One type of genre I have enjoyed in both non-VR and in VR is cooking. The ability to get all the ingredients and try to get them in the right order all while trying to please the customer in hopes that you do not end up getting some bad reviews. It really helps build up your hand-eye coordination skills. So does Developer Resolution Games bring fun and chaos into the Virtual Reality recipe? In simple ingredients terms, yes they do. Let’s find out more with Cook-Out: A Sandwich Tale for the Oculus Rift/Oculus Rift S and Oculus Quest/Oculus Quest 2.
Cook-Out: A Sandwich Tale is set within the cook’s cabin of a fairytale forest where it is your job to take the orders of the land and make sandwiches in hopefully the correct order to satisfy the creatures of the land in either solo or cooperative play as you hopefully can keep the calm in the kitchen and the customers fed and happy.
So like any good cook who doesn’t want to get yelled out by some chef with anger issues, it would be a very valuable lesson if you start with the Intro that is the Cooking School and if you ever hope to serve the king, you will want to start here. But I know being in a kitchen with orders coming at you may not be as fun, but that’s why you have a friend named Rob-Bot that will help, teach, and guide you in the ways of cooking in this fantasy land.
As more customers come to your counter and demand your food, it will be up to you to cut the bread, cheese, and other ingredients. The thing with Rob-Bot is his energy is strong at the beginning, but then he will wind down which you will need to crank him up again in order for him to assist you with the orders. As you progress, the orders will get more difficult and you will end up slinging the ingredients and if it’s not perfectly centered, you will become aware. Because it’s not enough trying to get these orders in that for some reason it becomes a little sloppy these residents of this fantasy land are not social distancing.
But it’s when I started to realize that different residents will require different things. For example, werewolves have a hungrier appetite, so their sandwiches will require more ingredients, cats only want perfection, and mice since they have smaller stomachs require less. So paying attention to your customers is key. Once you are through with cooking school it’s off to try to master each section of the land and each one becoming a little more difficult than the last.
But as much fun as solo play is the real star of Cook-Out: A Sandwich Tale is the cooperative play. This is where you and other online players have to work together and try to make the sandwiches and serve them as correctly and as quickly as possible. But it’s not as easy as it sounds. Each of you will have a station with certain ingredients. If the order asks for cheese and then a certain type of bread, you may have the cheese or the tomatoes and someone else could have the type of bread. Normally, each person if playing right would work together. But add four people in a kitchen and some become impatient, well they can walk right to your station and grab what they need and you can as well, but then you have to pay attention to the time and the orders and with the right amount of people and voice chat, Cook-Out: A Sandwich Tale becomes a chaotic humorous time.
But simple ingredients would not just be enough here as there are magic potions to help you in your quest for cooking. Some potions will sharpen the knives so instead of multiple cuts, one will do the job. Another can slow time which does come in handy during the more chaotic serving. There is even a magic tofu potion that will replace an ingredient that also can come in handy, plus more to unlock.
Let’s look at the graphics. Playing on the Oculus Quest 2, everything was very clear, colorful, and there was not one thing I had looked at and asked myself what is this? The colors really popped and being able to squirt mustard and ketchup at each other just for the fun of it was detailed and didn’t slow anything down. Things were easy to pick up with no issues and the movements did not have any type of glitches that I came across which is good when it comes to detail and immersion. The audio was quite impressive as well as hearing the music at just the right volume and then still being able to hear the communication from the other players which, when you have four players that can talk at the same time, says a lot.
If there is anything that I would love to see is some online competition. I love the ease of the drop in and drop out of other players with no hamper on the gameplay, but if there were some online 4 vs. 4 cooking competition with leaderboards and a cooking championship, that would be a blast. The only other thing that would be is to add even more ingredients to the mix.
Cook-Out: A Sandwich Tale brings fun and social interaction with social distancing. It allows us to take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours and escape the real world and just let the chaos of the real world be forgotten for a moment. And after what 2020 has dealt us, couldn’t we all take some time and try to forget about the world for a few?
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I have some more cooking to do.