful characters you’ll meet throughout the game – but it’s the game-play that will keep you clicking “for just one more mission” until you realize is 2am and you’re starved after staring at food for a few hours.
Go-Go Gourmet combines “time management” games, where customers request a dish to be made from your growing recipe book, and “hidden object” games, where you’re tasked to find a number of items in a busy scene as fast as possible.
A level plays out something like this. You’re first presented with a kitchen, with two-dozen or so different ingredients lying around such as ground beef, ham, chili peppers, onions, garlic, bacon, eggs, ice cream, bread, cheese, apples, lettuce, mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise, pasta, pineapple, and so forth. Where the items are placed around the kitchen, however, vary from level to level, not to mention there are seven different restaurant themes you’ll progress through (western grill, seafood, Chinese food, etc.) to keep you on your toes.
You also have a stove, frying pans, pots, food processor and other appliances you’ll need to use to prepare the more than 120 dishes at the request of customers who place their order, such as beef stroganoff, fruit salad, baked halibut, roast mussels, vegetarian casserole, banana foster, fish stew, baked squash and hot dogs – and you must click on the ingredients and cooking method in order to complete the dish for the customer. From what we’ve seen in this preview version of the game customers will tip less if they wait too long for their dish, but we haven’t seen anyone impatient enough to leave.
As with other cooking games, you’ll need to multitask, so you might click on a second or third customer to begin preparing for their dish ingredients while the first is simmering on the stove or boiling in a pot.
The more orders you can handle, the more money you’ll collect to put towards your own restaurant with more than two-dozen cosmetic upgrades including better floors, nicer tables, sturdy chairs, and so on. You’ll also unlock a few different mini-games for advancing through this story mode.
Combining time management with hidden object games into one restaurant simulation works very well in Go-Go Gourmet, and stay tuned for our in-depth review on Gamezebo, which will run when the game is available for download. Foodies, be forewarned, this genre-mashing game is as hard to put down as a good chocolate-infused dessert.