Wednesday App Review: Cooking Fever

I have something of an addiction to time management games. I’m not really sure what it is about them, but I just love the challenge. I have played dozens of different ones from Flash games like Papa’s Pizzeria to actual computer games like Cake Mania, and even Nintendo DS games. However, I tend to stay away from cooking time management apps because they always cost a fortune. Cooking Fever, advertised as actually free, I thought might be an exception. While it’s not as bad as some, it definitely isn’t free. Well, I suppose I should clarify. There are multiple levels and upgrades which can only be purchased with gems which you can either earn or spend via micro transactions. Players can earn gems through leveling up, at a rate of around 6 gems per level. At first, they come pretty quickly but after a point it takes much longer to get gems. There are a few other avenues, but they are pretty hit and miss, really. So, much like other games which claim to provide free ways for you to play, the ultimate idea is to make money and so the gems that you need to progress quickly outpace the rate of free gems. Additionally, there’s no note in the beginning that you’ll need gems to play later levels or that they cost actual money, so I foolishly spent them for upgrades in the first restaurant, and had none for later restaurants. It took me forever to earn enough gems to move to the second restaurant, only to find that gems are required for about half of the upgrades of your equipment—upgrades which are required in order to actually continue to pay the game past a certain point. The worst part about it was that I had hope with the first restaurant that, finally, perhaps I’d found an app that did in-app purchases right. Where you could pay for it, but it wasn’t 100% necessary. The first restaurant offers multiple options for spending gems, but they’re mostly a convenience, not a requirement. The second restaurant is a requirements, and I shudder to think at how amped up the need for gems would be if I continued to the third or even fourth restaurant. However, all of that being said, the first restaurant was absolutely excellent. The graphics are nice, the accuracy isn’t too bad, and the actual time management aspect is handled well. It’s challenging without being entirely impossible. I wouldn’t recommend bothering past the first restaurant, but for that small amount of time (it took me a couple hours to get through it) the game is fabulous. Definitely one of the best time management games out there, if you ignore the in-app purchases, or if you contain a godly amount of patience and are willing to earn gems slower than molasses. Cooking Fever is available for free download on Google Play, iTunes, and Amazon.]]>

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