Review: Chef Solitaire: USA

This is the latest solitaire game from husband-and-wife dev team Kylie and Steve Revill of The Revills Games. Based in Adelaide, South Australia, they’ve been making games since 2008. Their other games include Gunslinger Solitaire, Haunted House Quest, The Bloobles, Pirate Solitaire, and The Legends of Solitaire series. When I learned about Chef Solitaire USA, I had to play – I loved Regency Solitaire last year, and cooking games are some of my absolute favorites.

Watch the trailer:

Plot

chef1

Stacy runs her own bookstore, but business isn’t booming at all. She decides to close up shop once and for all and start opening restaurants around the United States. Each restaurant you open has ten levels, and after you finish those levels, you get to open a restaurant in another state. Along the way, new people will come along to help with the restaurant – or get in its way, as is the case with the nasty food critic. None of this hinders your solitaire playing in any way, but acts as a nice backdrop and a motivator to get through the levels. I wish that a new piece of story was unlocked after every state though; you only get more of Stacy’s diary entries every few states, plus an ending cutscene that wraps everything up.

Graphics and Sound

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The art is really nice; I love the map of the United States that you can see your restaurant locations from. The background that you play solitaire in changes, but only if you move to a new restaurant or leave the restaurant you’re in and come back. I wish the backgrounds would rotate automatically after every level instead of after every restaurant; that’s a minor detail though. I do, however, wish that there was more art – as it is right now, all the restaurants look exactly the same. It would have been cool if each state’s restaurant had its own backdrop. There are a few different card designs to choose from if you want to switch those up.

Stacy is voiced, which is pretty cool. There are only a few background tracks of music, but none of them are annoying – they’re inconspicuous, and none of them are going to get stuck in your head. The cards make a satisfying swish noise when you’re shuffling/placing them. The only sound I don’t like is the crashing dishes if you fail a level – it’s really harsh and doesn’t seem to be of the same quality as the rest of the sounds and music.

Gameplay

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Solitaire is solitaire, I don’t think I need to explain that. I played through on casual difficulty, which still gave me some tricky levels! You’ll have to get all the cards with chefs hats on them as you play, and up to three stars, which you earn by simply playing cards. You can also purchase items to help you after each of the first twelve restaurants – things like an extra Undo and a wild card, which really come in handy! I wish there had been more to unlock, because there are 48 restaurants and only twelve upgrades. You can also play mini-games for more money during your hand if you find a card hidden in the deck. They’re really simple: build a burger, as seen above; leaky pipe, which tasks you with connecting point A to point B with pipe pieces; and a match-3 game with desserts. I liked the addition of the mini-games because it broke up the solitaire a bit, but you’re able to skip them if you want.

There are twenty achievements to earn and six trading cards. It took me 17 hours to finish the game on casual difficulty – for comparison, it took me 11 hours to finish Regency Solitaire on casual.

Final Thoughts

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This is great if you’re looking for a new solitaire game! Charming story with a woman entrepreneur and all the solitaire you can handle – seriously, you’re getting a LOT of solitaire for only $5.

Score: A-

Get the game on Steam here for a mere $4.99. Check out the website, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

[Disclaimer: A review code was provided for me to review this game.]

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One thought on “Review: Chef Solitaire: USA

  1. Pingback: Review: Legends of Solitaire: Curse of the Dragons | Nerdy But Flirty

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