Cafeteria Nipponica is one of the latest and greatest simulation titles from Kairosoft, of Game Dev Story fame. This time around, you’ll manage a restaurant as you hire employees, decorate, and experiment with your recipes. The game has the same outstanding pixel art as all of Kairosoft’s titles, and it is most definitely worth a look from any kind of simulation fan.
You’ll start with a simple and rather empty new restaurant, very few recipes, and only two employees. Now, it’s up to you to expand your restaurant and staff, eventually turning it into an extremely popular restaurant chain. You get to choose what kind of tables and decorations go where, and you’ll constantly experiment and grow your menu. Different dishes and decorations will appeal to different demographics, such as student, business man, house wife, and even random ones, like lingerie sellers. You’ll have to make use of special events like cooking classes, food tastings, and other P.R. and marketing plans to keep interest in your restaurant high throughout the year.
Members of your staff will gain experience each day and eventually be able to level up, with the option of a new job title and extra skills or benefits. There are various mini-games, such as one in which you try to convince the famous master chef Gordy Ramsey to come work for you, and things are usually kept interesting. My only real complaint with the game is just how slowly it can move at times. I mean, all of these games move pretty slowly, but if there was some way to fast forward through each day, I’d be much happier. Waiting to save up enough funds for those new mobile phone ads can be boring.
Aside from small issues like those mentioned above, this is a top notch title through and through. The visuals are colorful and really pop, and I just love pixel art anyway. The music is well done, though it gets repetitive hearing the same song endlessly. Even if you aren’t familiar with Kairosoft’s simulation titles, this is a solid one to start with. Cafeteria Nipponica is available for five dollars at the time of this review, and I recommend it.