Gourmania Review: Time Management meets Hidden Objects

Alawar Games may not be a name you are instantly familiar with but they have actually made some pretty popular games that are on Android such as Farm Frenzy. Their newest offering, Gourmania, has just recently arrived on Android and being a fan of their games, we were excited to do a review of this one. Were we impressed?

Title: Gourmania | Developer: Alawar Games | Genre: Puzzle | Players: 1 | Version: 1.0.7 | Size: 4.8MB | Price: $1.99 (Full)

While not being a fan so much of Hidden Object games but also being a fan of Time Management games and Alawar themselves I went into this with high expectations for Gourmania. Luckily I wasn’t disappointed even for not being a fan of Hidden Object games.

The Game

The entire game surrounds you making a name for yourself in the world of gourmet chefs and high profile cooking. Just like the famous chefs out there though you have to start at the bottom and work your way up. Your first job will be to help out a fast food restaurant that is in need of help. Gourmania is a blend of Time Management and Hidden Objects gaming genres and Alawar pulls it off nicely. As you get orders you will need to find the ingrediants in the kitchen. When you find all you need, which is listed in each order, you cook or chop it and serve it to the customer. The faster you do this the more the customer will pay for their food.

Each order has a timer on it as well and will list the ingredients needed to make the order. You have a profit goal that you have to meet and the more money you make over that goal, the higher your star rating is for that stage. It all sounds easy enough but when the orders start coming in quickly, finding the ingredients and getting the orders out actually becomes pretty hectic and challenge. Once you become a great chef though you can go on to challenge world famous chefs and make a name for yourself.


The Good

The game presents quite the challenge when heading into each stage as there are plenty of ingredients all over the place that literally you need to memorize to some degree to get those orders out quickly. For Time Management fans, this will challenge you more than your typical games due to having to actually find, prepare and send out the orders. Most time management games just have you directing traffic at an airport or perhaps just delivering the orders from the kitchen to the customer and collect payment.

The graphics are good enough where you can tell what each item is in your kitchen fairly easily. If you feel like you are running out of a particular problem, have no fear, they reappear. The orders are easily read so a quick glance at them as they come in are all that is needed to know what you need for each one.

Gameplay is straightforward enough that you can pick this game up and know what to do right away but should you need a little help there is a tutorial at the beginning that will walk you through an order. At that point you should be good to go and enjoy the rest of the game.

The Bad

While there really isn’t anything bad about this game, there was one issue I had a certain times while playing this on the Atrix 4G. This was having to scroll up at times to look for ingredients as sometimes they get hidden by the orders as they come in. Orders come in at the top of your screen which can block the view of some ingredients and when you are rushing to fill orders, having to scroll up a bit can break your momentum.

The only other fault with Gourmania is that some of the ingredients when they are in certain areas of the kitchen tend to look too similar to others. Example: Parsley and some forms of lettuce looks almost too similar that it makes it hard to distinguish what is what. Perhaps that is part of the challenge though.


The Verdict

In the end Gourmania is a great game from a company that always brings some great games to Android. It’s hectic, challenging and frustrating (in a good way). Having been a cook in old jobs from the past, it isn’t too far from the truth of how hectic a kitchen can get. Gourmania is one of those games you can sit down and go through a couple of levels when you have a little spare time or sit for an hour playing. If you enjoy Time Management or Hidden Object games then this is one to try out.

Side Note: While we didn’t get any force close issues or any other issues playing this game, some people have reported that it will not work on their devices. This seems mostly limited to the Galaxy S and MyTouch 4G for some reason. Samsung devices, for whatever reason, tend to have issues with games and apps more than most devices at times. Since we did not experience any performance issues they were not factored into the review. Seeing the comments in the marketplace, we did bring the issue to Alawar to make sure they know about it.

Rating: 4.5/5

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