Title: Order Up
Release Date: July 22, 2008
Publisher (Developer): Zoo Games (SuperVillain Studios)
ESRB Rating: “Everyone” for Comic Mischief
Pros: It expands upon the “cooking” game genre by adding in restaurant management.
Cons: Strange character art isn’t for everyone. Cooking can quickly become a chore. Instructions for using new items isn’t always provided. Occasional loading glitches.
Overall Score: Two thumbs sideways, 70/100, C-, ** out of 5
Order Up! is a game that will often be mistaken for a Cooking Mama rip-off. While the minigames have some similar elements, they go in two different directions when it comes to gameplay and execution. Also, while Cooking Mama can actually be entertaining, Order Up! becomes quite tedious. Order Up! tries to be lighthearted and offer a new gaming experience but it gets old quick.
Slaving Over a Hot Stove
The story in Order Up! is simple – become the best chef in Port’Abello. You start out at Burger Face (the tutorial) flipping burgers, then move on to real restaurants like the Gravy Chug Diner, El Fuego!, Stuffolini’s and Chez Haute. Along the way, you tell waitresses which tables to take orders from, prepare food, assign aspects of dishes to assistant chefs, hire assistant chefs and purchase spices, equipment and new recipes.
It’s basically a restaurant management simulation with cooking game accents.
The goal is to make each location a five star restaurant and become rich and famous. This takes a lot of time and effort though, so don’t expect to be finished with Order Up! in a few hours.
Cake Mania Meets Cooking Mama
Order Up! gets frustrating. At times, you’ll feel like there are no differences between days as you struggle to earn coins and improve your restaurants. The same customers will come in, sometimes even ordering the same meals as before, and you’ll go through the grind of preparing their food.
The controls also aren’t very accurate. Many times I would perform the required motion but the game wouldn’t register it. I even went so far as to recalibrate my WiiMote, in case that was the problem, but it wasn’t. Since every cooking action and mini-game requires use of the wireless remote controller, it should have been more forgiving.
Then, there’s the glitch (unless I received a faulty copy or someone had tried to repair the CD). During six hours of play, I had the restaurant entry glitch occur. You walk into the restaurant to start your day and the screen goes black. Even the loading screen didn’t come up. I had to turn off the Wii and restart it to return to play.
Order Up! would be a much more enjoyable game if the food preparation had been tweaked. Since the art style will appeal to younger players, the controls need to be even more forgiving when it comes to chopping or peeling. Second, there should have been an in-game tutorial for adding spices. Third, more customer variety – this is a Wii game, not a handheld title. Cake Mania had more customer types. Finally, any kind of glitches should have been repaired before release.
Not a Five-Star Service
Order Up! feels like work. I guess you could think of that as a good thing, since it is a chef and restaurant management simulation. But it is also supposed to be a game, and one rated “Everyone” at that. Its comical art style may fool people into believing that it is a family-friendly title but its complexity, sometimes finicky controls and repetitive nature will definitely turn off younger players.
It is just a very hard game to get into. I don’t know if it was the repetitive customer types, the generic banter from characters, the tedious food creation or the artistic style of the title but I found it very difficult to play for extended periods of time. I’d play a day in the game, then move on to something else. As is, Order Up! is only a title to pick up after a bargain buffet style price cut.
Site [Order Up]