TasteMaker released in Early Access on Steam yesterday, an indie restaurant management sim from developer Jelle Booij that grew in popularity thanks to a viral post on Reddit.
With a unique (and cute) art style, plenty of features already available in the Early Access version, and a lot of room to expand on the base game with future updates, TasteMaker has received Very Positive reviews on Steam so far.
In its current form, TasteMaker is probably around 4-5 hours of consistent gameplay, with room to expand your restaurant over a sizeable plot of land, with a kitchen, bathrooms, a dining area, and even your own slot machine casino.
The food available on the menu is still pretty basic at this point, with fries, pizzas, and bottles of wine. There’s an interesting resource management element to the game that really makes up the foundation of the gameplay once you’ve expanded your restaurant.
You can decorate your restaurant with fancy tables and fish tanks, as well as wallpaper and floor coverings. This is an area that can be worked on with future updates, with the scope of the game in the hands of the developer.
Building your restaurant is straightforward with easy-to-use building mechanics. You can have a restaurant over two floors, designate a kitchen area with ovens, storage, and friers, and build stalls for the toilets.
Much of the enjoyment in TasteMaker comes from watching your restaurant grow from humble beginnings into a teeming restaurant with dozens of customers and staff. There’s a lot of potential for the scale of the game to grow and grow, with a bigger menu, more building options, and more decorations.
There are a few things that could be adjusted and fixed in TasteMaker, including more detailed staff management (although you can prioritize jobs in this early build) and designating zones of your restaurant for staff and customers.
The sandbox mode is a fun way to get to grips with the game and play for a good few hours. TasteMaker also has a story mode with different scenarios that shape your experience, giving each run-through a bit more purpose.
Overall, TasteMaker is a little indie gem that has come out of nowhere. If you’re looking for a restaurant simulation game (which will only get better as time goes on) TasteMaker is worth checking out.