Title of PlateUp! with blueprint and pink chef holding a hamburger.

PlateUp! Review

Game: PlateUp!
Genre: Action, Party, Strategy
System: Nintendo Switch (Also on Steam (Windows), Xbox One/X/S and PS4/5)
Developer | Publisher: it’s happening | Yogscast Games
Age Rating: US Everyone | EU 3+
Price: US $19.99 | UK £16.75 | EU € 19,99
Release Date: February 15th, 2024

Review code used, with many thanks to 1UP PR.

Originally released on Steam back in August 2022, PlateUp! is a party game based around running and managing a restaurant. However, it turns up the heat with it’s roguelite gameplay. So once a customer’s patience runs out, it’s game over.

It’s finally arrived on the Nintendo Switch, and I’ve had the chance to put my culinary skills to the test. So will I be serving food, glorious food? Or will it be burnt offerings?

Simmer on a Gentle Heat, then PlateUp!

Plate Up! Chef in tutorial kitchen with about to cut up a potato.
Chop, chop to make those chips.

Before you’ve even finished tying the apron strings, PlateUp! cracks open with a tutorial. You are guided through grilling a fish, making chips and serving customers. Then learn that a pot of mashed potato will make multiple potions and the hob could catch fire. The short tutorial gives the very basics of how to play the game, but luckily, there are other opportunities to practise a starting recipe or kitchen setup. You are reminded that it’s game over if a customer’s patience runs out and that failure is part of the grand scheme. You are also given tantalising hints of rewards, new appliances and more for each run-through. You then arrive at PlateUp! headquarters to start your enterprise.

PlateUp! HQ

Headquarters with player rooms, practise kitchen and design office. The garage and two other rooms are locked.
Okay, so it’s steak on the menu!

There are several areas within PlateUp! headquarters. Your chef character will start in one of the player bedrooms. In there, you can interact with the mirror to change your character’s costume (chef’s jacket and hat, waistcoat or apron). There are various hats in the chest to wear (although too small to really appreciate all of them), and you can use the pots of paint to change your character’s colour.

Once you’ve selected a menu item, you can practise cooking it in the kitchen, with the two cats being your customers. It’s a great way to test out the starting main course. You can also replay the tutorial and the map in the centre is used to load saved games.

Although initially locked, the garage area opens up quite quickly. In here, you store the items you receive as you level up. It could be a dishwasher, a freezer, an oven or even an extra life. There are a lot of possibilities! Items can be upgraded, but no explanations as to how. Some of these items can be taken into your new enterprise, but choose carefully as they might not be useful in your current setup (e.g. an oven isn’t needed to cook steak). Once used, they are gone until you receive a similar item as a reward.

The design office has a pin board entitled ‘The Plan’, and you are able to select a restaurant layout and menu from the tables within the room. Although the choice is very limited at the start, you are given more options as you level up. Once you’ve selected your restaurant layout and menu you move to the loading bay and prepare to PlateUp!.

Plating Up!

Three chefs in the kitchen. One carrying a box containing breadsticks, another checking that the sink is in the optimum location.
Rearranging the restaurant.

At the start of each day, you have the opportunity to buy new kitchen aids and/or rearrange the kitchen. The blueprints can be expensive, so it’s not always possible to buy everything you want. Each starter restaurant has a filing cabinet, which can store a single blueprint. This can be brought and used in later days or upgraded with a research desk, then brought and used. You also have the opportunity to practise the day – this is useful to try out new recipes or appliances.

Once you have optimised your kitchen layout, it’s time to start service. PlateUp! is basically the same for all days. Customers arrive and sit down at a vacant table. After perusing the menu, they are ready to order. You then have a limited amount of time to prepare and deliver their food. Once they have finished, you’ll need to clear the table so it’s available for a new customer.

Sounds easy, but with each new day, there are new challenges. Generally it’s to do with the number of customers arriving, but after each third day, you have to select an upgrade card. In PlateUp! ‘upgrade’ doesn’t mean ‘make it easier’! It could be adding a topping to your main course, or a new main, desert or starter. It could be that customers make more mess (slowing down player movement), more groups arrive together or even after closing.

Two players standing next to some customers waiting to take their order. One character in the kitchen waiting to cook.
We’re not trying to harass you…. but “What do you want!!!”

I tested out local co-op, but there is the option of online play as well. Playing with friends does have advantages. We each took on a role: one would cook, one would wash dishes and the other wait on tables. However, more players meant we had more customers, with less patience, to serve. It also meant we had more chances to get in each other’s way. That said, we got into quite a good rhythm and generally reached day 11 before one of our customers lost patience.

If You Can’t Stand the Heat….

One customer in the restaurant, but their order is hidden behind the day progress bar.
I can’t see the order – is that salad with onions and olives?

Although our initial reaction to PlateUp! was good; the more we played, the more niggles started to emerge. One of the most annoying was that we were limited to where the tables could go. Put them to close to the top and you can’t see the order. As PlateUp! is focused on speed, trying to guess what is being ordered is a certain failure. As the days progress, and the restaurant gets full of gadgets, making sure you line up with the correct appliance or work surface proved difficult. Quite a few of my freshly made items ended up in the bin as I missed the counter!

We soon realised that we would not be able to achieve a fully automated kitchen (as seen in the PlateUp! trailer). In the 15+ hours of gameplay, we’d only seen one conveyor belt and couldn’t afford to buy it! The vast number of gadgets available means the chances of collecting enough are remote.

Get Out of the Kitchen!

The garage and the two other rooms are now unlocked.
What does it all do?

One of our aims was to get to level 6 to unlock that room in PlateUp! headquarters. Disappointing, we got to level 6, but the room remained locked, although an unexplained board in the office with ‘Daily’ and ‘Weekly’ appeared. The corner room opened at level 7 instead, but it was a bit of a disappointment. The room showed the current level and how many recipes and layouts were unlocked. Although there was no explanation as to how many points were needed for the next level, and when the other recipes and layouts would be unlocked. There was also a speed-run layout, but again, no explanation as to what that was.

Five stars with the word congratulations.
Oh my, day 15 Complete!

We never expected to reach day 15 in PlateUp!, but after an intense 2.5 hours of cooking turkey with cranberry sauce and/or gravy, we succeeded. The relief and euphoria were tangible. Failing on overtime day one didn’t matter; we were excited to see what delights were behind the locked room back at HQ.

It was a franchise, but what did that mean? We’d selected some of the upgrade cards to create this franchise, but there wasn’t an explanation. Keen to see what it was, we selected the franchise and randomly chose a layout. Loading into the new restaurant, it appeared to be just the same as a new start, but with the added ‘upgrades’, so we abandoned the game to carry on at a later point. Unfortunately, without clear warning, that used up our franchise chance. Franchises, like the garage items, have a one-use option. Disappointed doesn’t begin to describe how we felt.


The writing is slightly too small to comfortably read in both docked and handheld modes, especially on a Switch Lite. Trying to grab or place items is, at times, tricky and wastes valuable time to line up correctly.

Some of the food items look very similar and are difficult to distinguish, especially on the Switch Lite. There is an option (under accessibility) for using a letter. I tested this with salads and I didn’t see any letters appear. However, the letters V, C and S appeared over the ice cream counter and Me appeared for meat pies.

Apart from the language and volume settings, the options menu also gives some game options. This includes having the daily blueprints appear inside or outside the restaurant, the booking desk arrive as a parcel or blueprint, turning on or off pinging for blueprints and skipping the recipe popups.

The music is pleasant enough and doesn’t interrupt the concentration.

Although the game takes time to load initially, there isn’t any noticeable impact at other times. You can save during a run-through, and the game saves automatically at the end of the day and when you return to HQ.


Some games take you on an emotional roller-coaster. For us, PlateUp! was more of an emotional freefall. First impressions were great, it was challenging, but doable, and even failing had an element of fun to it. However the constant new options meant that practised recipes and restaurant layouts meant nothing, each attempt was totally new and this started to frustrate. However, the lack of explanation of how appliances, upgrades, speed-runs and franchises work took away the enjoyment.

One of my co-oped friends would rate it as ‘I don’t like it’, bitterly disappointed to have wasted so much time. The other would rate it as ‘I like it’ but would not play it again. I know PlateUp! has a loyal following, but for us, it was undercooked.

Final Verdict: I’m Not Sure I'm not sure

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