“Did someone order stress with their grilled cheese sandwich?”
To encounter a game you wouldn’t usually go for, only to be pleasantly surprised, describes my experience with Cook, Serve, Delicious! 3?! As a lover of food, this title had its appeal, but soon the glitter and glam of delicious meals began fading away as the orders came flying in.
It’s all in the preparation
Set in post-war America, the year is 2041, and the restaurant business is booming. With many franchises doing well, Cook, Serve, Delicious! is still the leading restaurant known for its exceptional quality and taste. Well, perhaps I should say was. An unfortunate explosion brought the entire establishment down, with the acclaimed chef in it. Thankfully, our culinary maestro survives the blast with a successful rescue by two androids – Cleaver (guardian) and Whisk (driver). It also just so happens that these two lovely artificial souls are fans of the chef and own a food truck. Call it fate or destiny – but with an opportunity available and your efforts, Cook, Serve, Delicious! can once again be the powerhouse name in culinary excellence that it has always been and make it to the Iron Chef Championship.
The gameplay of Cook, Serve, Delicious! 3?! is relatively simple at first glance: prepare meals, cook a few special orders and serve hungry customers at your stops. I assure you; it quickly becomes far from straightforward. To become the best in the food truck game, you need to master swift coordination with your menu preparation, food cooking practice, holding stations, special orders, and speedy fingers (as well as the occasional cramp in your right thumb).
Each day begins with a curated menu with a set number of points based on the foods available and their tier. The higher the tier ranking, the more challenging to produce, but equally financially rewarding when executed accurately. Your earnings from each day’s takings go into the food truck by purchasing new menu items.
What’s on the menu?
Thankfully, there is room to practice preparing each food before purchasing it or adding it to the menu. Helping you plan your energy for the upcoming stops. I loved how Cook, Serve, Delicious! 3?! curates hundreds of different foods from all around the world. I was chuffed to see Koeksisters and even Bunny Chows on the menu as a South African. The game offers insight into each kind of food. From the country of origin to cooking methods, and even its evolution throughout the decades. If you take a closer read at the food information, you may spot some hilarious not-so-true facts there. There is something for everyone on the Cook, Serve, Delicious! 3?! menu.
You begin with four holding stations where you can prepare larger batches of menu items in advance. These come in very handy when having to feed a crowd in one go. Depending on each item prepared, an icon will indicate the expiration of the foods in each station. Should the food become unconsumable before reaching your stop, a new batch will have to re-cooked. With every successful food stop and day, you earn points that level you up. These upgrade your food truck (my advice: be quick to add holding stations, you’ll thank me later).
Make it your game
At the end of each day, you have ranked either bronze, silver, or gold medals. Factors like a customer’s waiting time and accurate order delivery will contribute to your ranking.
Besides the ranking system, you will be making moola in the form of a cryptocurrency called Crumb Coin. The money you make comes with an exchange rate displayed at the end of each day. And yes, the money carries over to the next day if not used. This money can purchase items called ‘Trinkets’ that spruce up your truck and the feel you want it to portray. From cool interiors to social statement pieces like BLM and LGBTQ trinkets, whatever drives your food truck can be yours.
Cook, Serve, Delicious! 3?! is played in your choice of two modes: Standard and Chill. In Standard, there is limited customer patience, food truck attacks (yes, you read that right), but the opportunity to earn a Gold medal ranking. Chill mode offers unlimited customer patience, no food truck attacks, and a maximum silver achievement. Having never played the previous two titles of the series, I spent quite some time getting the hang of things through Chill mode. But this didn’t take away from how fun Standard is. Oh, did I mention that you can play local co-op at any time you choose?
There is just so much in Cook, Serve, Delicious! 3?! I have not even begun to scratch the surface of the 380 levels available. From chicken nuggets to kimchi, soda to beer – Vertigo Gaming Inc. outdid themselves with this game. The range of customizable gameplay in Cook, Serve, Delicious! 3?! is commendable and ensures that you can enjoy the title how you want to. Sure, my stress levels went through the roof, and I often had my sleep interrupted with flashbacks of failed orders, but it was so worth it.
A definite recommendation from me.