Order Up Review
If you dismiss Order Up as just another Cooking Mama clone, then you'll miss out on your free chef's hat. Yes, Order Up really comes with a little burger chef hat that you can wear while playing the game. It's not required to play the game, but it will get you in the mood for the game's lighthearted sense of humor. And if you're going to spend your leisure time flipping simulated burgers, then you'd better have a sense of humor.
Order Up is more than just burger flipping, though. It's also a time management game in that you must prepare multiple ingredients for each dish, and prepare multiple dishes, all the while ensuring that nothing burns on the stove or grill or that nothing gets cold before the order is completed and served. The better each ingredient is prepared and the hotter the dishes are served, the happier your customers, and the bigger the tips they leave behind. Those tips are your lifeblood as you'll need that money to expand your menu, but improved kitchen equipment, and hire some help for when things start to get really busy for you.
Preparing a dish requires using multiple stations in your kitchen to do things like chop tomatoes, grate cheese, fry potatoes, boil noodles, and grill meat. To complete all of the orders in time, you'll need to multitask by doing things like chopping vegetables while meat is grilling and a pot is boiling on the stove. At first it will be relatively easy to prepare each meal to perfection, bur as the menu continues to grow and your restaurant attracts more customers things can get pretty hectic. This is a critical part of the game, because without it things would get old pretty quickly – once you've made a burger and fries a few times you won't feel compelled to do it again, especially without earning minimum wage while doing it. But the twin pressures of time and juggling multiple orders make things compelling, varied, and a bit stressful, but in a good way. More variety is added to the game as your restaurant begins to attract regulars with particular tastes. You'll have some with a taste for a particular price or who prefer things a little overcooked. It's enough to keep you on your toes and throw a little hitch into your burger-flipping groove.
Since this is a Will game, every action is performed with waves of the Wii Remote. Use a chopping motion to cut, move it in circles to stir, and twist your wrist to flip a burger. The controls are implemented pretty well, but they do suffer from the inherent inaccuracy problem with the Wii. Sometimes a chop or a flip has to be repeated to be registered by the Wii, but as mentioned this is a no more an issue here than it is with every other Wii game.
For someone who didn't particularly enjoy Cooking Mama, Order Up was a pleasant surprise. If it were a straight cooking game it would have held my attention for five minutes at best, but franticly juggling multiple dishes at once while striving for perfection in each one adds a lot to the game in terms of enjoyment. It's not the sort of game that will appeal to everyone and it will still leave you wishing that there was a bit more to the game, but if you're looking for something a little different then it may fit the bill nicely. Plus you get that free chef's hat...
In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 78%. Order Up will have you wearing your chef's hat, literally.