I’ve been known to take quite a few food pictures and post them on Instagram in my time, and that’s sort of what MasterChef: Dream Plate reminds me of. It’s a pretty simple concept: instead of cooking up the food you’ll be purchasing it and plating it, then taking a picture.
I like cooking games — we all know this. And this is sort of a cooking game, but to be honest I really didn’t get much of the appeal. The game has you creating a character profile, which is a beautifully drawn picture of a master chef, which you can then cover in cartoon-esque emojis, glasses or hats to make yourself stand out.
To play each quest you select the challenge, then start out plating. There are icons that allow you to select a plate, sauce, main food, side food, a topping and then a filter or effect. Some of these items cost regular coins while others cost premium currency, but in my time with the game, I seemed to be getting more and more of both of these currencies, so much so that I didn’t need to purchase any.
Placing the different foods and items on the plates and taking a picture IS the game, but I wish I could do more. I wanted to scale up some of the foods, change their position on the plate, move items around so they were closer or better presented for the photo. Drawing the sauces ourselves or placing the different toppings could add so much more to the game. You can zoom in and out before taking your photo — but I just wish there was more as this was the main part of the game. Once your food is picture-perfect, you can send it off to be rated by other players.
Rating people’s pictures happens in a head-to-head style screen where you will be shown two pictures and get to tap the one that’s best. After you select the best dish, it shows you the player’s image that made it and their current star ranking out of five. These rating areas are divided by the category — which is provided with your quest — and completing a batch of ratings gives you coins to enter more of the quests if you’d like.
That’s basically the entire game. I’ve played it for a few days now, exploring the different foods and getting three entire plates in the shot, but I am just left wanting more. I feel it’s pretty weird that a lot of the items need to be purchased after each use — aren’t these Master Chefs doing any of the cooking? Who knows. They seem to just be interested in their social media rating anyway.
I do see the connection to the show, however, as when there are a lot of contestants at the beginning of the MasterChef TV show, the judges normally walk around and pick the dishes based on how they look and how the chefs have prepared them, so maybe that’s what MasterChef: Dream Plate was trying to emulate.