Fugazo Inc has finally released their sequel to the popular Cooking Academy game, Cooking Academy 2. At the World Culinary Workshop, you’ll be sent to different parts of the globe to learn from the best cooking masters there are. A variety of activities await you, and of course an interesting plotline with just the right amount of twists and turns.
Cooking Academy 2 is usually available at $19.99 but certain sites like Reflexive.Com will offer a huge discount, marking it down to $9.99. For that price alone, I say go for it.
Gameplay (4 out of 5)
Henri Fromage, the host of the annual Culinary Workshop challenges you to Cooking Academy wherein the best student gets a million beaucoup bucks to start their own restaurant! But to do that, one must first impress all the chefs in the Academy! Think you got what it takes?
I love the gaming design of Cooking Academy 2. You actually get to apply it in real life. Manage different cuisines from Chinese to French to American. Master various dishes from each country and take exams to prove your worth. You’ll be slicing and dicing, peeling and paring all the while watching cut scenes in between countries.
Each dish will have a range of 4 to 12 steps in them, each one requiring you to fulfill certain requirements. Whether it be finding the right ingredients or baking something in the oven, what matters is how good you follow instructions and how fast you do them. Each activity will award you points and the better your points, the higher you star ranking is!
Play for hours on end, that’s what I did. (And mind you, I learned a little cooking myself too!)
Graphics and Sounds (4 out of 5)
Awesome and colorful. You’ll really feel the culture in every game and the colors for the dishes you make are just so palatable, it makes your mouth water. Cooking games like this (well, simulation games too) require a certain splash of color to make it work. After all, how can you convince players that they’re making Chicken Dory or Sweet and Sour Chicken if the colors they see are dull and uninspiring?
The chef avatars look great and while the mini games may not present the dishes as life-like as they can, they do the job pretty well. And of course, the finished product of each dish completed is a very good representation of the actual dish, should you see them on a table in front of you at dinner.
Soundwise, here’s where I realize I’ve gotten hooked on a game – when I don’t really hear sounds but I know they’re there. Ok, so I’ve stopped playing for a while to actually try and listen to the sounds and well, it’s not that droll but its easily dismissed. This is why I guess I didn’t notice it before. The ambient sounds are ok, and the effects are just right. The sizzling and the cracking of the oil and the ding of the oven just further amplifies the gaming experience.
Overall (4 out of 5)
Definitely a good sequel and actually more enjoyable than the first version! The controls are basically the same as the first; fans of the first version will not feel awkward and stifled by the new controls. New players will find it easy to control as well.. An added bonus are the little tidbits one gets in between games and dishes. Each dish is an experience and each cuisine an eye opener. It’s a good game to be played over and over, as well as something very educational as well. Heck it might even turn some of the players into wannabe chefs in the making!
A definite must in your cache of simulation games!