‘Meals Fantasy’ Evaluation – Cooked to Close to Perfection

‘Meals Fantasy’ Evaluation – Cooked to Close to Perfection

Admittedly, I struggled to see eye-to-eye with cellular gaming for the longest time. The shortage of management choices damage my notion of it within the early days, with the then questionable ethics of F2P fashions clouding my imaginative and prescient thereafter. Issues have normalized through the years for positive, however the ‘pay or wait’ mechanic of many common moveable and web-based titles has all the time put me on edge. I by no means anticipated myself to fall in love with a recreation that employs these exact same techniques, however slap a restaurant administration sim, traditional RPG, and cute anime aesthetics collectively and the skewer in my coronary heart will come out clear. And Meals Fantasy (Free) virtually jammed it in there.

Hailing from ELEX of Love Nikki (Free) and Conflict of Kings (Free) fame, Meals Fantasy is a harmful concoction of tried and examined cellular recreation hooks. Hearth it up for the primary time and also you’ll be launched to a swathe of its pretty-boy and girly-girl characters in a extra dire state of affairs than you’ll sometimes see on this principally light-hearted journey. These ‘Meals Souls’ stand by the people of Tierra to combat towards what are referred to as ‘Fallen Angels’ – like Bulimia! It’s not a groundbreaking story – and even as wacky as you’d anticipate – but it surely doesn’t dampen the core expertise.

As soon as this all performs out, you’re again to a much less chaotic scene. You decide your participant avatar and title earlier than inheriting a restaurant and assembly Rice, a Meals Soul referred to as an ’empty shell’. Rice received’t ever comply with you into battle, or assist clear the dishes, however she’ll act as your navigator and story companion guiding you thru the opening tutorial earlier than changing into a daily face in the primary story.

Meals Fantasy is a gatcha recreation at coronary heart, along with your energy primarily boiling all the way down to how fortunate you get with Meals Soul pulls – or ‘Summons’ – and the way effectively you possibly can farm for the shards of your present souls. Groups utilized in battle include a most of 5 Meals Souls. Any of those could be positioned in a group, however simply as some are way more suited to the restaurant life, others are stand-out fighters.

You’ll begin with a mixture of these, with Sandwich and Hawthorne getting access to restaurant-specific stats and expertise, whereas Milk is a healer you’ll probably be bringing into battle for a while. Your first two summons – compelled on you by the tutorial – are scripted to be Tom Yum, a ‘Uncommon’ character, and Black Tea, a ‘Tremendous Uncommon’. Whereas Extremely Uncommon characters will sometimes be nice belongings on the battlefield, ‘Shards’ earned by way of duplicate pulls or particular in-game occasions and rewards can be utilized to extend the ‘Star Rank’ of the corresponding Meals Soul.

In most conditions, upping a Meals Soul’s star rank will push them forward of a lesser grade card of upper rarity when it comes to energy, so issues aren’t all the time so simple as pulling a bunch of the rarest summons you possibly can want for. This helps Meals Fantasy really feel extra free-to-play pleasant, because it isn’t all the time simply all the way down to blind luck within the grand scheme of issues. Meals Souls can’t ever surpass your personal degree, both, so it’s simple to maintain a bunch of alternate Meals Souls near your degree for when a sure stage requires a change in technique, boosting them additional with purified ‘Fallen Angels’ as you degree up.

Fight takes place in a barely extra ‘real-time’ setting than screenshots counsel. It’s a tad sluggish on the bottom 1x setting, however rising it to 2x actually helps it shine. Meals Souls assault mechanically over time, utilizing the passive expertise displayed on their character sheet. So whereas a lot of the ongoing motion performs out by itself, the brunt of participant technique comes from the energetic talents on each the left and proper aspect of the display screen. Sure climate results can introduce additional problem, however you’ll be made conscious of those earlier than you go into battle.

‘Hyperlink Skills’ develop into out there when sure Meals Soul pairings are collectively – like Milk and Black Tea or Espresso – and are activated with a faucet when charged. These can vary from highly effective AOE strikes to potent heals that, when timed proper, can drastically alter the result of battle. On the left, player-selected ‘Skills’ have related results, from a steak knife dealing heavy harm to the again row, to a powerful protect overlaying your group in a pinch.

These received’t appear inherently mandatory within the early levels of Meals Fantasy, however consciousness, endurance and technique will go a great distance. To maintain issues flowing, you possibly can even mitigate particular boss assaults by tapping countdown timers, and even clear the display screen of sudden spawns. For these in a rush – or who simply need to farm supplies as quick as potential – the ‘Sweep’ choice on a the stage choose display screen can be utilized to shortly clear a beforehand accomplished combat instantaneously.

Time spent in Meals Fantasy is kind of actually half administration and half fight; they intertwine exceptionally effectively. A quest system retains you attempting out new techniques and fight levels, however you’re principally left to your personal units as soon as the tutorial involves a detailed. Gold, sometimes earned within the restaurant, funnels again into the enterprise; whereas Ideas given by prospects could be spent on a rotating choose of Shards to assist energy up sure souls.

Taking and delivering orders is generally automated, however working the restaurant means having your chef continuously cooking in order that your waiters can ship meals to your hungry prospects. You’ll solely have the ability to have two particular dishes able to go at anybody time, however you may make stacks of those upfront to maintain customized flowing whilst you’re off doing different issues.

Equally, employees slots and buyer seating will increase as your restaurant features ‘Fame’ out of your patrons, however truly upgrading the place additionally takes constructing supplies you’ll supply in different methods. However you’ll must pay shut consideration to the Freshness of a Meals Soul, as working dry means they’ll be out of fee till they’re allowed to relaxation.

One of many greatest compliments I can provide Meals Fantasy is its non-reliance on exterior technique guides for the little particulars. Cooking the identical dish dozens of occasions is a standard a part of the method, and whether or not it’s to enhance the rank of a dish, or load it onto the airship for rewards, you’ll not often should lookup the place to discover a particular ingredient. The menus are so effectively put collectively {that a} easy faucet on most gadgets merchandise will generally inform you precisely find out how to supply every element.

Inventing a brand new dish isn’t fairly so easy, however its description will often trace at which elements to toss into the pot. There’s a component of trial and error, but it surely’s one more part that may be sped up with money for those who’re incapable of ready 10 minutes to see for those who have been proper or flawed. Premium foreign money could be spent in a bunch of different methods (like in Summons, after all), however this may solely ever assist gamers climb particular weekly leaderboards in a method that’s equivalent to mainly each different F2P gatcha recreation available on the market. There’s no approach to achieve a fight benefit right here aside from constant UR or duplicate pulls, and that’s nonetheless all the way down to dumb luck quite than expendable revenue.

Between creating new dishes to serve, or extra of them to maintain the cash ticking over whilst you’re away, Meals Fantasy has an virtually dizzying quantity of duties and options to maintain you tapping away. Unlocked as your Participant Stage and Restaurant Rank will increase, you’ll by no means be with out one thing to do.

Onerous-Mode levels supply distinctive challenges and rewards, deliveries and recipe enhancements retains you needing to farm for extra elements, and issues just like the wave-based Catacombs, PVP-esque Showdown or day-specific Trials will push you again into the battlefield. It may get overwhelming at occasions, however the gradual introduction of recent techniques means you’re by no means thrown into the deep finish. It’s hectic to the purpose it might be a tad an excessive amount of for the common particular person to dive into, however there’s no actual draw back to neglecting it for a day or two.

It’s simple to think about the primary wave of Meals Fantasy gamers being otaku-types drawn in by its attractive anime art-style, noteworthy voice actors, and weird premise of those cutesy characters being named after meals. However I see little motive why it received’t have the ability to pull in a far wider viewers in time. Each the RPG and administration aspect appears like two absolutely fleshed out video games.

And whereas partaking in each is perfect, it’s easy and compelling sufficient for RPG followers to grind and for simulator followers to loosen up and unwind. The time funding it clearly calls for, mixed with some inconsistent story parts, forbids me from meting out an ideal rating right here, however Meals Fantasy has warmed the guts of this grouchy gamer and is one app I hesitate to shut.