Order Up!!

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Order Up!! Game Poster Image
Fun, accessible cooking sim teaches international dishes.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn a bit about cooking meals at a restaurant. They'll be shown how to prepare dishes from around the world and learn that they must be made properly and within a short amount of time, or else there will be repercussions. Kids can also see the economics related to running a restaurant -- specifically, that disappointed customers lead to low tips, which means you can't afford upgrades. Managing your time is the focus of Order Up!!, but in the middle of restaurant chaos, kids can pick up a smidgeon cooking tips.

Positive Messages

This lighthearted simulation focuses on cooking for the most part, as well as restaurant management. Kids can learn about juggling various tasks at once, performing a task well (for example, not under- or over-cooking dishes), and working under pressure. You're serving food at restaurants, so it's a fairly positive message.

Positive Role Models & Representations

You don't know much about your character at all and rarely see him or her (you have a choice), but your goal is to expand your restaurants, earn five stars per establishment (if you can), and cook up dozens of dishes for customers. The protagonist is a good role model, though they aren't doing anything overly noble, altruistic, or heroic.

Ease of Play

This game is very easy to play, whether the gamer uses the PlayStation Move motion-sensing controller or the PlayStation 3 controller. Similar to the Nintendo Wii version, gamers can use gestures while holding the Move controller, such as flipping burgers or slicing tomatoes, and those movements transfer into the game.

Violence

In one mini-game, you can flick objects at rats and they turn upside-down and then disappear -- but it's implied you're killing them.

Sex
Language

There is some comic mischief in the game, including burping noises and some funny dialogue including the line "Who farted?"

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know Order Up!! is a family-friendly cooking simulation. Aside from a bit of crude comic mischief, including burping and farting, there isn't anything parents need to be concerned about with this game. Even the multiplayer mode puts competitors in the same room using one TV, so there is no way to play against (or chat with) strangers.

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What's it about?

You're a chef (and restaurateur) who must prepare dishes in a timely manner. You'll receive an order, such as a hamburger and fries, and you'll need to grill the meat on both sides (without serving it undercooked or burnt), keep an eye on the deep fryer, and prepare toppings, too. While you can use a regular PlayStation 3 (PS3) controller, the game supports the motion-sensing PlayStation Move, so you can perform a chopping motion in front of the television to slice tomatoes or peel lettuce by moving the controller back and forth, horizontally. You must juggle more than one dish at the same time. The game features multiple restaurants and dishes, so you'll be whipping up omelets, making burritos, boiling pasta, roasting duck, and plating lamb kabobs before you know it. Each action per dish is graded, therefore the higher your score, the better your tips. Money allows you to hire staff (to perform various tasks for you), purchase better equipment (such as a faster oven), and upgrade your menu to expand your selection. Your goal is to earn stars for your restaurant, unlock new establishments, and, of course, keep patrons happy -- and food critics, too.

Is it any good?

For the most part, Order Up!! is a good game for those who like time-management games. While the game isn't exactly fresh -- Order Up!! first debuted on the Nintendo Wii back in 2008, followed by an Apple iOS version a few months ago -- it's a fun, humorous, and family-friendly game. Along with support for the PlayStation Move controller, this PS3 version of the game adds optional 3D graphics (on compatible televisions) and split-screen multiplayer modes (play with someone beside you, cooperatively or competitively), as well as mini-games and trophies. But keep in mind, the game can get a bit tedious and repetitive after a while. While you're preparing new dishes all the time, most of the core cooking tasks remain the same. You might have your fill after an hour or two, but the "dangling carrot" that draws you back is to ability to expand your restaurant empire, unlock new recipes, and meet funny characters you must cater to. If you're not sure if this game is for you -- and you own an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad -- download the free Order Up!! To Go at the App Store for a taste of what to expect in the full-featured PS3 version.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how the developers were able to put fun into the job of cooking. Given the repetitive nature of such a game, what did they do to introduce fun and fresh elements? What would you do if you made this game?

  • Time management games are all about creating frenetic environments and making them fun. What is your favorite time management game? How about time management apps?

Game details

For kids who love fast-paced games

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