Thank you so much to Team 17 for providing a review code
Story / Introduction
Automachef is a resource management puzzler that sees you being employed by a Robot who wants to use his automated food restaurant chain to soothe humans hunger and also to take over the world! The game blends puzzle solving mechanics along with some programming mechanics to create a very intriguing experience. Prepare to become the best robot.. I mean human kitchen designer that ever lived.
Automachef has three different game modes: Campaign, Contract and Test Site.The main game mode is Campaign mode, where you progress through the story by designing kitchens. Each level has a different scenario to introduce your location and the food you will be making. The variety in recipes and locations make each level unique from one another. Some levels will give you less space in the kitchen forcing to you use every inch of the room as efficiently as possible. Then there are other levels that will give you a large space, but require more complicated meals to be created. The stream of new scenarios, helped keep the puzzles from getting tedious, or repetitive.
Automachef has a large amount of simplistic and complicated meals that you’re required to make; from burgers to dopamine meals. The many different recipes make it interesting to try and create the most effective kitchen possible. Some levels even require multiple recipes to be used. Having to create a multitude of different meals was fun but, I would have liked to be able to pin recipes to my screen. It was annoying to have to constantly go back and forth between menus to ensure I had all the correct ingredients.
While making the kitchen, there are three goals to keep in mind. The goals are, how many orders have to be fulfilled, how much power usage you’re allowed to use and how many ingredients you can use. The goals for each level again kept the game challenging and differentiated each level from the next. I also enjoyed the inclusion of “lunch rushes”, disasters and blackouts which are events that add an extra layer of challenge to every level.
Many of the machines and events such as disasters and blackouts are given an explanation and a tutorial to help understand how they work. However, one of Automachef’s glaring issues is the lack of explanation, for some key aspects of the game.
As you advance further into the game, some new additions such as dine-in options, take-out options and some complex machinery such as storage bins and splitters are left without a tutorial. Although, the machines give a brief description on what they do, I found it hard to incorporate new machinery into my kitchen without some kind of tutorial. This resulted in many frustrating moments as some levels require you to use different machinery to ensure your kitchen is as efficient as possible.
Contract mode is very similar to the campaign. Here, you create your own restaurant and can choose a contract to fulfill for a client and create their ideal kitchen. By spending less money on machines and keeping the energy usage down, you can yield a higher profit in return. This is important, as the money you make through contracts is put back into your business. Money is used to buy different and better machines that you can use for future kitchens.
Unlike the Campaign mode which lacked the ability to choose a difficulty setting, Contract mode allows you to choose between Easy, Normal and Hard for each level. These settings change the criteria required, for each level and was a welcomed addition as some levels proved quite difficult
In the Test Site game mode you have access to all of Automachef’s different machines and the different recipes the game has to offer to create any type of kitchen you want.
Automachef uses a simple visual design which helps in keeping all machines distinct from one another. I was glad that the developers went with a more simplistic visual design. Using a vibrant, colorful design would have detracted from the game’s more robotic style presentation. Automachef’s soundtrack is very minimalistic which also blends well with the game. As I previously mentioned, some levels can prove very challenging and frustrating. So, I was pleased that the music wasn’t too loud and energetic.
During my time with Automachef, I experienced no technical issues. Automachef ran smoothly in both handheld and docked mode.
Overall, Automachef is a fun and challenging culinary puzzle game. Despite some levels being quite frustrating to complete, I felt accomplished and satisfied after each one I finished. Automachef can be overly challenging and that may be a turnoff for players who aren’t fans of the puzzle genre. However, if you’re looking for a challenge and you dream of designing your own kitchens then Automachef is for you.