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Goodgame Cafe: Perfect for Budding Time Managers

Ever wondered what it would be like to run your very own cafe? If filling up your cookbook and keeping the lines long while working your way to the top of the food industry sounds like your thing, then you've come to the right place. Goodgame Cafe is an online restaurant time management title. In this game, you grow your very own business, starting from a four table cafe and evolving it into the restaurant of your dreams.

From shopping for ingredients to choosing what to cook, everything is controlled with the click of your mouse. While the tutorial introduces the basics of cooking in Goodgame Café, there are quite a number of menus to explore as they open up. Thankfully, it’s pretty easy to adapt to the changes regardless of your familiarity with the genre because mechanics are gradually introduced as you level up in the virtual restaurant business.

Want to add a personal touch or two to your avatar? You may make a few tweaks in the looks department off the bat. After picking a gender, you may alter the color of your avatar's hair, skin, tops and bottoms. Eventually you will be able to change other details, like say, the color of your toque. While this doesn't really give much leeway in terms of customization, the system is enough to introduce the idea of customization to budding time managers.

Aside from starting with limited funds, you are also starting with modest choices in the meal department. In order to expand your selections, you will need to level up your character. Every dish cooked and served gives experience points, which in turn unlocks new features. Eventually, you will be able to specialize in thematic dishes that complement your very own vision for a restaurant. You may choose to serve only desserts such as the Mousse au Chocolat, Black Forest Cake or the Chocolate Fondue. If you are fond of Mexican food, you may also go for the Mexican Bean Salad or the Chili Con Carne. Picking a set of meals is part of the fun and it does help make your restaurant unique.

If you find that things are moving along in a snail’s pace, there is an option to purchase Cafedollars and Gold via Credit Card, Paypal or Rixty. Cafedollars are basically used for customization items and these may be earned in-game. Gold is used to skip the lengthy cooking process, giving you an instant meal to serve customers. If you are willing to play the game as intended, complete with the wait time, then there is really no reason to go premium. If you do decide to purchase some Gold with real money, just be sure to keep an eye out for unintended purchases in case you’re sharing your computer at home.

The graphics are pretty polished, making use of softly defined lines and subtle tones. The characters look peppy, with your avatar cooking with gusto and Tom the server delivering yummy goodies with a smile. There's really no frowns to be found in this game, which is a plus if you're going to introduce this title to your little sister. Just be sure to play this on a desktop computer as the screen has a tendency to display incorrectly on net books.

There are many more aspects to explore in Goodgame Cafe such as achievements keep track of your cooking milestones, restaurant customization, as well as a chat option to interact with visiting buddies. Because the free features are enough to entertain without making players feel pressured to pony up some cash and the overall pace is pretty relaxed, Goodgame Cafe is a pretty solid choice for players who are new to the genre. Having limited choices in the customization department may also be viewed as a good thing, as this makes the game less confusing to kids. On the downside, this may not be the title for you if you’re after a realistic restaurant management experience or if you’re looking for a community that thrives on events.