Chef Life: A Restaurant Simulator

Chef Life: A Restaurant Simulator

Don't make yourself an idiot sandwich!

Chef Life A Restaurant Simulator

Cooking is big business, from countless TV shows and cookbooks, to life changing competitions; fighting it out over serving up the best grub.  No matter how you look at it everyone thinks they are the next Master Chef.  So in a way it’s no surprise that there is a rising sub-genre of gaming based around the age old culinary pursuit; with the likes of Overcooked and Cooking Mama being big hits.  But these tasty delights are very much on the arcade side of things and are great fun with mates.  French studio Cyanide is looking to add a bit of a SIM spin to it all with their latest title Chef Life: A Restaurant Simulator – where you start at the bottom and battle your way to a fabled Michelin Guide Star, one plate of pasta at a time.  Now to say this is maybe a little bit of a niche title is being nice, as you really have to have an interesting in cooking to get the most from it.  That’s not to say there isn’t some fun to be had, even if you don’t see yourself as the next Keith Floyd.

It all starts off by creating your “dream” chef from the solid if limited character creator, before you take the keys to you band new restaurant, where you have to play a part in the everyday running of things.  From the look of the place, to your stock and even down to who’s on shift service to service and of course most importantly keeping your customers happy.  And things start out nice and easy, but the more you get into things more layers are added to the SIM focused side of things, meaning there is always something needing your attention.  You are always looking for a great deal, while looking of the best quality ingredients, to managing your menu with new dishes you learn – which will help draw in more covers and money, that you will need to buy new and better kit to get you kitchen running the best it can be.

Let’s be honest you’re really here for one thing and that’s to bust a gut crafting the prefect gastro creations.  Gameplay-wise on the cooking front is very simplistic, as its all based around hitting prompts to carry out set actions; from tossing a salad, to cutting up an egg.  It goes up the gears when you start to tackle more complex recipes, where you’ll have to use more kit and ingredients; like having to time flipping a piece of fish, so you get that perfect crispy finish on both sides.  Then there is the seasoning, which sees you having to taste things often, to get them just right.  Plus being a restaurant not everyone wants a medium rare steak, so you have to handle a few customer requests during the service too, which will keep you on your toes.

When it comes time to plate things up, it’s also down to you how it looks – which is a nice touch, as you can arrange the meal how you see fit which is a fun addition.  But if you are feeling on edge at being hit by a rush at launch, there are a few settings that will help you out as you can limit the number of covers you have, as well as binning the time limit on orders.  This is a really nice option as you can turn them on or off as you want, meaning you really get to customise your level of challenge.

Visually the game has a clean look that is maybe a little simplistic in a way, though the food you create looks good enough to eat – sadly not on the level of that seen in the likes of Final Fantasy XV.  Sound-wise it ticks all the boxes and does the job as you would expect, with the hustle and bustle of a busy kitchen sounding right.  Chef Life: A Restaurant Simulator is a game that is aimed at a certain sort of gamer and odds are if you love a good SIM, this will be a new area to have fun in.  Though its appeal may go beyond that, as it’s truly one of the most laid back games I have played in a long time, as you potter around prepping and planning, before hitting your dream service and dishing up a storm.

An Xbox review copy of Chef Life: A Restaurant Simulator was provided by Cyanide Studio’s PR team, and the game is available now on PC, Xbox and PlayStation for around £30 depending on platform.

The Verdict


The Good: Something a bit different | Lots of options | Fun gameplay loop

The Bad: A bit niche | Quite slow paced in ways | HUD is a bit too busy

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Stuart Cullen

Scotland’s very own thorn in the side of the London gaming scene bringing all the hottest action straight from The Sun… well… The Scottish Sun at least, every week!

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