Cooking simulator Order Up!! originally released on the Wii back in 2008 and now has made its way to the PS3. Cooking simulators are fairly rare on Sony’s behemoth, so will Order Up!! be the game to pick up simply by default, or will it prove that its core gameplay can stand the test of time? I’ll tell you one thing, don’t try to use it as a cookbook….it turns out real life doesn’t have easy to read cooking meters.
Order up!! is first and foremost a cooking sim game. The core gameplay is getting orders from patrons in your restaurant and preparing the food. Each order will have individual components, such as having to chop a tomato for a hamburger or grating cheese for an omelette. Each action will be graded, and the higher you are graded, the more the patron will tip you. All the actions required to prepare food are simple gestures with the Move controller, with some tasks focused on speed and others on precision. The game also works well with a regular controller, just with analog stick movement subbed in for the Move controller. Playing with the Move definitely feels better, but either control scheme works fine. Food will generally need to be flipped or stirred to prevent it from burning, so if you put on multiple items to cook, then the game becomes a sort of juggling act to keep all the items from burning until they are done.
There is a little bit of strategy involved in the game. Once you have a meal complete, it will sit on the counter until you ring the waitress to take it out. If a table has more than one patron, then all the meals will have to be ready before you can send the food out. While food is on the counter it will cool down, so it’s important to make sure the different meals get done at the same time. So, there is definitely some time management required of the player, however, all that matters is the final stage of the preparation. A player can make all the ingredients for a couple different dishes, and then complete the last step for every dish and get the food out without a penalty. Preparing multiple foods at once is where a lot of challenge and fun comes into the game and it would have been better if there was more of an incentive to try and cook as many meals as once as possible.
The game also features some RPG style restaurant management. Different aspects of your restaurant can be upgraded, such as getting a faster oven, buying new menu items, and hiring staff to complete different cooking tasks for you. Although some upgrades make it easier to earn money, the main goal is to earn stars for your restaurant. This is achieved through upgrading your menu. There is also the ability to buy special spices to use in your cooking which will result in a better tip – or you could just visit the black market dealer to buy secret recipes for your menu. These RPG style features add a constant theme of progression throughout the game, which helps to give a sense of accomplishment.
In all, Order up!! is a great game to play with kids. It has elements of some of the best cooking sims and restaurant management sims, and is able to combine them to create a fun gaming experience – for a few hours. The gameplay is far too simplistic for older gamers who will have the game deconstructed to the bare basics in a matter of hours. In other words, easy to learn and easy to master results in a mildly repetitive game.
PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score
+ Great Use of Move Controls
– A Little Too Simplistic and Repetitive