Oct 16, 2012
Genre: Time Management
Time management games have been some of the most popular titles among casual computer gamers for several years, and many such games have been ported to the iOS platform. While there is certainly no shortage of time management games for your iPhone or iPad, the best are the ones that make creative use of the device’s unique features.
Time Management and Cooking Game for iOS
Order Up!! To Go utilizes finger movements that mimic the actions taken when cooking real food; you’ll draw circles to stir soups, tap to dice onions and tomatoes, flick to toss meat in a saute pan and so on. The core game mechanic is incredibly entertaining at first, but Order Up!! To Go requires hours upon hours of grinding if you want to see everything the game has to offer without paying for upgrades. In the end, you may decide that grinding for new restaurants and dishes simply isn’t worth your time.
When you begin your game, Order Up!! To Go makes you a cook in a low-traffic fast food restaurant, flipping burgers, making fries and filling sodas. Here, a few of the core game mechanics are introduced. Making fries requires you to swipe down to lower the fries into oil and up when the meter is full. Cooking a burger is a two-part operation; when it reaches the halfway point, you’ll draw a semicircle to flip it.
Before long you’ll enter the main game, in which you are a short order cook at a diner. In addition to burgers and fries, you’ll now be making items such as chili, pancakes and sandwiches. Tables may have as many as four guests, and earning the most money requires you not only to cook all items perfectly but also to avoid allowing one dish to wait on the hot plate while you complete the others. You won’t be alone, though; you can delegate some tasks to sous chefs who will complete them while you work on more difficult things.
Grinding in Order Up!! To Go
Between rounds, you can play a few mini-games to earn a bit of extra money for your restaurant. These games involve menial tasks such as cutting vegetables and picking up dropped newspapers. On a good day, you’ll be able to earn a little over 300 coins between the three mini-games — money you’ll dearly need if you want to spend the several hundred coins needed to unlock new dishes and bring additional people to your restaurant. Buying your ingredients for the day and paying for your assistant chefs incur additional expenses, leaving you with a profit of a few hundred coins for your trouble at the end of each day.
After a few days of working at the restaurant, you might explore the game map and notice that Order Up!! To Go has several additional restaurants you can unlock. These include a Mexican restaurant, an Italian restaurant, a fine dining restaurant and others. Getting the few thousand coins needed to unlock the Mexican restaurant will likely take several hours. It’ll unlock some new dishes and a few new game mechanics while earning marginally more money each day. Then, you might notice that you’ll need 13,500 coins to unlock Chez Haute, and that’s probably when you’ll decide to put the game down.
A Good Free Cooking Game for iOS
Order Up!! To Go is certainly one of the better cooking games for the iPad and iPhone. Although no single game mechanic stands out as being particularly fun, unlocking new dishes and learning to get things to the hot plate quickly provides some reward and will keep you coming back for a while. We experienced a few crashes and screen sensitivity issues while playing, but these didn’t detract greatly from the overall experience.
What does detract from the experience of playing Order Up!! To Go, however, is the lengthy grinding required to unlock all of the game’s restaurants. When you reach the middle of the game, you’ll be performing the same tasks repeatedly for days just to see what the next restaurant has to offer. Unfortunately, the current restaurant will cease to be fun long before that point. For most people, the lure of a few new dishes won’t be strong enough to remain on the treadmill or pay for the unlocks.