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REVIEW: Chef de Bubble

Chef de Bubble is a simple and very cute cooking game, which should appeal to younger gamers. The story is silly, the characters are colourful and the music is cheery.

The game follows the trend of many other games in the genre which offers a free-to-play game with optional in-game purchases. Chef de Bubble is a fantasy city-building game, in which you can create a unique world inside of a snow globe. In the game you join Ceylon as she takes on the role of restaurateur. She is new to the business and is trying to make it work with the advice of her friends.

The game is very simple to play, with a tap interface. You start out by placing a dining table in your new restaurant, tap on it and select a dish to prepare. When you select one of the three available dishes from your chef, he will pop in and prepare the dish. The length of time it takes the dish to be completed varies from just a few seconds to several hours. And yes, this is in real time. So if you want to prepare some waffles it may take just a minute. However some of the other dishes take an hour or more. Quicker dishes pay out a little; longer dishes pay out a lot more.

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You spend a little bit of money to get your dishes started and they pay out in magic powder. You use this powder to sprinkle on production items, which in turn churn out coin. It’s a bit of a round about process, but both money and magic powder to add up quickly. The more money you earn the more expensive production items you can purchase, which in turn take more powder to start and yield more money.

See how this works? It’s actually quite satisfying.

One thing that actually makes the game relaxing to play is the music. It’s fitting that since the game takes place in a snow globe the music is made up of the chiming sounds of a music box. While repetitive it doesn’t really get old.

You can of course purchase more than just production items with your hard earned money. You can also purchase decorations and expansions to your snow globe. One of the benefits of purchasing decorations is that it expands your magic powder bag. The bag isn’t unlimited and if you try to collect more powder than you have room for you’ll sacrifice the excess. This was a bit frustrating at first, but can’t be helped at times. Just keep the production items going and buying decorations and you’ll be set.

Like any good mobile game this one also has social elements, but thankfully they aren’t forced on you. You can easily search and add friends in the game. They don’t even have to accept your friend request and you can visit their snowglobe at any time. While there you can sprinkle sweet sugar on their dishes, which gives you 10+ magic powder and also helps them earn more from their dish. You can collect hearts from the visitors to their restaurant which can be used to purchase special items from the shop. You can also take a job on one of their production appliances, which will give you a reward and also cut the time in half for their production. A win win all around and is effortless.

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As a very minor aside, this game must be popular in the Eastern part of the world as I have found a lot of the friends I’ve been finding are asian girls. Clearly I am not the target market for this game.

The story elements in the game are amusing enough, though tasks you are asked to perform are repetitive. They are typically only one of four constants. Collect a specific amount of gold, collect from a set number of production items, make a particular number of dishes or collect magic powder. The character interactions, which are limited to speech bubbles and character art, always look like there is going to be some new task but it always boils down to these tasks.

Before I mentioned that there are in game purchases. These purchases are done with the premium currency “candy.” You can slowly collect candy by leveling up or you can purchase candy with real money. There is also the option to straight out purchase things with real money, such as tables.

The tables you have in the game to produce dishes aren’t unlimited, and you are restricted to a set number of them depending on your level in the game. As you level up you can add more tables. You can purchase tables, which have no restriction, though these will set you back $4.99 a piece. So if you really want to get your chefs hat on this is always an option.

The game is in full 3D and the environment can be rotated completely, which has a nice level of detail. If you’re looking for a cute diversion, this is definitely worth a look. It’s free to play and you don’t have to spend money on the premium items. As with all games like this, it’s up to you if you really want to spend the money.

Gameplay 9
Graphics 9
Sound 9
Overall 9