Schell Games have become one of the most respected developers in the VR space, with their work on the spy-puzzling I Expect You To Die series, the hack-and-slashing Until You Fall, and the upcoming Among Us VR certainly catching the attention of virtual reality fans. All of those games bring with them plenty of action, excitement, and, of course, death, which probably ticks a lot of boxes for players too. What about those who want something a bit more relaxing, though? Well, the latest release from the developer offers a zen-like cooking experience, with Lost Recipes tasking players with whipping up some extravagant cuisine from across three ancient civilizations.
Check out a gallery of screenshots down below:
Lost Recipes sees players putting together an array of fancy meals from ancient civilizations across time: Greek (400-500 BCE), Chinese (960-1279 CE), and Mayan (1500-1600 CE). The twist here is that you’re actually playing the role of a Ghost Chef who is taught the recipes for each dish by ghosts from within each civilization, with each ghost then judging your final effort on a five-star basis. One nice little touch here is that you’ll learn a little bit about each dish you cook, which is a different approach when compared to other cooking sims that simply give you a recipe and leave you to it. It’s almost like a history lesson, but with an air of authenticity to it that makes it hard not to feel engrossed in the knowledge bestowed upon you.
The cooking is fun too, with the player expected to follow the recipe from the cookbook, prepare the ingredients, and then cook it all together for the right amount of time with the relevant ingredient distribution. You’ll use motion controls when prepping the food, whether that’s when cutting up meat, juicing fruits, whisking up a crème, pouring oil, or skewering vegetables, with all of the actions feeling like they would when performing the same tasks in real life. Of course, it’s not a perfect one-to-one recreation (you are using controllers after all), but it feels good and offers a rewarding sense of satisfaction when you perfectly prepare a meal.
It is worth noting that everything in the game does feel really simple though. Each action is easily performed in-game and there’s no time limit in place, so it’s not as stressful as similar cooking titles out there (I’m looking at you, Overcooked). Whilst some ingredients demand a bit of finesse when it comes to preparing them, others can feel a little more automated providing that you’re performing the relevant action. Admittedly, I did wish that the game expected a bit more from me at times in this regard, with the casual nature almost feeling TOO lacking in challenge at times. If you’re looking for a deep and realistic cooking experience, you’re not going to get that here.
“You’ll use motion controls when prepping the food, whether that’s when cutting up meat, juicing fruits, whisking up a crème, pouring oil, or skewering vegetables, with all of the actions feeling like they would when performing the same tasks in real life.”
Despite this, I still found myself hooked into Lost Recipes, with the meals I cooked up a heck of a lot more appetising than I can put together in a real kitchen. I loved learning more about each meal too, whilst I’ve even found myself grabbing the ingredients to try and whip them up for myself outside of virtual reality (though I’m sure that’s going to end in disaster). It’s also a comfortable experience to play in virtual reality, with simple teleportation controls used to get around. It would have been nice if there was smooth movement for those who’ve got their virtual reality bearings, though the more confined kitchen-like environments mean that you won’t feel too restricted being limited to teleportation.
The visuals are really lovely too, with the vibrant low poly world offering a charming take on the food you’re preparing. Each of the three kitchens you get to use also capture the vibes of their corresponding civilization perfectly, both with the look and sounds of the environment. You shouldn’t expect a highly detailed world here, but instead one that fits in the with the zen-like atmosphere of the game.
I just wish that Lost Recipes wasn’t such a fleeting experience. There are only nine recipes to cook up in total and it won’t take players more than two hours to get through them all. It’s not like Overcooked with some competitive or arcade-based gameplay either, with the whole experience simply based around cooking the meal in a comfortable pace that suits you. There is some sense of replayability if you want to five-star all of the recipes, though the easy-going nature of the game means that players should probably achieve that on the majority of their meals on the first attempt. It can make Lost Recipes feel more like an experience than an all-out game, which is fine; I just wish there was a little bit more to do, only because I was enjoying putting together these unusual yet undeniably tasty-looking meals.
Lost Recipes Review
Lost Recipes is a satisfying cooking sim that offers chill vibes throughout with its more relaxing (and simplified) cooking experience. That simplification might not be for everyone though, especially since it feels like it can almost automate some actions, but it didn’t stop the game from being enjoyable to play. Still, it would have been nice to have had a few more recipes to create or even a bit more challenge to keep me coming back for more.
If you’re looking for a cooking sim that feels a bit more relaxing, where you’ll cook more unusual recipes, and where you’ll learn something along the way, you really ought to check Lost Recipes out.
Developer: Schell Games
Publisher: Schell Games
Platform(s): Quest 2 (Reviewed), Quest