Hell's Kitchen

Game review by
Harold Goldberg, Common Sense Media
Hell's Kitchen Game Poster Image
Top chef rants as he teaches in cooking game.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Gordon Ramsay is the Simon Cowell of restaurant reality games. He's nasty and can be demeaning.


Verbal violence on the part of this angry chef.


Mild cussing of the "damn" variety.


The game promotes the Hell's Kitchen TV show upon which it's based upon.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this cooking game is based on the TV show of the same name and features the nasty Chef Ramsay. Ramsay gets angry easily and then rants at the player. He will call you names including a "donkey" when you don't do recipes correctly. This isn't a game for kids or adults who are sensitive about verbal abuse. The game does feature real recipes.

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What's it about?

If you've seen the Fox TV reality show Hell's Kitchen, you can probably guess what the video game with the same name is all about. In the HELL'S KITCHEN game, you're trying to be the best chef possible and rise through the ranks from dishwasher to master chef. You'll endure all manner of complex recipes and demanding customers. If you don't do well, you'll incur the wrath of celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay. In fact, he likes to call you a "donkey" when you don't finish a dish within the allotted time.

In the Wii version of this game, you use the Wii remote to hone and master three key restaurant skills: preparation, cooking, and service. Ramsay watches your every move, and he often doesn't like what he sees. You'll play host to diners, leading them to their candlelit table, helping them to choose from the menu, taking their order, prepping their meals in the kitchen, serving it, and then clearing the table when the gourmands are done. You can also play with one pal in coop or competitive mode, but there is no online play.

Is it any good?

Career mode is where Hell's Kitchen shines. You even get to keep the recipes you make for future reference in your own real life kitchen. And, yes, while Ramsay is tough on you (too tough for the sensitive), he does release a few compliments when you've done well. While the motion-sensing aspect of the Wii remote is great for cutting and chopping, it's not as precise for pointing and mixing foods together. You'll also have to keep an eye on Ramsay's Tolerance Meter, which flames with rage. If you make too many mistakes, the meter overflows. The result? He'll get so annoyed, he'll close the restaurant early.

There seems to be an endless supply of recipes and levels for you to wade through on your way to becoming master chef. While it's initially exciting (and somewhat frightening when Ramsay cracks the whip), the repetitive nature can get to be a grind. Unless you're a true foodie who wants to unlock the many recipes (including Mint Lamb Burgers and Polenta Shortcake with Roasted Peaches and Ice Cream), you may become restless, and worse, bored. If you want to try before you buy, there's a stripped-down, free game online at Hell's Kitchen

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what life is like in a fast-paced restaurant. Is this career full of controlled chaos a choice you would seek out? What organizational skills did you learn in this restaurant game that you can use in your daily life?

Game details

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