Top Critic Average
Automachef is the gaming equivalent of Marmite, you’ll either love it or hate it. If you’re the kind of person who enjoys micromanaging all the various aspects of your creation in order to get the most out of it (such as Theme Park, Railway Empire, Tropico, etc), then you’ll most likely appreciate the depth and complexity of this rather simple-looking resource management game. However, if you’re not a fan of games which require a lot of planning with many trial and error attempts, you probably won’t get the level of satisfaction I got. There’s a whole host of machines and recipes to work with, as well as the endless Contract mode and Mods/Custom Scenarios (if you’re on PC), so you’ll never get bored or run out of things to do within this game.
Perhaps playing on PC will offer a more intuitive experience, but the Switch version’s button controls aren’t enough of a barrier to stop Automachef being worthwhile to play.
With a quirky premise, Automachef provides a unique take on the puzzle genre for gamers. For the stubborn puzzle lovers among us this unique puzzle experience is great. With a thin tutorial you are quickly left with only your brain to solve each challenge, and I loved that. You will click, rotate, add, delete, move and work your way through the ever increasing difficulty of each programming and creation challenge, to finally created automated nirvana. Just don't forget your smart robot arm.
Automachef is home to some mind-melting challenges, but if you're up to the task, you're eventually in for blissful breakthroughs. Just don't come in expecting to unwind after a long day at work.
Automachef is absolutely not for everyone; it's a puzzle game that overwhelms you from the start and only piles on more complexity as you progress through its 45 stages. There's a degree of satisfaction to be found in spending hours putting together large, elaborate automated set-ups, troubleshooting their flaws then finally seeing them work as intended, but you need to put in a hell of a lot of work for that payoff and for many the toll it takes on the old noggin won't be worth it.
Automachef is a bizarre yet interesting take on a cookery game. Saldy, a lot of what it has going for it also goes against it and feels a little off – excuse the pun – as a result.