Chef Life: A Restaurant Simulator, will arrive on February 2nd on PC via the Steam platform. In the vast world of simulation titles, those based on the kitchen are really many, so being able to carve out a place, large or small, is not an easy task. Trying not to fall into redundancy, Chef Life offers players not only the “practical” part of cooking, but also some management facets of the entire restaurantas well as the decor and preparations before the working day.
Definitely a nice mix offered by the developer Cyanide, who manages to deliver on balance a genuine, fun and almost never repetitive titlehowever, plagued by some technical problems well known to the same, and which hopefully, will be resolved before the launch in February.
The game will give us a chance to create our chef from scratch, with an editor that is far too detailed and that you don’t expect from a similar type of game. In addition to gender, we will have many details at our disposal to better edit our alter ego, even the preference whether to have people address us using masculine or feminine, regardless of the chosen gender.
Once our expert chef has been created, in our culinary adventure in Chef Life we will be accompanied by a dear childhood friend of ours, a dreamer like us of being able to emerge in this field, as well as the only ally in the initial stages of the game. We will have three days available before the opening of our restaurantwhich the game will use to introduce us through tutorials, to the main basics of the game, both in terms of management and actual cooking.
Another indispensable ally will be our recipe book, which will expand as we progress in the title, and which will reflect the offer that we will be able to offer our customers. Having done the tutorial to learn the basics of cooking, and after choosing restaurant furniture and other details, it will be time to open the doors to hopefully many customers.
Chef Life: not just cooking
Where the title tries to differentiate itself from the crowd, however difficult it is given the genre, it is in the propose certain gameplay precautions and insights into some mechanics. The working day will be divided into several phases: in the initial one we will be able to order or prepare some ingredients, but the most important part will be to assign each member of our staff a certain role or task, while the second part will be the practical one, of cooking and serving customers.
In truth, we will interact very little with customers, but the Chef’s role is to cook, not to entertain. The practical act of the kitchen will take place as already seen in several similar titles, with keys to press at the right time or in a certain wayand going to work the dishes on the dedicated table, a bit like what happens in the more arcade Overcooked!
In the kitchen, Chef Life introduces some interesting gimmicks, such as having to choosing the cooking method and being able to customize recipes by adding your own touch, such as adding spices. We will also have to pay attention to the cooking times, in order not to run the risk of not cooking the food well, or, on the contrary, burning it. In this phase, very visible bars come to our aid, which will indicate by means of color and filling, at what stage of cooking we are.
Moreover, it will be possible to add ingredients to the same pan in several periods, adjusting them according to the required cooking time. And where manpower or knowing how to cook are not enough, the selection of ingredients takes care of it. In fact, in Chef Life, a member of our staff will be in charge of the purchase of raw materials. Obviously the higher the quality, the better the success of the dish will be, but quality has higher prices. Once we’ve finished cooking, we’ll have to plate everything up, choosing whether to follow the guidelines or to let our imagination run wild.
From a graphic point of view, Chef Life looks quite good, even though it sometimes gives that feeling of rough and a little bare to the whole context, but overall and due to the type of game, it is enjoyable. The various on-screen notifications, as well as the input of the keys to press and the various writings, never create clutter on the screen, managing not to confuse the player especially in the most agitated phases. On the screen, however, there are small differences in character between the lines of text, a slightly annoying defect but which in the end does not affect the game.
The gameplay is always dynamic and not likely to bore, always assuming you like the genre, e the controls work well with both the mouse and keyboard combination, and with the controller, the latter being my favourite. Some aids that can be activated in the game mean that even less experienced players can face Chef Life without too much pressure or concern of any kind.
A big problem, on the other hand, can arise at the time of saving, which sometimes seems to malfunction, and you risk losing a lot of progress in the game if by any chance. It is always advisable to save several times, in order to avoid this danger.