Australian Council on Children and the Media

Cooking Fever - Nordcurrent

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Short takes

Cooking Fever is an arcade style game based on restaurant cooking and time management.Caution: in-app purchased, online interactivity, advertising, simulated gambling

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Simulated casino style gambling

This review of Cooking Fever was completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 27 March 2015.

About the app

This section contains details about the app provided by an ACCM Reviewer.

Name of app: Cooking Fever
Developed by: Nordcurrent
Platform reviewed: Apple App Store, Google Play
Cost: Free
Developer’s suggested age: Google Play Store: Low Maturity, iTunes Store: 4+
ACCM suggested age: 18+ due to in-app purchased, online interactivity, advertising, simulated gambling
Gambling content advice: Simulated casino style gambling. Player is risking money or something of value on an outcome of an event involving chance when the probability of winning or losing is less than certain. Refer to the gambling section of this review for further details

ACCM review

This review of Cooking Fever contains the following information:

The level to which the game was reviewed

This review focuses on levels 1-10.

App description

Cooking Fever is an interactive arcade game based around time management in a restaurant context. The objective of the game is to serve as many customers as possible, before any of them become impatient and leave without their food, thus not paying or leaving any tips behind. Within the game, players require skills in strategic thinking (in terms of the ordered selection of customers), time management and motor skills.

Reviewers comments

When the app is installed and opened, players are presented with a pop-up screen informing them that they must sign in via a Google+ account in order to play. After they do this, they are met with a young girl wearing a chef’s outfit – she introduces players with a welcome message, and states that ‘your goal is to try yourself in various cuisines and become the best chef in town’. Players are asked to begin in a ‘simple diner’. When beginning Level 1, players are given a goal of Coins to achieve. They are then placed inside the kitchen of a small diner, where the introductory character Michelle points players towards tapping on the small icon of a hamburger bun. They are then directed to tap on a piece of meat in order to put it on the stove. The meat takes a few seconds to cook, and then changes in appearance to a dark caramelised colour – it is then ready to be dragged over and placed on the burger bun. Players can then drag the finished bun to the waiting customer. After completing this action, players are directed to tap on the coins they have earned, which the customer has left behind for them. Serving customers food earns the player play coins as well as experience points.

Customers will approach the bar, and a small box will appear over them with an image of a burger, a cup of coffee, or both. Customers will wait a set period of time before they leave without their meal, unhappy with the time it took for them to be served. Multiple customers will appear at a given point in time. If a burger patty is left on the stove for too long, it will burn and need to be thrown away. Only one burger and one cup of coffee can be made at one point in time, in the early levels of the game. The game contains achievements to unlock – these include things like ‘Serve 1 client’, ‘Serve 50 customers with a moustache’, ‘Sell 200 drinks’, etc.

Coins are utilised to purchase kitchen upgrades, both for appliances and ingredients. Upgraded equipment works better, whilst additional ingredients make a fuller, balanced meal, and can thus earn players more monetary rewards. At the end of completing a level, a congratulatory pop-up screen appears which states ‘Level Up! You have reached Experience Level ___’, and offers players a reward in the form of coins as well as several blue gems. They are also presented with the statistics of how many customers they served compared with those they lost, as well as their current financial balance.

As players progress through the app, they are able to add additional ingredients such as hot dogs, lettuce, etc. They can also use the coins they gather to upgrade the interior of the restaurant – this makes ‘customers more likely to come to a cozy and well-arranged restaurant’. The game informs players that customers will also be more likely to be much more generous financially and patient with their orders. In the building/purchasing of new furniture, players are able to wait a set amount of time for these to be built, or use blue gems in order to skip waiting periods.

In App purchasing

The game contains an in-app purchase store, where packages of items can be bought for real-life currency. Blue gems can be bought in packages of 10 for $1.29, 35 gems for $3.79, 60 gems for $6.49, 125 gems for $12.99, 300 gems for $24.99, 750 gems for $64.99, or 5000 gems for $129.99. Gold coins can be purchased in similarly sized and priced packages.

Online information

Gems can be bought either as in-app purchases, or obtained via connecting to Facebook, inviting a friend via Facebook, liking the game’s page on Facebook, or following the game’s official twitter page. Players are also required to sign in via a Google+ account before beginning their gameplay.

Gambling

This app is under review for gambling content.

Advertising and product placement

There is a small icon in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen, which says ‘5000 free coins!’ – if players click on this, a pop-up window appears stating ‘Install and RUN our game ‘Game Banjo’, and get 5000 coins for this’

Public Reviews

Public Advice

2/6/2016

Suggested age: 18

As this game is progressed, a casino is unlocked which allows coins earned in game play to be gambled. This app is currently under re review.

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About our colour guide

Content is age appropriate for children this age

Some content may not be appropriate for children this age. Parental guidance recommended

Content is not age appropriate for children this age

Gambling content advice

Simulated casino style gambling. Not suitable for minors

Contains some elements of gambling. Some content is not recommended for minors. Parental guidance recommended

No gambling content found in the levels played

About games and gambling

Most games contain elements of risk, chance and knowledge, that is why they are fun to play. There is growing concern about the impacts of simulated gambling games on the health and wellbeing of children. That's why we are identifying games that contain gambling elements on our site.

The State Government of South Australia's web site http://nogame.com.au/ contains information about these concerns.