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Order Up! - hands-on

When one is eating at a chain restaurant, Chili's perhaps, many questions enter one’s mind: Where is the food? Do they serve margarita pitchers at 2:00 PM? Where the eff is that waitress? Still, you may not be so inquisitive about who is in the kitchen. But after spending some time with Order Up!, the Wii's new cooking game, we feel a certain camaraderie with who we imagine works back there.

As we began our culinary adventure, we fell from the sky and landed outside a fast food chain, where we soon learned the basics of being a fry cook. As some nerdy manager annoyed us while giving instructions, it was just like we had started at McDonalds, only no boring training videos. It starts pretty simple: flip a burger until it is evenly cooked, take the fries out when golden, cut the tomatoes at a steady pace; it all adds up to a tasty meal (hopefully). There are many indicators on screen to let you know when something cooking looks good or is in trouble.

Thanks to clever use of the Wii Remote, you really feel like a poorly paid chef, as each on screen action translates to a simple maneuver of the controller. As you change food stations to prepare a burger and fries, you shift from grill to cutting board to fryer. Sometimes the remote is used as the spatula which you turn with your wrist to cook the patty on its other side. On the fryer, you don't just grab the handle and lift it; you actually pull it out and give it a little shake to get the hot fat off it.

This done, you're given two orders at once and you quickly learn the importance of multi-tasking. Cook a burger while fries are in their golden pond, and start slicing that tomato, but be done in time to flip that burger. It can get a little hectic, just like your pal at Waffle House told you. Also, multiple meals will be served together, so you should try to finish them at the same time, to prevent serving rubbery, cold food.

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