It’s very rare that we do a long-term review here on Infinite Frontiers. Usually, we simply play a game, review it, and move on. But “Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!!” is different: it’s got so much content, that even weeks after receiving the code, I can hear my wife and her sister playing in the living room. So, what’s it like for fans of cooking games to live with this?
First off, let’s talk about what “Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!!” is: it’s a pretty intense restaurant simulator. You cook for guests, make sure they don’t wait too long and get angry, you kill roaches, take out the trash… it really is a restaurant sim experience, distilled. But don’t think that this is an arcade experience like “Overcooked”: it’s a much deeper, more complex thing altogether. The tutorial doesn’t really help the case along: it’s one of the most convoluted, one-shot tutorials we’ve ever seen. Instead of introducing new mechanics gradually, you’re left to learn ALL of the game’s tricks in one go, which can put you right off. If you stick with it, though, there are quite a few perks within.
First off, the sheer amount of content, particularly for completionists, is incredible. For an indie title, you get a huge amount of bang for your buck. Not only are there many levels, but the recipes are varied, so you never feel like you’re doing too much of the same. Sure, there’s no stage hazards like in “Overcooked”, as this is a different type of game, but you’ve got worldwide cuisine represented here in full force, and it makes for an experience rendering a whopping 20 to 40 hours of playing time. That’s no joke, particularly at this price point.
The presentation is fine, but not great. The graphics can be a bit complicated to make out from a distance, and the music and sound effects almost feel like placeholders. But this type of game is really all about the gameplay, and “Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!!” really shines on that front. If you can get past the overly obtuse tutorial and invest time into getting familiar with the “using all the Joy-con’s buttons” approach, there’s a gem of a game waiting for you. It’s worth mentioning that this game supports single joy-con gameplay, which means there’s 2 player-coop possible on a single Switch system. It seems like it should be a no-brainer, but a lot of games still don’t support that.
Another niggle we have with the game is the loading time from the Switch screen. If you are going between stages, it’s not too bad, but if you’re switching from another game or app to this one, you’re in for a long, long wait. I wish there’d been a patch addressing this, but no such thing (yet).
Overall, “Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!!” is an unapologetic restaurant management sim that sits somewhere between “Overcooked” and “Motorsport Manager”. You still have to do the cooking, but it’s much more managerial and less arcade-y. Is it any less fun? Well, my wife’s a pastry chef and she’s been playing cooking games for decades. From “Hot Dog Bush” to “Gordon Ramsey Dash”, from “Overcooked” to “Overcooked 2” and beyond, she’s played them all. And she loves this one. So, if you’re a fan of the genre, and don’t mind overcoming the unecessarily complicated tutorial, “Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!!” offers an insane amount of fun content for a minimal investment. A hard recommendation for fans of the genre, for sure.