Epic_Chef_01
Follow Genre: RPG, Adventure
Developers: Infinigon Games
Publishers: Team17
Platforms: Switch, PC, PS4, Xbox One
Tested on: Switch

Epic Chef – Review

Site Score
8.4
Good: Stellar humor and a great, original adventure
Bad: The pace of the story might be a tad slow for some people, Saving your game is annoying
User Score
0
(0 votes)
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It’s time to try out another of Team17’s games! Team17, the company that once started out building an empire with¬†Worms, is now publishing games faster than you can count. This time, we are embarking on a culinary adventure with Epic Chef! Developed by Infinigon Games, here’s a game that turned out to be quite special.

Epic_Chef_01

Story

In Epic Chef you get to play as main man Zest. Zest is somewhat of a failure, though he managed to buy a mansion very cheap. That everybody tells him the mansion is haunted is of little concern to him, for he is a man with no superstitions, loads to gain, and nothing to lose. Also, Zest is pretty good at cooking. This is a convenient skill to have, as cooking is basically the most important thing people do in the lands where Zest finds himself. During the game, you get to see Zest growing his culinary skills while he also has to deal with crazy townsfolk and his haunted mansion. It’s a well-written story that’s bursting with humor and references. Without it, the game would be way duller. You don’t know what to expect at all, making it very enjoyable to progress and figure out what’s going to happen next.

Graphics

Visually, Epic Chef reminded us a lot of a third-person Animal Crossing game. Especially the way faces are animated, and the cube-like shapes of the NPCs their faces did this for us. Everything you interact with looks rather simple, but the variety in models spread throughout the world and the quality of the animations really compensate for this simplicity. If anything, keeping it simple enhances the hilarious writing that’s done for this game. With zooming in and out at the right time during cutscenes, it’s all presented in a very effective way, and also reminiscent of something anime-like, which is a fun style of editing if you want to use humor. On top of that, the game is made visually comprehendible for young ages while still looking fun for a more adult audience. It’s simply well made.

Sound

With comedic visuals and a very witty and funny story, the right timing of sounds can make or break a game. Luckily, Epic Chef does a lot right here. It has multiple simple yet effective tracks for comedic purposes in cutscenes, while keeping the music fairly easy-going outside of those aforementioned cutscenes. Often, there’s not even any music involved during regular gameplay. You’ll probably just listen to the sound effects as you embark on small quests or adventures instead. Effects such as crickets, birds, water, they are all there and they are all you need. By only applying music to crucial moments when there should be music, these moments have a more profound effect on you, once again adding to i.e. the comedy involved.

Gameplay

Epic Chef is a lot in one game. Partially it’s clearly an RPG as you talk with loads of NPCs and go on quests that involve multiple problems to overcome. It’s also an adventure game, as you set out to find required objects plenty of times. Within these genres, there’s also some maintaining and managing to do, as you will have your own farm with the possibility to produce your own food and animal products. Lastly, there are mechanics involved that allow you to not only use products to craft new stuff, but also to cook.

Cooking has simple mechanics that seem way more convoluted than they actually are. During the game, you will have to participate in cooking battles versus NPCs, where one NPC is your opponent and another is the judge who will decide which dish wins. Each ingredient on your final plate has two properties and has synergy with certain other ingredients. Let’s give an example to elaborate. Let’s say you use a carrot because it gives a bonus for being the first ingredient in a pan. After the carrot, you use a tomato because it works well with the properties of the carrot, and as your final ingredient, you use a potato because it gives bonus points when a tomato is already in the pan. This way, you try to get as many points as possible. Aside from getting as many points as possible, you might need to play it smart and make sure your dish goes first or last, or use certain sauces that change the rules when you go in a “culinary battle”. These sauces might get the judge to rule in favor of your dish, even if winning seems impossible. The entire process of making a dish is as much of a puzzle as it is part of a cooking simulator, and we appreciated the mechanics as far as they go.

You do all this adventuring, farming, and cooking during the span of a day. Each day you will either get slightly richer as you get more money by selling products, or you will progress the story slightly by completing another quest. There’s also a system with day and night mechanics implemented. This is not new, but one of the biggest issues players will have with the game, aside from grinding for money every now and then, is that the saving mechanics are not so cool. For some reason, you can only save after completing an entire day and going to bed. This means that when you are failing a quest that required certain objects and you want to restart, or when you are unable to finish your game due to your console having a power failure, it feels like the game is punishing you if you have to retry an entire day due to this. After all, starting over often does not only mean walking to the quest location again, it also means you might have to do your entire day’s harvest again. While this is all fairly simple at the beginning, later in the game there’s more and more to do on your own lands.

All that being said, aside from the somewhat shoddy save system, Epic Chef¬†still plays as a very accessible and fun game. The story does a stellar job of keeping you entertained, and there’s always something to do throughout the course of every day. It’s a good combination of progressing through the story and just doing whatever you feel like, making this a wonderful pastime activity to play around with.

Conclusion

Epic Chef is a good game. It’s fresh, it’s many things, but most importantly, it’s entertaining. It’s like Animal Crossing found a story with cooking as the most important subject, while still making everything as chilled out as in the Atelier Ryza games. The game is just generally well-crafted with lots to do, though we must applaud the humor and the story the most.

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Find me on youtube to see some playthroughs! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuBrlulGywcb0EiYWBnA1ng

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