ORE NO RYOMI 2 / Vertigo Games / PC
Ore no Ryomi 2 is a clone of a Japanese series of games called Ore no Ryori, which were cooking/restaurant management sims for the Playstation. It's similar to the later-released Cooking Mama, but with shorter and simpler recipes and a much more frenetic pace.
Fortunately, the business management aspect is kept very simple. On each game day, you start out by deciding if you want to upgrade any of your equipment, purchase new food recipes for your menu, or buy advertising. That's all you need to do as a manager. The rest of the game consists of you preparing food for a wave of customers throughout the day.
The game has a simple day/night cycle. You get hit with a rush of customers during the lunch and dinner hours, but the rest of the day is mostly a lull (unless you have a whole lot of advertising and a great reputation). When a customer walks in, you have a limited amount of time to fill their order. Preparing each type of food or beverage basically consists of a mini-game, and these vary in complexity; for example, pouring beer simply requires that you hold the down arrow until a glass is full to the requested level, whereas making fried chicken requires you to dunk a basket in oil with precise timing as you watch a sliding bar.
The challenge of the game comes in balancing these multiple orders, while also dealing with other restaurant necessities. Periodically you must wash dishes and dispose of garbage, and small crises like robberies and fires sometimes break out which require a slightly longer than usual mini-game to manage.
The goal is to build your restaurant from small cafe to world-class establishment. You do this by adding more complex food items to the menu, and getting lots and lots of advertising. Once you start to gain some acclaim, you may be invited to the Iron Chef cooking competition, or given an award. Industrial upgrades allow you to perform duties like dishes and trash faster, and you can also add little things like a television to increase the patience of customers, and a gumball machine for a little extra income.
The game is fun, very similar in style to Wario Ware and other fast-paced "micro-game" titles. The graphics are rather crude, but they are not really important to the gameplay, and the game has a really nice jazz fusion soundtrack that I assume was taken from one of the Playstation games. There are a few little nitpicks - for example, some food items are so slow to prepare and complicated that it's better to simply not even add them to your menu, but if you do there's no way to take them off (and the game only lets you keep one save file at a time). The chaotic events like fires seem to be completely randomized, and often pop up at nonsensical times (I got 2 fires when I was serving nothing but beer, soda and salad). The fires and robbery chases are also rather keyboard-straining and really just take too long to resolve for how often they pop up. These issues aren't enough to drag the game down, however - most of the time it is good fun.