When Cook, Serve, Delicious! came out on PC, I was all over it. I played a bunch of the game, getting perfect days, designing a menu that met my taste and generally enjoying creating my own restaurant. When Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!! came out on PC, I was very busy and didn’t have time to dive into it. Now, armed with a Nintendo Switch, I was ready to take on the game’s recently released port to the console.
In case you haven’t played the first game, Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!! is a restaurant management game with focus on actually creating the food for the customers. This second version of the game adds more complexity when it comes to food, a warming rack, the ability to work at pre-set restaurants, side dishes and cute menu cards that show off your dishes.
At the start of a day you will check your email, if you care about your email. These emails are quite funny most of the time and can give you a money bonus or decorations for your restaurant. Once you’ve done some management you can upgrade your equipment, purchase new recipes and set your menu. Equipment upgrades make it much faster when it comes to doing the dishes, adding ice to the soda machine, or setting traps for pests but do cost a lot of money.
New recipes can be tested before they are purchased, taking you into a test kitchen where people order the new product and you can test it out. Once you have your menu sorted — the drinks, entrees and side dishes picked out — you will then begin your day. There is a lot that tends to affect your day, for instance, the weather affects how popular a food will be.
Your day will start quickly, but for a brief moment your restaurant isn’t open. You can capitalise on this time by creating items for the warming stations at the top of the screen. There are a few types of items that can be stored here; some entrees that can be made ahead of time like hotdogs (which can also be made to order), side dishes that aren’t ordered, but are taken off the rack for extra happiness, and items that can only be made on the warming rack — not made to order. Despite not having a set order for the warming rack, you will need to pay attention to the one given to you. Even when making muffins, you’ll need to follow the option presented to you and not whatever one you want.
Soon, customers start trickling in, ordering various food. If you have an item in the warming rack, you can just fulfil the order, though some require some additional modification like mustard or ketchup on a corn dog while others are just handed to the customer. Orders that need to be made directly are more tricky when it comes to Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!! Many of the foods have a few different steps — dumplings must be flattened and rolled, before you move to the next screen of options, pick out the filling and wrap it, then cook it.
You’ll need to watch that items cooking do not overcook — a small timer on the order shows this. Much like this timer, the warming rack has a freshness timer that can make the food go off. Once an order is finished and delivered to the customer, they will leave. If your order was done perfectly, they will be happy. If you mess up slightly, they will leave neutral, or if you don’t serve them in time or serve the completely wrong thing, they will leave unhappy.
Sometimes other events happen like being robbed or needing to do chores. These will need to be taken care of quickly and efficiently to keep the restaurant running. At the end of the day you are given a summary of how you’ve done as well as a bunch of chests that will open up giving you different items to decorate the place.
If you’re interested in decorating your restaurant, which at first really looks like a dump, you can do so in the design area of the game. I really didn’t care much for this feature, as it felt clunky and weird. You can drag panels onto the wall or change them, but you cannot directly take the tables that are currently placed out, even if you have wicked cool booths. These booths can be placed in the back, however. There are some items that automatically switch with the items within your restaurant, like chairs and lights. Pictures can be dragged around. I’m sure some people might find fun in creating a restaurant that reflects them, but personally, I wished there were presets with my current grouping of items, so I could just cook in a restaurant that didn’t look so dingy, despite my great level (and talent).
Due to this inability to enjoy making my restaurant look good, but also not wanting to cook in an ugly place, I ended up taking the time to work in random other restaurants. These restaurants were themed with their own menus — mostly of items I didn’t actually own. This allows the player to learn how to make new foods and run themed menus.
When it comes to making the food, I found the keyboard is way easier then getting rid of Switch controls. Using the keypad, you can select either an order or the warming rack. Once the order is up, you will read the instructions on the bottom of the screen, then use the numbers to pick from two columns of options. The right bumper makes keypad buttons appear, allowing you to select the ingredients on the right side, while the left bumper does the same for the left column. The bottom of the screen also color codes what page ingredients are on — you’ll need to use the ‘A’ key without the bumpers held to navigate the pages and select more ingredients.
Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!! also has a co-op option, but I didn’t actually get a chance to try that out as I am in America and my cousins struggle with Overcooked 2, so likely couldn’t handle it.
All in all, if you’re looking for a fast-paced cooking game you can take on the go and play solo, Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!! is pretty good. There is a huge learning curve with the Nintendo Switch, but it’s not surprising that a keyboard with many, many buttons would be much easier to use. I just wish I didn’t have to suddenly be an interior designer to enjoy my restaurant.