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Culinary Clicks: What’s the Deal with Cooking Games?

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With so many of us gaming, it seems that every activity imaginable has a video game with a dedicated following of fans. Although you’ll find plenty of gardening, make-up and hair styling games for PCs and mobiles, there is a mind-blowing amount of cookery-themed games available to play – and in fact, it’s been a popular theme on all platforms for some time now. Culinary pursuits are certainly more in fashion than ever in the 21st century, with television shows such as Masterchef and Top Chef proving popular all over the world – the latter reaches 3.02 million viewers on average in the USA alone.

Some more hardcore gamers may be sceptical, especially if they haven’t tried cooking virtual dishes at one of this games, but don’t knock it until you try it! Here’s our sample of a few of the great cookery titles yon can find online now, so you can see what the appeal is.

Sara’s Cooking Class – Cooking Simulator

Join Sara in the kitchen and enjoy making wonderful recipes from all over the world with loads of tools to master and easy to follow instructions. This is a great game for those looking for some transfer of skills to real-life culinary talents, as you’re using real recipes and following the same process as you would in your home rather than the virtual kitchen. Available in app form on Android and iOS but also featuring on numerous websites such as CookingGames.com, Sara’s Cooking Class is a great way to develop you kitchen skills out of the kitchen.

Cookie Clicker – Idle Baking Game

A game from 2013, but definitely worth a mention here as clicking for cookies still has a cult following. Cookie Clicker is, in fact, in many ways responsible for the trend of clicker and idle games (together with Candy Box).  The intention is to bake as many cookies as possible at as great a rate as possible. You begin by clicking for one cookie at a time, by clicking on the giant cookie displayed in front of you. The game progresses as the cookies you bake become your currency to buy items such as a Wizard Tower or an Alchemy Lab to reduce your input and increase your output. An intriguing game that you’re likely to either dismiss as ridiculous or end up playing for weeks, Cookie Clicker is truly addictive and will certainly grow on you.

Belissimo! – Italian Cuisine-Themed Slots

This one is a very good example of how far-reaching the cooking game trend is. Bellisimo! is actually a multi-denominational three-reel, five-payline wheel of fortune. Although the website that hosts this game, Betway, offers a wide variety of themed slots, Belissimo! is certainly the go-to choice for fans of Italian cuisine. Putting a spin on the culinary gaming theme, this slot features tasty-looking icons and a mouth-watering jackpot of $25,000. Not your typical cookery game, but it does offer free samples in the form of free play, which allows you to get to grips with the game mechanics before staking some cash. If you like casino games and the culinary theme appeals to you, this is definitely worth checking out.

Kitchen Scramble – Time Management Cooking Game

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Those that miss ChefVille, a cooking game that was discontinued in 2015, might like to give this Facebook title a try. Kitchen Scramble, which has over 100,000 active users according to Facebook, sees the player take control of Pepper Mills and her mobile kitchen and try to build a food truck empire, starting out with very simple dishes you progress to more complicated fare. The multi-tasking required to keep cooking and serving becomes more and more difficult and frenzied as the levels progress. This game may not make our 100 Greatest Games Ever list, but it’s a very good addition to the time-management genre. Its biggest flaw is, in our opinion, the time limits that this type of free-to-play game imposes on the player.

Cookie Jam – Baking-Themed Match Three Game

For those who are part of the massive Candy Crush Saga following – and maybe some more gamers who were wondering what the fuss is about – comes a similar looking match-three style puzzle game Cookie Jam available as an app or Facebook game. It’s a food-related game with loads of cupcakes, pies and cake slices to slide around on an appealing layout with progressively more challenging levels to keep you coming back for more. The old process of spending real money to buy lives or asking for assistance from Facebook friends endures and although it’s far from original, it’s still a terrific game to play.

Gordon Ramsay Dash – Time-Management Game

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Featuring everyone’s favourite foul-mouthed chef, this offering was always going to be a hit. It was created by one of the most prominent developers in the freemium gaming market, Glu, who are also responsible for bringing Playfirst’s Cookie Dash to the mobile market. The 4.5-star-rated title (according to the Play Store) sees the Scottish chef oversee a series of “cooking shows”, which are different restaurants available to play at, with different mechanics and dishes. You need to cook the dishes that are ordered in a timely fashion to beat the clock and try to get as many “Wishelin” stars as possible for each restaurant. Featuring the usual progressive unlocking of ingredients and kitchen tools as well as new features for your avatar there’s plenty going on to keep you amused. Gordon Ramsay soundbites as well as his virtual alter-ego will accompany you throughout the game.

Websites and app stores are saturated with cookery games and for those looking for something more dynamic and demanding there are games such as Overcooked for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. We’ve selected a few of the choice cuts from the cooking genre. These games should satisfy your appetite for cooking entertainment. If you get hooked, it might be time to move into the kitchen and try the real thing.

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