Delicious – Emily’s True Love is an impressive addition to a top-notch series
Reviewing any Delicious title is not easy, since there is only a limited number of praising adjectives and phrases – and in the end a review should not be mere advertisement, should it? Regardless, Delicious: Emily’s True Love is no exception to the high quality we’re used to in this series. In this newest release, the player not only sees Emily’s own restaurant in Snuggford for the first time, but will also try to help her find her true love.
Delicious: Emily’s True Love features 50 levels in four restaurants (60 levels in the premium edition), and allows the player to choose between three different grades of difficulty. Over the course of the game you will accompany Emily to her own restaurant in Snuggford, to Madrid, to a train bistro, and to Paris. There are also 27 trophies to obtain, for accomplishments such as serving specific meals a hundred times or guessing an order in advance. Just by playing through the game once you will easily be occupied for at least six hours.
Without a doubt the strongest feature of Delicious: Emily’s True Love is the exceptional and wonderful story-telling, and the way it’s integrated into the gameplay itself. Emily’s conquest for true love is the stuff of intriguing soap operas and heart-warming romcoms. Each detail and every second of the game oozes with charm, whether it’s the different title of each level (like episodes of TV shows), laugh-out-loud, romantic or tragic cut-scenes with conversations between characters, or special tasks within levels.
The overall gameplay mechanics of Delicious: Emily’s True Love do not differ too strongly from other time management games, and are particularly similar to the more recent parts of the Delicious series. Customers will arrive at the restaurant and either sit down to order meals and beverages or go the counter to purchase something to go. Meals, beverages and snacks differ in each restaurant, and require one, two or more steps to be prepared. Some of those preparations require a good eye, others need quick reflexes.
For example, at one restaurant you have to prepare lasagna, which can differ in number of layers, filling, and also needs some time in the oven. Or, you have to make an ice tea where you have to click quickly as soon as the marker reaches a certain area. Apart from that, tables need to be cleaned, a mouse has to be found in each level, and customers’ payments have to be received. Depending on how patient each customer leaves you receive payment and tips. If you reach the expert goal, you get 200 points to decorate; if you reach the target goal you receive 100 points to invest in numerous upgrades.
The upgrade system in Delicious: Emily’s True Love has definitely improved, too. (It should be added that there are two additional upgrades for each restaurant in the premium edition.) Some of them will increase tips, others increase customer patience or lure in a bonus customer at the end of each level. But what’s more important, each and every upgrade looks beautiful and cannot be compared to the generic machines and decorations that are typical for this genre.
While an endless mode has been part of the very early predecessors of Delicious: Emily’s True Love, it would have been rather pointless for a game as story-driven and charming as this one. Apart from that, the “story mode” itself takes so long that the playing time is decent enough on its own. So if this is not a very important feature for you, there are no more negative points we could mention here.
Another issue from the predecessors was that customers that only wanted to pay got stuck behind other customers who were still thinking about their order. In Delicious: Emily’s True Love, however, customers now automatically come forward if there is an empty space at the counter. The controls in general work very well and we rarely encountered wrongly registered clicks and even hectic preparations never seemed to turn into a frustrating issue.
In the end, Delicious: Emily’s True Love is a marvellous and inspiring game that should appeal to everyone – not just time management fans. It offers a satisfying playing time, cute graphics, engaging story-telling and a theme to which each and every player should be able to relate to. This brand has really created a rich and immersive world with memorable characters, and we’re hard-pressed to find a game as impressive and flawless as this on the casual market.