There has been a steady flow of cooking games on the mobile platform over the years and my particular favourite has always been Cooking Adventures, but sometimes, you want to find a cooking game that breaks from the norm. That is where Chef Wars seduced me in a rather cutesy way. Instead of focusing on the cooking aspect of the gameplay, we are given a game that provides enough sandbox and story progression allowing for a fresh perspective on an ageing genre.
Chef Wars starts you off with a Bare Footed Heiress whose father had recently passed, leaving a secret recipe hidden somewhere within the world. This recipe becomes in danger of being corrupted when the antagonist Baron Von Pork starts to recreate that recipe. It is your job to go around the world to stop his henchmen from completing his dastardly agenda along with discovering the many different recipes available.
The first thing I noticed when playing this game was how similar it is to the anime Shokugeki no Soma, heck, even the game title is technically the title for the anime translated into English. Of course, the main difference here is that the judges eating your culinary creations don’t explode out of their clothes in glee.
The game is pretty straightforward, research your recipes with the various ingredients placed around the in-game world, create a number of recipes, then challenge the boss until you finish the story mode. This, however, is not so easy, as each contest will provide different themes each time, randomly generated to keep you on your toes. This is where we get to see the fun part, which is creating the different cuisines from different regions. We are able to create dishes from the Asian region, Europe, Spain, Mediterranean, and much more.
Obtaining ingredients is also a matter of luck as there are only a few ways to obtain new ingredients which are through exploration and through market purchase whenever a player visits a town or port. Most of the time, if your luck is bad, you get a whole load of redundant recipes. The exploration aspect of the game does provide its own sense of wonder as you can visit many locations that you can find in real life with ingredients assigned to them depending on where they are, for example, seafood is found mostly towards the port towns whereas vegetables are found in towns near the forest.
Overall, this is a casual game at heart, made for those who enjoy anime-esque story and designs while on the go, with a decent storyline at that. As a bonus, this game can also be enjoyed offline so you don’t have to deal with those always online-only features that have been trending in current mobile games.