It’s a sad fact that many games currently available to play on the App Store and Google Play are simply exploitative. Don’t get me wrong, video games have always been commerce, and if anything, the focus on that has been increased in recent years as the industry’s turnover reaches new heights and the internet continues to expand gaming potential. But in the land of the humble smartphone, there are hundred of games out there that exist to simply exploit folks and are, bottom line, no fun to play at all. How refreshing then, to once upon a while come across a game which exists simply to be played, and to challenge the player a little while it’s at it. Number Chef is such a game, and it’s out now for iOS and Android.
Developed by a company named Selfhug Studios, an indie outfit who operate out of Finland, Number Chef is a traditional puzzle and logic game with a non-traditional twist. You play as a would-be chef, who must fulfill the difficult and demanding orders of his head chef. You’re given a number, then must try and reach the number by combining a bunch of smaller numbers. It’s not too dissimilar from the maths section of Countdown; you have to use logic and mental arithmetic to reach the given answer. Thankfully though, you can do so without the stress of a time, secure in the knowledge that you have as many goes as you need.
The key mechanic of the game is that odd numbers add up, and even numbers subtract. You drag the numbers onto each other depending on if you want to add or subtract, and you can then do the same with the total. It sounds simple, and it’s relatively easy to get the hang of, but once the numbers start adding up, your adding up is really tested. There are 150 handmade levels to slog your way through, and the puzzles usually have multiple answers.
Another good thing about Number Chef is that is doesn’t constantly try to sell you stuff. There’s no hidden agenda; you can’t unlock more levels by paying a certain amount, nor can you progress through with anything but careful, logistical thinking. Every puzzle is solvable on the first try if you just think hard enough…or so they say anyway; trust me, there’s some real tough cookies in there. For those looking for a challenging, fast-paced mini-game that will make them fell smart as they play through it, or for those who, like me, appreciate a good game well made, check out Number Chef.