App Reviewed on: iPhone 4
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Order Up! To Go is a time management game set in the fast-moving restaurant industry that gives would be "Top Chefs" more than they bargained for in their path to restauranteur stardom. The only way to succeed is to manage the wait staff, cook multiple dishes simultaneously, unlock specials and remember regulars and their tastes.
I recommend unlocking this freemium title's ad free version via the in-app price of $.99 as it will be a miracle if anyone doesn't become extremely annoyed by the abnormally high amount of ads. Despite this, the game has a lot of addictive potential.
The player starts out in the seat of a chef training to run their own restaurant. To succeed, they have to get the hang of short order cooking, which involves cooking anything from pancakes to specials such as omelets. As the gamer progresses through the game they'll have to improve their time management skills to keep patrons happy.
For instance, if someone orders a hamburger meal and pancakes, the player must learn to cook the fries, hamburger patty and pancakes as well as ready the accoutrements before either one of the orders burns or becomes cold while waiting for the other order. This becomes very frustrating as there is limited space within the kitchen and time before the patron starts to get annoyed. The most challenging order is trying to cook on the grill, fry multiple orders of fries with only one fryer, cook noodles as well as grating cheese, buttering a pan and then finishing an omelet without burning any of them. Nerve racking to say the least.
As one would expect, the ingredients cost money and if they are overcooked or undercooked, the patron doesn't pay full price, thus reducing profits margins. Profit margins are essential to progressing through the game. The extra money is used to unlock specials, which fetch higher prices as well as unlock spices such as salt, sugar, pepper and others that certain patrons enjoy and pay the gamer big bonuses. The extra cash is also used to purchase other restaurants with different food choices. It takes quite a few meals before the player has enough money to purchase, but of course there are in-app gold pieces for sale ranging from 10 coins for $.99 to 2,000 for $49.99. Big items can be purchased without these coins, but it will take quite a bit of time.
To give the gamer an even truer experience, the game includes inspectors who make the restauranteur wash dishes as well as food critics who can help the player with a positive review or hurt them with a negative one in the local paper. Overall, the game can provide hours of entertainment and is perfect for the budding chef turned restauranteur.