Restaurant City: Gourmet Edition is Restaurant City on a diet

Restaurant City: Gourmet Edition is pretty much exactly what it looks like: a new version of the popular social restaurant management game designed specifically for the iPhone. The fact that it’s not on Facebook means that the game’s social features have necessarily been scaled back, and its smaller stature also means that it’s lighter on content. But otherwise this is a nearly identical experience. And since the original Restaurant City was quite good, this isn’t a bad thing.

This means that if you played the original game you’ll feel right at home in Gourmet Edition. The premise is the same, as your only real goal is to make customers happy so that they’ll spend money, which you can then use to further expand and customize your culinary cafe. You start out with a very small staff, including yourself as a the head chef, but as you gain experience you’ll able to hire additional cooks, waiters, and janitors. Sadly, this time around you won’t be able to hire your real-world Facebook friends. Balancing out how many of each job you need is key to keeping everything running smoothly.

 Gourmet Edition

You can open your restaurant for limited periods of time, and during that window everything will happen automatically. Customers will come in, food will be cooked and served, and messes will be cleaned up. So long as you have everything set-up properly, that is.

Another important gameplay element also returns, as you will still be collecting ingredients to create new dishes to serve. Certain ingredients will be on sale each day, while others will require premium currency to purchase. If you have any friends playing, who also need to be your Facebook friend, you can trade ingredients with them as well. Since you can no longer post about ingredients on your Facebook wall, getting new ingredients can take a bit longer in Gourmet Edition. Once you have the right ingredients you can both learn new dishes and level up existing ones so that they will earn you more money.

And, of course, you can also spend plenty of time customizing your restaurant. There are functional additions, like better stoves or building expansions, while the rest are purely aesthetic. And though the variety of choices isn’t as large as in the main game, Gourmet Edition still offers plenty of opportunities to design a unique place to attract hungry customers.

 Gourmet Edition

Unlike the recent mobile version of Pet Society, Pet Society Vacation, there’s no real Facebook integration in Gourmet Edition. That is, aside from the ability to search for friends using your Facebook account. Other than that, the two versions of the game don’t speak to each other at all, so there’s no bonus items or anything like that, which is somewhat disappointing.

But aside from the fact that it’s not on Facebook, Restaurant City: Gourmet Edition plays remarkably like its predecessor, only scaled back. The gameplay is nearly identical, as are the bright and colorful visuals (though the characters look a bit jagged at times). So even though you can’t hire your friends to serve drinks and cook burgers, or grow your own ingredients, you can still get an almost-complete Restaurant City experience on the go.