Meshi Quest is Square Enix's newest free-to-play release, and it's a real charmer. You start off as the head of a sushi restaurant, upgrading your food and equipment as you serve visitors heaping helpings of your delicious meals. As you progress, you'll be able to start up new restaurants, from smoky yakitori bars to a wheeled ramen cart.
The food is beautifully hand drawn, and while the gameplay is pretty standard for the genre, it's still incredibly addictive.
You'll need to earn gold and the game's premium currency, diamonds, to upgrade your restaraunt and reach star status, but fortunately you can do so without spending any of your hard-earned real life money on IAPs. Here's how.
Invest in decor
Upgrading food is, of course, important and it's fun to see how the food gets fancier as you invest more into the upgrades. However, don't neglect to update your restaurant's furniture and decor. These cosmetic upgrades will improve customer wait times, which will make the game easier for you as you get up into the higher levels.
You'll need to mix both types of upgrades if you want to progress as far as possible.
If you find yourself stuck, go back and replay some levels you've already beaten. Replay levels where you still need to get three stars for starters. You'll be surprised at how you and your upgrades make it much easier to get three stars where once you struggled.
You can also replay older levels to rank up and earn more diamonds. Reaching certain rank thresholds will even net you extra diamonds. Rank ups only take a few shifts, and the game is so fun you won't even feel like you're grinding.
Don't be afraid to jump to the next restaurant
Check on the stage rewards for each of your restaurants in the trophy menu. It's the second tab marked with a little restaurant stand. Check to see which rewards you have incoming.
If you're in the higher stages, you might find that you've unlocked all of the rewards for that restaurant. If that's the case, grind and save up some diamonds and unlock a new restaurant. This will give you fresh diamond revenue that you can use to progress to more advanced stages of the game.
Are you an expert restaurateur? Share your own tips in the comments.