I previously made a semi-exception to talk about Cook Serve Delicious – one of my favourite indie games for sure, but with a completely tenuous Local Multiplayer aspect (it has one – but it’s a minimal afterthought and not that great). I’m also generally fairly positive about the games I include in LILMGOTW – mainly because it’s easiest and most fun to blog about the games I enjoy and feel passionate about.
Which brings us to Cook Serve Delicious 2. I’m again making an exception for CSD2 – but I’m definitely not feeling positive about this game. This definitely isn’t my ‘game of the week’.
Launched a couple of weeks ago, Cook Serve Delicious 2 promised to bring the charm and delight of the first game with fresh new graphics and reinvigorated storyline. What it gave us was a less feature-filled, less charming, less delightful, storyline lacking, poor excuse of a sequel with mediocre. This game feels half-baked.
When I played this game on launch day there was a notice from the developer confirming just that – he had skipped a few things to meet the launch deadline (one of the ‘few things’ was being able to interface with any menus using the mouse – this was completely disabled!). In all fairness, since launch, we have had 4 updates bringing us up to version 1.04. This game does not feel like a finished product – it feels very firmly in Beta (or maybe even alpha). The developer is in fact publishing ‘previews’ of the full launch version for people to try (aka a beta). The developer is obviously actively working on this game and trying to produce something great.
With the bugs and lack of features from the original aside, even “business as usual” gameplay – of running through a day – has become dull and boring. When I first played the original Cook Serve Delicious I was captivated and driven to play on, striving to achieve perfect days. Cook Serve Delicious 2 leaves me feeling bored and checking my phone as I wait for the next customer. A higher buzz would attract more customers – but if the game is entirely dull and slow for the first 20 hours of gameplay, it’s unlikely anyone will bother to get any further.
I remember reading an early statement when the CSD2 development started, and the developer said he wanted to end how CSD was just a race to remember and bash the key combinations in a quick frenzy. He’s definitely achieved this by taking out any desire to play the game (therefore preventing you needing to learn anything) and there is definitely no frenzy about it.
The changelog is full of a mix of major bug fixes and promises of future features. I hope the developer keeps up his passion and drive to really produce a decent game. I feel that he’s been insanely ambitious with the things he wants to build and add to the game. Overcomplicating it definitely has brought the danger of losing sight from the original and being unable to deliver on what he’s envisioning.
I’m going to skip the usual scores part of CSD2 because they will be undoubtedly very poor. I will stick by CSD2 in the hope that it becomes a better more polished game. I’m not sure it has the foundations for making a good game yet – the legacy of CSD is the only positive about it. I really want this game to do well.
At the moment, I recommend giving this game a miss – until it brings itself to fully fledged mode and irons out of all of the bugs.