Pocket Chef in Review – Become a Master Chef!

Gameloft’s Pocket Chef is a 3D cooking game for the iPhone/iPod Touch. It’ll be very familiar to those who have played games like Cooking Mama, particularly if you’ve played it on the Nintendo DS. Feel free to discuss this review of Pocket Chef in our forums.

Basically, you must choose a recipe and follow the steps to create it. In Cooking Tour mode, you’ll be given brief tutorials to help you get started. In Instant Cooking mode, you’re on your own. Both modes contain 25 recipes from all over the world. To start with, you’ll be cooking some American Classics: cheeseburger, scrambled eggs, fried chicken, four-cheese pizza and French toast. Once you’ve completed all five of these recipes, you’ll then move on to the next area, Ethnic Favorites. You’ll then progress through Veggie Delights, European Variety and finally Sweet Tooth. Each section has a different kitchen, beautifully decorated with its own theme.

When you begin a recipe, you’ll be given a run down of what you have to do, then you follow the instructions, and the better you do, the more stars you’ll be awarded. So you must chop, slice, spread, toss, fry, grill and stack your ingredients to perfection. Only then will you become a Culinary Master! There are 19 actions in all, from the preparation of ingredients, to the final presentation of your meal. But don’t worry, if you don’t do very well, you can always start again!

The great thing about this game is the mechanics. It very closely mirrors the actual movements you’d need to make if you were cooking these recipes in real life. For example, to chop something, you’ll slide your finger down the screen of your device in the place where you wish to slice. The knife on the screen will follow, and voila, a sliced tomato/lettuce/whatever. An added bonus is no cut fingers! Some of the movements are less obvious, for example flipping something in a frying pan – but once you get the hang of it, it’s pretty easy.

As you progress through the game, you’re awarded stars for each recipe, dependent on how good you were whilst creating it. There are also various trophies awarded when you hit certain achievements. These are then added to Gameloft Live – which requires you to sign up to view it.

As well as the gaming, you also have a Recipe Book. This contains the actual recipes for the dishes that you’ve cooked throughout the game should you want to recreate them in real life. You don’t have to have unlocked these recipes in the game to look at the necessary ingredients and cooking instructions, either. I’m not sure how many people would think to use their iPhone to assist them in a real-life kitchen, but it’s a nice touch!

Overall, this is a nice game. I do think it’s a little expensive for what it is, but if you’re someone that’s really into this kind of game, you won’t mind paying it. I don’t think it has much replay value – once you’ve gone through and got the highest score for each recipe, there’s very little reason to go again. You might want to go through all collect all of the various trophies, but other than that, there’s no incentive to continue playing – particularly as there’s no social element. The game would have definitely benefited from having a link up with Facebook, Twitter and OpenFeint, so it’s easy to compare scores with friends.

I did have a few niggly problems during the game, where I was tapping on a button to move on, but nothing was happening. It would light up, but not actually action. I’d have to tap it several times before everything would happen. I’m sure this is just a small bug that will be rectified in later versions, though.

In summary, Pocket Chef is fun, has nice graphics and despite the slightly irritating music is a pleasant enough way to pass the time. Cooking fans will love it!

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App Summary
Title: Pocket Chef™Developer: Gameloft
Reviewed Ver:1.0.4Min OS Req:2.2.1
Price:$4.99App Size:112 MB
  • Easy to pick up
  • Nice graphics
  • Innovative gameplay
  • Fun and informative
  • Buttons sometimes not responsive
  • Cheesy music
  • On the pricey side
  • No Facebook/Twitter/OpenFeint posting

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