Cooking games and chef simulators are having a moment and there’s a whole slew of new offerings for PC and console, including a new one that has partnered with the Michelin Guide. For anyone with an inkling that they can take the heat in the kitchen, or indeed chefs who just can’t get enough punishment, here’s a round-up.
Chef Life: A Restaurant Simulator
Slated for release later this year on console and PC, this chef simulator allows you to customise your kitchen with dozens of kitchen components and build your menu. Developed by the teams at NACON and Cyanide Studios, the game also has the Michelin Guide on board for players who want to experience both the kitchen grind and restaurant management. Selection of ingredients, design of delicious dishes - from French and Italian cuisine - and budget management are all in play here with the ultimate aim a coveted Michelin star. You’ll have to wait until October for release so keep those knives sharp.
This is a VR simulator in a top-of-the-range kitchen and allows budding chefs to hone their skills in virtual reality. There are over 80 recipes to choose from, and the ingredients are designed to respond as they would in real life. While the graphics aren’t as polished as the kitchen surfaces, the game delivers on playability and responsiveness.
Cook, Serve, Delicious! 3?!
An unusual premise for this game, as you cook, serve and manage your food truck while dashing across a war-torn America. There are hundreds of foods you can choose from. The more difficult the food is to prepare, the higher the points value. Released in January of 2022, the game is getting extremely positive reviews so far, as this looks like an upgrade on its million-selling precursors, with a multiplayer option. Looks like a lot of fun.
After the huge success of Overcooked, this madcap chef game challenges you to cook, fulfil orders, and race around the kitchen using various gadgets and kitchen equipment. Start off with single ingredient sushi and work your way up in difficulty to cooking multiple pizzas on a hot air balloon. The multiplayer option means communication is a must as the kitchen needs to run smoothly. A sink full of dishes will cost you points. Throw in platform elements with moving sections of the kitchen, jumping barriers and puzzles and you have a real handful.
Battle Chef Brigade
This animie-style cooking game requires you to hunt and catch your ingredients before taking them back to your kitchen. You have to loot your cookware to get the best kitchen set-up. There’s plenty more than cooking too, as you’ll have to battle monsters, solve puzzles and enter competitions for the best dishes.
Now for something completely different, as here your ingredients are your enemies. This multilevel platform game requires you to create the best dishes possible to drain the nutrition from your ingredients. It's a darker take on the regular cooking simulator format, but a very playable one that grabs and holds your attention.
Gordon Ramsay: Chef Blast
A free puzzle game from everyone’s favourite world-famous chef Gordon Ramsay - but don’t worry, he’s not going to ‘blast’ you out of it for overcooking the fish. This is a puzzler that involves tapping matching cubes to blast them to smithereens and cook up delicious dishes. Take on a kitchen nightmare restoration and transform it into your dream kitchen, while you earn points, solve puzzles and work your way up the line.
The chef is a cat in this wonderfully quirky game set in the underworld, where you have to shop, craft recipes, cook and sell the goods to hungry ghosts for money. As you progress, you earn money to buy seeds, which you can sow to grow ingredients that you can use to make new dishes. A spooky atmosphere adds to the excitement in Chef’s Tail, with plenty of strange characters rearing their heads up to keep things interesting.
No cooking game list would be complete without Minecraft, and while the cooking simulator is limited, there are many mods that can upgrade the foodie element. Pam’s HarvestCraft adds over 275 foods and recipes to the game, as well as the trees and crops from which you’ll harvest your ingredients. Cooking for Blockheads gives you a cookbook to guide you through the blocky madness.
Chef: A Restaurant Tycoon Game
Less a cooking simulator than a restaurateur simulator. Choose from a range of styles for your new restaurant, customise your chef, and play management games to get the whole thing running like clockwork. As you progress through the levels you can unlock skills, while the main aim is to balance the quality of the food and the dishes at the right price to get the customers back in the door.