Automachef – Review
Follow Genre: Pizzle, simulation
Developer: Hermes Interactive
Publisher: Team17
Platforms: PC, Switch
Tested on: Switch

Automachef – Review

Site Score
7.5
Good: Fun concept, great music and ambience
Bad: Controls really feel clunky
User Score
8.7
(3 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 8.7/10 (3 votes cast)

Cooking is something we all have to do one day, although some people want to postpone this moment for as long as they can and visit restaurants or other eateries. Of course, these dishes need to be prepared too, but what if every human is replaced by machinery? Everything automatic, reducing costs and the usability of humans to zero.

 

Story

The main campaign of the game will introduce you to your totally-human boss. He wants to hire you to work together and expand the empire of automatic cooking … and more. In the beginning, you get some tutorial levels to get up to speed with some of the different machines and the narrative is afterward always explained at the beginning of the level. Don’t expect an extensive storyline to follow but there are some funny quotes and references that will make you giggle now and then.

Even though the story isn’t that deep, the level complexity surely makes up for it as it’ll keep your brain going for a while.

Graphics

With this kind of puzzle title with simulation elements, it’s rather logical you’re presented with a more Sims-like style. During a level, you’ll be watching the area diagonally topdown (although you can switch the camera angles of course). The menus are rather simple but clean and will show you all the details you need. Some of the machines do look a lot alike so it might become rather challenging to recognize what’s what when the room gets filled with buzzing apparatuses.

Next to this type of screen, there isn’t much more too explore. Your ‘human’ friend is only a small sprite and for the rest, you’ll have to keep your wits about and your eyes on the machinery instead of enjoying sceneries.

Sound

You might be surprised what this game has to offer sound-wise. Okay, the music might sound a bit generic sometimes but each level has a fitting tune and it’ll take you back to the good ole’ days where milkshakes were brought to the table with roller-skates. It gives you the feeling to be teleported back in time and to work diligently on your next schematic. Although you might fear that the soundtrack loops fast, don’t fret about it. It takes a while before you’ll hear the beginning tune again

The same can be said for the sound effect. Everything fits perfectly, from the ‘human’ babbling of your boss to the different sounds whenever you place or move something on the field. The totality of it all makes it a really fun and engaging experience.

Gameplay

Automachef is a puzzle game where you need to build full-automatic kitchens to provide fresh dishes for several customers. You need to try to keep the costs as low as possible, together with thinking about the planet and using the least amount of energy. To do this, you need to think about schematics for the set-up. Each level has its own specifics and goals to achieve, so keep that in mind while tinkering on that perfect scheme.

As this is a puzzle game with simulation elements, you’ll need to find your way through different menus. First of all, you can check the recipes you need to make and the sequence, the number of ingredients and so on. Then it’s time to go into your parts menu to find the right machinery to do the job. Everything is divided into subunits to make it easier to find certain parts. Selecting your needed machine will give you more details about the energy and cost price together with some other info. You can then choose to place it on the floor or just pick something else. Don’t fret though, you can move, delete or duplicate anything you placed so go wild.

When you’re done with your set-up you might still need to tweak a few things here and there. For example, the assembler needs to know what dish it needs to make, while some of the robotic arms need some guidance on what to detect before it will pick up goods. The same can be said for the order reader and so many other things. Whenever you think you are ready you can go for a test spin or just go for the real deal.

Had enough of the campaign? You can always get a new start thanks to the contract mode. There are a few orders you can choose from, meaning that you have the freedom to pick whatever you want. The only thing you need to keep in mind is your available cash and reputation. Deleting accepted orders or failing them means that your hard-earned rep is going down.

At the beginning of the campaign, you get a few tutorials, but they might feel a bit short for the upcoming levels. During the game, you’ll get some more informative tutorials, so at least that’s something. But the fact remains that the difficulty increases rather quickly from the get-go. You can go to the sandbox and do some tests but these might take you a while before you’ll get things down. Truth be told, the different menus are sometimes hard to navigate in on the Switch, making you curse now and then as you’re always in the wrong submenu. Sometimes the controls aren’t responding that well either, especially when trying to tune the machine.

Conclusion

If you’re a techie or interested in food processing, you’ll be delighted to dive into this title. Although sometimes the controls are a bit off and it would have been nice if there was a bit more explanation about the inner working of the game, this title provides quite an extensive amount of possibilities. Both the campaign and the free play are challenging, while the graphics fit the type of game. Certainly, something to consider when you’re in the mood for some more heavy thinking.

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Rating: 8.7/10 (3 votes cast)
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Automachef - Review, 8.7 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
Chun-Li
Chun-Li


Faster than lightning

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