iPad Game Review: Hell's Kitchen VS. HD Reviewed by Shaun Price
If you are a fan of Hell's Kitchen, a reality TV Show, or you can't get enough of Gordon Ramsay, then you are in for a treat. Hell's Kitchen VS. HD puts you right in Hell's Kitchen with Ramsay breathing down on your neck, so that you and a friend can experience the show's pressure-cooker atmosphere simultaneously on the iPad. The game has more time management ingredient than cooking, so come with fast finger and steady eyes.
Based on the TV series featuring acerbic chef extraordinaire Gordon Ramsay, Hell's Kitchen VS sees you race to prepare different colored pots of food before sticking them on the hob to heat and eventually serve. It couldn't be easier to control - you tap one of the six sets of ingredient to begin preparing it, and then drag the dish over to the hob to begin cooking it. Once the timer on the hob has finished you can tap the saucepan again to plate up, at which point Chef Ramsay either congratulates or berates you according to how many stars you scored for that dish, up to a maximum of four.
The real skill of playing Hell's Kitchen VS, such as it is, lies in being able to multitask and keep an eye on all your dishes to ensure they finish cooking at the same time. Each pan has a number below, indicating how long it will take to cook, so all you have to do is start each dish in the right order and at the right time to get the maximum four stars. Of course, this gets harder as the recipes get more complicated - at the higher levels some dishes require three different ingredients per pan, with three pans per dish, meaning you have to keep a level head and a steady hand to progress.
Or, you know, not. You see, you can prepare your ingredients without knowing what the next dish is going to require, so you can simply sit on a batch of prepared ingredients and drag them over to the pot when required. You can queue up ingredients to prepare too, meaning it requires even less forethought as you just tap each dish and wait for it to finish. There's no further interaction with your ingredients other than tapping them. No chopping, dicing or slicing, just a tap that turns bread, fish or meat into a mushy mess in a bowl. You never get any sense that you're actually cooking, just participating in some simplistic approximation of how to cook.
You'll spend most of your time staring at variously colored mush and simmering pots, with an occasional appearance made by a tiny apparition of Chef Ramsay depicting various moods. There are timers on the pot that indicate how long the dish will take to make once all the ingredients are in the pot. So timing is everything, it is your only indication of how long you have till they are done. Everything looks very sharp on the screen without any real clutter you will find in any kitchen. And our most famous cooking drill sergeant Gordon Ramsay looks his part with very close likeness of himself.
Sound-wise, there are a few samples of Chef Ramsay's voice to motivate you, though naturally without his world-renowned penchant for the odd expletive. There are a few perfunctory sound effects, my favorite being the bizarre noise when you prepare the bread in the yellow dish, which sounds something akin to a rattlesnake wringing a raccoon's neck. There's a funky little keyboard number bubbling away in the background but nothing that'll really have you pumping up the stereo.
Hell's Kitchen VS is a fun quick game and that is really all. The gameplay is extremely basic, bears almost no resemblance to cooking and, there are leader boards to show how you ranked especially head to head, but with no career progression or anything to offer other than different difficulties. With a friend it becomes a little more bearable. All in all it?s a good game for a quick cooking and Chef Ramsey fix. For only 0.99 cents it?s will worth it.
Graphics: - 5- Absolutely stunning, really looks like Gordon Ramsey. Sound: -4- Great backgrounds music and sound effects, however very limited in variety. Controls: - 5- Very accurate controls, very responsive. Gameplay: -4.5- Amazingly fun, but also very short.
Playing Hints and Tips:
- Be quick about the dishes. -Timing is everything