A fully automated kitchen that eliminates the need for humans to work in ridiculously hot environments might be a dream for some and a nightmare for others. That’s exactly what the new game published by Team17, Automachef, promotes.
Thrown into a tutorial with a robot who seems to think he’s human, Automachef wastes no time in teaching you the basic mechanics it takes to succeed in the game. It’s funny and charming, and I was drawn in straight away. It’s immediately clear how much less stressful Automachef is compared to other cooking simulations (Overcooked, I’m looking at you!).
There are jokes abound, and although they may not get more than a sharp exhale through your nose on occasion, I appreciate the effort by the dialogue team to create such a likable tutor to stay by your side and coach you through serving the humans who like to eat disgusti- I mean, delicious human food…
The premise of Automachef is to build a kitchen that can prepare orders without the need for human interaction or interfering. You place down a variety of machines and robots, programming them as you go to fulfill a role. All of these machines then work together to complete the brief laid out by the level requirements.
For example, a dispenser will throw out a raw patty. This must then travel along a conveyor belt to a robotic arm that will lift it onto a grill. A smarter robotic arm will then look for a cooked patty to carry on its journey, down more belts to an assembler that takes the cooked patty, adds a bun and, hooray, burger! It's simple, but oh-so effective.
The levels themselves are short, and give you an order to fill. This makes them a lot less overwhelming and a lot more manageable. I will admit that most of the levels are just trial and error until something goes right, but when it does work, the sense of accomplishment with “I built that” is great and makes the game slightly addicting.
Automachef is a great game for those who love puzzles or solving problems as there is so much tinkering involved to ensure things work out the way they’re supposed to. You may complete the number of orders required, but easily use too much power or too many ingredients. It's a slight balance, and one that requires fine tuning.
The graphics in Automachef are very nice, considering you spend most of your time staring into an empty room that you must fill with machines, but the hustle and bustle of people walking past your restaurant really add a nice feel. Gameplay is smooth and intuitive, and it's super easy to get lost in time, completing level after level. The game features 30 campaign levels, and ten optional bonus levels. The latter add in quite a bit more of a challenge if you want to give them a go.
Automachef is a very pleasant game, and a lot of fun. I would highly recommend it if you're in the market for a short, easy to play game that will test your skills and brain power. Whether you're commuting, winding down after a long day in the office, or just looking for something new to play, Automachef will fit that bill.