Too Many Cooks
By Erin Brereton,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Abundant ads, similar rounds make gameplay feel half-baked.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Ease of Play
Players are immediately dropped into a brief tutorial, but may be left with questions -- and there's no FAQ or other resource to refer to for help.
Products & Purchases
Ads frequently pop up between rounds and when you click on items. Numerous in-app currency items, from $1.99 to $99.99, are available. Buying any item will eliminate pop-up ads, according to the developer.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Too Many Cooks is a strategy game for iOS and Android devices. The game offers some instruction, but doesn't fully explain all aspects of how the app works. Players will see a lot of long ads, unless they purchase one of the in-app currency packages, which also remove ads from the experience. A multiplayer option has some glitches, but if players are able to get paired with two other players, they can only communicate through images of the food items they need -- they can't directly chat. Rounds can take a little time to load, and players are shown tips while they wait that are sometimes fairly unhelpful, such as a note advising that they'll get more rewards the better they perform, so they should do their best. Otherwise, there's no inappropriate content to be found in the game.
Where to Download
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Too Many Cooks
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What’s It About?
TOO MANY COOKS is a restaurant management game where players prepare meals in timed rounds. They may make salmon nigiri, for example, by dragging rice to a prep area with salmon they've chopped up by tapping on the screen. Other tasks, such as washing dishes, are also performed by tapping. Different cuisines are offered, and gamers can either play alone, with friends, or be paired with two other players. Rounds earn them coins, which can be spent to upgrade items like their cutting board to be able to chop faster.
Is It Any Good?
As in many other food prep games, players will perform tasks to prepare meals for restaurant customers, but this game has a more haphazard approach to culinary service. Players don't prepare orders for specific customers in Too Many Cooks -- they're just trying to compile elements they're told need to be served, such as a plate and cooked rice. Some items require additional steps, such as chopping up salmon before adding it to other ingredients, and dishes may need to be washed before they're used. There doesn't seem to be a clear sequence things should be done in, or which order needs to be served first, which makes figuring out the best strategy challenging.
Extremely long ads are shown frequently, which slows any momentum you've gained to a halt -- and even though you're working against the clock, the gameplay can start to feel a little boring, due to the repetitive motions that are involved. An option that lets you play with other users can be inconsistent -- you may be told you need to wait for the host to select a level, and then get bounced back to the starting screen and find they're unable to join a game. Players can choose to be the host, but will have to wait until two other players are found, and the experience isn't too thrilling once they are. It's essentially a slight variation on the solo player mode, with a faster, almost hectic pace, where you try to fill orders while asking the other people to supply them with ingredients -- and giving items to those players. Visually, the game has a consistent, well-integrated bubbly pastel look, and it's easy to see how many items you've added and still need for meals in rounds. But without clearer instruction or goals, aside from the next order or two you need to compile, though, it's hard to figure out how to improve your performance in either mode -- which makes Too Many Cooks a culinary experience players might want to skip.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how to balance getting things done quickly in Too Many Cooks with getting them done correctly. What issues can arise if you try to finish things fast? Can you use these lessons in real life?
How do you react when something has to be completed in a short amount of time? Talk about how to avoid getting stressed in situations where you're under pressure.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Mac, Android
- Pricing structure: Free
- Release date: April 3, 2021
- Category: Simulation Games
- Topics: Cooking and Baking
- Publisher: Playstack
- Version: 0.7.7
- Minimum software requirements: Requires iOS 13.0 or later or Android 8.0 and up.
- Last updated: April 19, 2021
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