Humble Bundle is one of those things that I idly check periodically. For the most part, I’m able to be pretty good and abstain but… occasionally, I see a charity that I’d like to support around the same time that there’s a game that I’ve wanted for a while bundled with a couple of games that I’ve wondered about.
At that point you pretty much have to put effort into your justifications to not get the bundle. “Oooh. It’s that game… OOOOOH! The charity is Doctors Without Borders! You know… Doctors Without Borders does a lot of really important work in a lot of different areas…”
And, next thing you know, you’ve got a half dozen games.
Well, today just might be one of those games for you because Humble Bundle has “Cook, Serve, Delicious” in the “pay what you want” bundle.
Cook, Serve, Delicious is marketed as a “hardcore restaurant sim” and, well, let me just tell you that this is the hardcore restaurant sim that you never knew you always wanted.
The conceit is simple: you’re a person setting up a restaurant from the ground floor. You are literally in the ground floor of a skyscraper and it’s your job to sell zero-star greasy spoon fare to the people wandering through your restaurant.
Your menu starts as simple. Corn dogs. Pretzels. Soda.
There are little tweaks, though. Corn dogs can be ordered plain, or with ketchup, or with mustard, or with both. Get the order right. Pretzels can be ordered with salt, with butter, with cinnamon, with any combination of those, or plain. Get the order right. Soda has 3 sizes, 5 flavors, and can come with or without ice. Get the order right.
I have found that the mistake I keep doing is people order a medium soda and I give them a small. Dang it.
Anyway, if you get the customer more or less what they want (a small instead of a medium, say), they’ll be vaguely dissatisfied but will probably come back tomorrow. If they stand around too long, they’ll be *VERY* dissatisfied and might never come back.
Ah, but if you get their order *JUST* right? They will be back tomorrow and they might even leave you a tip or take a picture of their food and post it to something that is *NOT* Instagram in this fictional universe but works just like it. (You need to give their picture a “thumbs up”.)
At the same time that all this is going on, you’ll have to wash dishes, take out the trash, clean the bathrooms, set rat traps, and deal with the occasional food inspector.
The goal is to have a perfect day without any mistakes. Like, without so much as a person ordering a medium water and accidentally getting a small.
It’s frustrating, hypnotic, and you’ll want to play until you get a perfect day.
Oh, and then you’ll want to put “salads” on the menu and please the health nuts that are out there. Maybe buy a deep fryer (this will let you offer fried chicken and French fries). If you get a grill, you can put grilled chicken on the menu (this will also please the health nuts)… or you could put burgers on the menu.
Did I forget to mention that you’ll need to keep changing up the menu if you want people to keep coming back? Well, you’ll need to keep changing up the menu if you want people to keep coming back.
If you do a good enough job, you can open a one-star kinda place. And do it all over again.
It’s a fun game, a fun little trifle (if a bit stressful) and you can get it for the low price of giving a donation to, among a couple other charities, Doctors Without Borders. You know… they do a lot of really important work in a lot of different areas…
So… what are you playing?
(Picture is HG Wells playing a war game from Illustrated London News (25 January 1913))