PAX EAST 2020: ‘Cook, Serve, Delicious! 3?!’ – Fun on the Food Truck

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Cook, Serve, Delicious! 3?!
Cook, Serve, Delicious! 3?! is a cooking simulation game developed and published by Vertigo Gaming. One or two players are tasked with managing an on-the-go food truck as they travel across America. If the players can rise to the challenges, they can earn money to upgrade their truck. But in order to succeed, they have to be smart and fast. Hungry customers wait for no cook.

Walking into my demo for Cook, Serve, Delicious! 3?! I expected little more than a glorified mini-game or overly large quick time event. There would be fast paced button pushing to dole out orders and then I’d receive my score. For once, it was nice to be wrong. By the time I walked away from the booth I was wholeheartedly impressed with my experience. A lot of thought, depth and love clearly went into this game.

Starting with the tutorial I was able to slowly wade into the depth of challenge that lay before me. To start the game, the player is required to make batches of pretzel. There is a simple combination of three button presses to prepare the food. Soon, however, I was trying to balance special orders of ice creams, pretzels, and other delectables. Needless to say, I won’t be quitting my day job for the glory of food trucks anytime soon. Once I’d gotten the basics under me I got to try the full experience of the game. The first step was setting the menu.

Levels in the campaign often require the player to set their menu to a certain point value. The more difficult the dish is to make, the more points it was worth. For our play, we needed a three-point menu. Since we had no restrictions on what we could offer, and my being a vegetarian, I went with an all veggie menu. This was easily done thanks to the hundreds of offerings from around the world the player can unlock. My menu offered rice balls, bean burgers, falafel, and some salads. This ended up being far more points of food than was necessary.

Cook, Serve, Delicious! 3?!
Just one of the hundreds of offerings you can serve your patrons.

As the customers started rolling in, things got hectic fast. The bean burger was a multi-step process that I lost track of more than once. I also may have burned more than a few falafels. The sometimes intricate button combos necessary to make some dishes played hell with my dyslexia. While I managed to keep going, my speed was noticeably shorter than what I could tell was needed. I was instantly worried this would be a delightful game that I would never be able to truly handle. That’s when I was told about Chill Mode by one of the developers.

This mode scaled back the challenge by making it so only one customer at a time would be waiting for food. This gives the player much more time to prepare foods without the pressure the game normally applies. I was learned this was included in the game as an accessibility feature. Knowing that some people struggle with being put under the kind of pressure the game can apply, the team wanted to give everyone the chance to enjoy what Cook, Serve, Delicious! 3?! has to offer. I was even assured that all unlockable content the player can earn through completing levels can be acquired through Chill Mode. I was thoroughly impressed with the thoughtfulness of the team. My hopes to enjoy making some good hearty food truck offerings had been rekindled.

With loads of menu items to learn to prep and a co-op mode that doubles the fun of the game, Cook, Serve, Delicious! 3?! has a lot to offer. I look forward to both attempting to test my cooking mettle, as well as unwinding with some Chill Mode at the end of a stressful day.

Cook, Serve, Delicious! 3?! is currently available in early access on Steam and GoG, with other platforms coming later this year.