Order Up! - First look

Cooking games – all the hassle of cooking, with none of the delicious benefits, right? Well, not exactly, and especially not for the audience of casual culinary dabblers who gobbled up millions of copies of Cooking Mama.

Order Up!, unlike Cooking Mama, is about more than just pancake flipping - though you will flip pancakes - combining cooking with a variety of casual restaurant management and story elements.

Above: Told you

The game chronicles your rise to celebrity chefdom, from a fast food grease slinger to the head chef of a Michelin rated restaurant. The management of your restaurants is fairly simplified – finicky aspects like budgeting and sanitation are reduced to cut-and-dry procedures. Want to hire an assistant chef? Pay a lump sum and don’t look back. There’s no micromanagement, which should appeal to the game’s core audience.

As you advance, you’ll unlock new dishes to serve at your restaurants. You can also serve specials with produce procured at the famer’s market. The speed of your advancement is up to you – you can power your way through dish after dish in your quest for bigger tips and new restaurants, but there’s no penalty for taking things slow.

Above: Your very first restaurant – Burger Face

The core of the game is cooking. When you start the day at your restaurant, customers will begin to pour in and sit down. Some customers have special preferences, which you’ll learn over time. “Salty Sam,” for example, loves heart attacks, so add some extra salt to his dish for a bigger tip. The customers are also fully voice acted, and their quirky banter was enough to inspire a wry grin from even our cynical faces.