Our favorite struggling villain, Zynga, has released a new Restaurant Management game yesterday. Some have eagerly anticipated it as the game that will save their bacon.
But hold the mustard! Has Zynga finally made a unique gaming experience without borrowing from other developers? Sorry to say, but again, not this time. ChefVille has many elements of another game called Gourmet Ranch. Specifically, the core system where you build dishes from ingredients grown around your cafe. So no, The rotten eggs at Zynga have merely found another game to shamelessly steal from.
That said, ChefVille is chocked full of features, including a number of things that they learned from their own games. Nothing vanilla about this game! For example, bottlenecking land expansion through the use of quests and difficult to obtain items. (CastleVille, Hidden Chronicles) Recruiting neighbors to build machines/buildings. (Nearly every Zynga game) Also, the use of spices to quicken dishes. (Cafe World)
Makes me wonder if this game is meant to replace Cafe World? Zynga has said no, but they’ve said a lot of things that ended up being untrue. When I looked into the game files earlier, I saw a lot of the pictures were marked “CW2”. Cafe World 2? Just sit and digest that for a while…
There is a “Game to Table” feature where you are emailed real recipes corresponding to dishes that you mastered. Apparently there’s more than 50 dishes/recipes to earn. While quaint, it’s not the sort of thing that is going to make this game more palatable for me. If I wanted to cook something, I wouldn’t be playing Facebook games.
Incidently, I found Zynga Executive Chef Matthew DuTrumble’s profile on LinkedIn and he seems like a good sort of fellow. Very experienced. If my considerable experience with corporate layoffs has to say anything, it’s that he’s probably going to be one of the first gone when the Zynga layoffs begin. Only because the first out the door is usually the kitchen help, and what sort of video game company needs a recipe writer when there’s a considerable amount of recipes on the internet for them to steal? Sorry Matt! We wish you well in your future endeavors!
I guess that was sort of mean. Well, I don’t want to end this on a sour note, so I have something for you.
Newsfeed Link for ChefVille: (Courtesy of Kellie and others)
And some food for thought: (Tips and Observations)
- Every time you level, check the marketplace for things you can now place. You may be able to add more tables, counters, or a second grill, for example.
When you are able to place the second grill, do it. Leave one grill for dishes with long cook times, and save the other for fast dishes to help you keep your counters filled.
- While technically you CAN give VIP service to customers, I find that the energy is much better spent gathering ingredients.
- To “Close” your cafe, simply remove all the tables from your area. This will allow you build up a stock of different dishes.
- The most important (and most difficult) ingredient to get is roses. You get them from the Rose Stand (Supplies >> Services) But you only get 3 every 8 hours. Every rose is traded to a Customer for 1 recommendation, which you need for expanding your cafe, and unlocking new dishes and ingredients. There’s a quest not far into the game that requires 20 recommendations (already!) and to get there, one has to have spent a few already. It’ll take more than a day of collecting roses to get there, and that’s only if you collect the roses RIGHT ON TIME. Alternately you can ask your friends for roses, which I strongly recommend. Since you can only send your friends so many gift requests a day, I’d make rose collecting a priority, at least at the beginning.
- Keep a close eye on your ingredients. Make sure to stock pile so you run out, but also don’t gather too many because the maximum amount of each ingredient you can hold is very low. For example, you can only hold 15 tomatoes, but they go quickly.
- If you bunch all your ingredient stations into one area (like a garden) it’ll be much easier for you to glance at what you need to harvest.
- I have found that I run out of the “Wild” ingredients much faster than any other ingredient. Wild Onions and Wild Button Mushrooms are the only ingredients that have a finite amount of collects. It’s wiser to collect them from your friends and leave the ones on your own home alone. This way, you AND your friends get onions when you collect them, but if you collect the ones on your home land, only you get them.
- I have seen Wild Onions regrow over time, but so far, I haven’t seen the mushrooms regrow. Leave some grassy areas free of flooring so they can grow back in.
- If you are doing well on ingredients, invest some into making some sauces and other things using the mixer. Dough and tomato sauce are some good ones. Dough is an especially easy one to help you “make some dough” later on.
Check the comments for more tips left by other readers. If you have a tip, let us all know!
What do you think? Is this game going to be the sweet smell of success for Zynga? Or are their gooses still cooked?