Ok, so eventually someone was going to review one of Zynga's flash games that are available to play for free on Facebook and MySpace, so I figured why not me?
I reluctantly decided to give Cafe World a try and only because my mother told me that she knew I'd really have a lot of fun. But honestly, it did not sound like much fun to play a game where you cook and serve people.
Well, I checked it out and within a few minutes, I was hooked and on a quest to pass not only my mother and father who were playing, but also two aunts that had been playing for a couple of months.
In Cafe World, you need to have the newest Flash Player installed and if your computer is up to date, it should be fine.
> You start out with a small cafe that has two walls up and two open sections closest to you. They give you a couple of stoves to begin cooking your foods on and a couple of counter tops.
> You first select what you'd like to cook from the little cookbook at the bottom of the screen.
> Normally, they have you select to cook a hamburger that is ready in 5 minutes.
> Each food item has 3 actions in preparing it and when you buy the food to begin cooking it, the coins you spent get deleted from your coin total. But, your XP (Experience Points) begin to go up slowly.
> When your food is ready, you click the stove with your mouse pointer and your Chef picks it up and takes it to the serving counter.
> As the customers begin eating the food (it takes 24 seconds), you make money on each customer that is served.
> If you don't get the food fast enough to serve it, it will spoil, turn green and have flies circling around it.
> If you don't have enough seats, then a customer walks in, looks around and a little clock appears over their head. They give you a "Thumbs down" and leave. Your total efficiency score can reach 105.0. When a customer eats and gets up, they leave the money and give you a "Thumbs up" .
> You also get to hire friends to be your waiters and waitresses.
> Your Chef's outfit and appearance can be changed by clicking on your Chef.
> As you get more use to cooking your foods and gaining more coins, you can start to expand and decorate your Cafe to suit your taste.
> We just had a Christmas holiday competition that I entered where everyone can upload one picture to the Zynga forum and the winner will get a lot of coins as a prize. Trust me, those coins come in handy.
> You can change your Cafe however many times you'd like.
> When you set up your tables, you need to make sure there is at least one square behind the chair or to the side of it, so the customer can sit down to eat.
> There are lots of little time savers and tricks to playing this game - such as trapping all of your waiters behind the serving counters and then they serve the food faster to the customers. Otherwise, your waiters have to walk the food from the kitchen to the tables - that's a little too long for me to wait. (I'm impatient).
> You can also send one gift to some of your neighbors each 24 hour period. Those gifts consist of either servings of food, decorations or food/drink items that you can serve to all customers at the same time. Coins vary with each food serving.
> I have included a few pictures of my Cafe so you can see what it looks like. Everyone has a different layout and when you visit your friends "neighbors" each day, you get extra coins and XP points.
> Every time you go back to your Cafe, you will see an image with a clip board come up. It tells you how much money you made, if your Cafe was open and it you made any tips - which you get when friends come by each day.
> If you want to close your Cafe for a while, just go to the inventory section where you buy the doors and this will allow you to grab your Cafe door and drag it into the inventory. Anything you put into inventory stays there unless you decide to sell it off by dragging the item to the little cash register in the bottom right corner.
My Cafe is now decorated for New Year's Eve, like many other players have done.
I know at first the game seems a little confusing, but it really is a lot of fun. I play when I am waiting on my work to upload or download or just when I need break from my routine.
I like that you have little people to watch do things and just all of the interaction of the food being prepared and served. So, if you have a Facebook or MySpace account, go check it out. You may just find you enjoy killing a little time by being a virtual Chef.
Note: you are able to purchase Cafe dollars to buy really neat things for your Cafe, but I haven't done that as of yet. Many of my friends do, because they feel the Programmers are giving you a fun game to play and that spending a little money only helps improve the game and pay them for the fun. I just prefer the free way to play.
The game is also easy enough for middle school kids to enjoy too. Mature elementary kids can play, as long as they understand the rules. There is not much reading involved and the selections of food choices to cook are very detailed and easy to recognize.
Update On Feb 27, 2010: Cafe World has now put out some Cavemen items - both food and decor. It's almost like being in the Flintstones! So head on over to Facebook or MySpace and check it out. You can start cooking those dinosaur eggs, brontosaurus ribs or any other food they offer.
Right now my cafe is decorated with 1957 Chevys and has the feel of a drive in theater. But you can see the huge ribs on one person's plate and more on my serving counter.
Update On Mar 31, 2010: Cafe World is still fun to play but it's getting a little tedious. They brought back the "VIP Dinners" for a short time period. And right now, they are going with a "Candy land" and "Fantasy" theme for the cafes. I have almost 7 million coins to spend and honestly, after I re-decorated for St. Patrick's Day with a "Tavern Theme", I don't feel like re-doing it again. It's becoming a little harder to find the food your friends post and share, but maybe that's because others are now getting a little bored too.
Update On Jul 20, 2010: Cafe World has gone to a new level but I just don't have time any more to go there, click a few things and leave. After all, I have my farm to tend to in Farmville. But many of my family and friends are still playing and they continually send me food that posts to my Facebook page. For now my cafe is closed but I do still gather the food, just in case.