System: Nintendo Switch
Developers| Publishers : Baltoro Games
Age Rating: EU 3| US E
Price: £ 11.69| €12,99| US $12.99 | AU $19.50|CA $17.84
Release Date: 9 January 2020 (US, in EU Jan 10)
Review code used, many thanks To Baltoro
Over the years I have been known to enjoy my management games: simulation games where time is of the essence and trying to manage your own business in the best way and fastest way you can. Somehow, most often the action takes place in a restaurant of sorts, serving customers their food, prepping it as quickly as you can and make sure the customers leave happy.
In 2019 three games that follow that same formula came to the Nintendo Switch: Food Truck Tycoon, Burger Chef Tycoon and Pizza Bar Tycoon. Now, the three games are bundled into one and have landed once again on the Switch.
Dish it out!
The games included in Cooking Tycoons each have several levels at the ready for you. Of course, you start off easy, preparing basic items. Over the course of all the levels you can play, more complex dishes are added and more kitchen machines have to be used.
- Food Truck Tycoon (cam out in February 2019) had 60 levels to beat and 25 achievements to complete.
- Burger Chef Tycoon (came out in August 2019) had 60 levels to beat as well and 60 achievements to complete.
- Pizza Bar Tycoon (came out in October 2019) also had 60 levels to beat and 47 achievements to complete.
As I mentioned, these three are bundled into one. Separately they cost $ 4.99, so the bundle is relatively cheaper. What’s more, they have upped the number of levels. Food Truck Tycoon now has a whopping 315 levels to play on, while Burger Chef Tycoon and Pizza Bar Tycoon each have 180 levels. So all in all, 675 levels! That’ll keep you cooking for quite some time.
Fast and Efficient
The aim of the game is to serve the customers quick and efficient. In low levels, this may not be a deal breaker, but pretty soon you will need the time this can save you. Every level sets a goal: for instance, level 19 in the Pizza Bar Tycoon you have 3 minutes to earn 535 by serving customers.
At first, the ingredients you can use are few. Just the pizza and tomato sauce and cheese and orange juice. In higher levels more ingredients are added: salami, mushrooms, tomato slices etc. You can imagine that with more ingredients it gets more difficult to manage all the demand.
Though each of the three games works the same when it comes to gameplay, it is nice that you’re able to switch easily from one to the other. Getting bored by constantly making pizzas? Just do a couple of levels making hamburgers instead, or work in the food truck. In the food truck there’s the added element of cleaning the counter when it gets to be grimy. We want to maximise the tip, after all!
Good business sense: Invest your money
Of course, you get to keep the money you earn in the levels. Plus, the Achievements aren’t just ‘for the record’. Completing them earns you gold coins. They range from First Client to things like Beat all Levels using the Joy-Con or Finish 30 levels in a row without burning any ingredients.
This money is needed to upgrade. You can use it to buy new kitchen appliances under “Kitchen Upgrades”. You’ll understand that having more pizza ovens is very welcome when more and more customers come in. But you can also use it to work on the interior design. For example, add more seats, plants or colours to prolong the amount of time a customer is willing to wait, and to strive for a bigger tip.
Food Truck Tycoon is slightly different from the other two. More levels, but it also has a nice little feature of statistics (these kind of things always warm my heart! It shows the time used, the food you burnt, the dishes prepared and the used ingredients and the customers served.
Also, in the Food Truck the kitchen upgrades includes the choice to invest in gadgets: you can have a maximum of six of these to entertain your customers, but they are one time use only. Other then that, there’s the customary Kitchen Appliances to upgrade and the decor.
Lastly, in the Food Truck you can also do special stages, only advised when you have most of the upgrades in place as these are more challenging than the normal levels.
Stylus fan here
The game boasts touch controls and controlling the game with the pro-controller. You can choose these in the settings, where you can also choose to turn off the music or the sounds. Though the music is upbeat, it can really get on my nerves when I’m stressed for time.
I have recently gotten myself a stylus (with the Brain Training game) and it feels like I have my old friend back. I loved my stylus on the DS and 3DS, and I really like it when I can control a game with it. Cooking Tycoons offers that possibility, though you can also control the game with the Joy-Cons. It all works seamlessly, which is a must when you want to serve the hungry masses quickly.
Although games like Cooking Tycoons have certainly been out for a long time on mobile devices, it is nice to see this package on the Switch. It follows the formula that fans of the genre have come to expect, and does a good job at making it fun to play.
I myself am a huge fan of the Delicious Emily games, where the same cooking and managing challenges are wrapped in an interesting storyline. For me, the addition of relatable ‘real’ people in the Delicious games makes for more compelling gameplay.
There’s no story line here, and you don’t get to know either the character you control nor your customers. However, Cooking Tycoons sets out to present a Simulation Management game based on cooking, and it does a good job at it. Fans of these kind of games can’t go wrong with this package, that offers many hours of gameplay. Plus, it has an appealing price, especially with the 30% discount around launch time!
Final Verdict: I like it