Reviews

Cafeteria Nipponica review

Universally slow simulation.

Cafeteria Nipponica marks the event of something special: the first universal game from Kairosoft that plays natively in full screen on the iPad. This is something I have been asking for in the past, and I was really pleased when I found the small plus indicating universal in the App Store. The fact that I didn’t play it a single minute on my iPad is another matter. Kairosoft simulation games are generally quite slowly paced, and Cafeteria Nipponica is perhaps the one that is slowest with the least player interaction needed so far. Dedicating my retina iPad screen to just waiting for the months to pass to amass enough money to expand my restaurant is not for me. Rather I have played the game on my iPhone while watching movies, or surfed the Internet on my iPad. The pace is slow, and after a couple of weeks I don’t really think I have gotten into it yet. Compared to for example Game Dev Story, and Grand Prix Story that consumed my time completely Cafeteria Nipponica has an almost freemium feel to the pace. Having just come off Kairobotica on Android I have recently tasted the real low of Kairosoft, and really wanted a good comeback.

Speaking of customer care, and adding the universal mode many have asked for I really miss Game Center integration. Especially if you want to play on multiple devices you are kind of stumped having to play each game from scratch. Not having Game Center hurts the save game functionality, but also the online leaderboards are missing. This is a problem that has been a part of all Kairosoft games on iOS so far.

So what is the game about? You are setting up restaurants, and have to manage staff, recipes and layouts. Staff is either floor, or kitchen and level up as they work. You can upgrade them by giving them a meal now and then. Other than that there isn’t much depth to the staff management. Someone starting as chef will develop from rookie, to pro, to Chinese, to Japanese, to Western. There are also some special chefs that demand special negotiations. The first chef I approached I gave too much salary, and had to place in the restroom for the following ten years.

The depth is in making dishes that is done throughout the nights. Creating compatible dishes is the key to getting a proper revenue going. There are combinations leading to new dishes being discovered, but it is hard to predict when and why.

Salaries are paid once yearly, and usually leave me in the red for months. Sitting about just waiting to make a good result again is plain boring. Furthermore it means that I can’t send my staff looking for ingredients, and thus my development suffers.

Cafeteria Nipponica is poorly paced, and leaves the player waiting too much. Heck I don’t know how many times Gordon Ramsey would have to show up to shape up my restaurants when they went into the red. I also miss some of the usual Kairosoft humor, and I have to conclude that this is the title I have liked the least so far. I hope to see Sushi Spinnery soon instead, as that is far superior even though it is in the food business as well.

Final Rating

mediocre

Cafeteria Nipponica $3.99 Universal for iPad/iPhone/iPod
Version: 1.0.0
Seller: Kairosoft Co Ltd.

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