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Bistro Boulevard


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Rating: 4.3/5 (30 votes)
| Comments (9) | Views (146)

Bistro Boulevard

JohnBTime management game? We don't think so! Bistro Boulevard is a casual restaurant simulation from Fugazo, creators of the World Mosaics series as well as Fiction Fixers. In an unusual departure from the norm. Bistro Boulevard is focused on you as the manager of a restaurant. Hire staff, train them to cook ingredients, formulate recipes, and seat customers, all with a few clicks of the mouse. Your staff does all the drudge work, leaving you to focus on the important parts of the business!

Bistro BoulevardBistro Boulevard's storyline is pretty much what you would expect from a game of this nature. Your goal is to improve the quality of a restaurant so you can open more restaurants and revive a once-thriving center of foodie activity. You start with an American food restaurant, serving customers and meeting a long list of goals using as many business days as you need. That's right, no level-by-level structure here. Instead of plodding about one pre-set stage at a time, Bistro Boulevard is focused on you meeting goals. You can use as few or as many business days as you like to achieve those goals before it's on to the next restaurant. Italian food, anyone?

Gameplay is focused on managing your restaurant, not delivering food to customers. Before you open for business, you'll spend a bit of time in the menu screens buying decorations, new tables, chairs, sprucing up the wallpaper, or managing your staff. Waiters and cooks need to be hired, paid a salary, and trained to do their jobs better, all of which costs cash to do. Too few cooks or servers and your customers will get upset having to wait too long. Too many and you'll waste money on paying people to stand around.

Recipes are a huge part of the game as well, and you get to formulate simple dishes based on customer cravings. Before the round begins, check out the menu to see what people have a hankering for. Cheese, potatoes, and chicken in demand? Try adding chicken pot pie or potatoes au gratin to your menu. Each chef has strengths with certain types of food. Give a chef who is good at cooking meat the meat dishes and the quality will be better, prompting customers to part with more of their cash.

Bistro BoulevardAnalysis: There seems like a lot of stuff to manage in Bistro Boulevard, but at its core, this is as casual as a simulation game can be. Your main concerns are food quality and speed of service, both of which are maintained by hiring and training the proper type and number of staff members. It's all about lining things up and hitting the "go" button, in a way, as managing the behind-the-scenes data is what makes or breaks your restaurant business.

Guessing recipes is surprisingly fun, and getting to match them up to customer demands and chef strengths ends up being the best part of the game. During the actual business part of the day, you don't do much but seat customers and watch your people work, analyzing potential weaknesses and formulating a plan to rectify the shortcomings during the next managing session.

Visually, Bistro Boulevard has a very clean look, with loads of fluid animations (but strangely stiff-faced humans) that have a smart cel-shaded look to them. You'll have plenty of time to check out the graphics, of course, as you won't be doing much while food is being served and tables are being cleared.

Bistro Boulevard takes a lot of the most popular qualities of casual simulation games and time management games and combines them in an elegant way. It's a game that knows how to draw you in and keep you interested in playing day after recipe-guessing day!

WindowsWindows:
Download the demo
Get the full version

Mac OS XMac OS X:
Download the demo
Get the full version

9 Comments

Please tell me in what land does meatloaf not have

ketchup in it?

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Not in my Meatloaf May 22, 2011 2:03 PM

I have never added Ketchup while making meatloaf, so that might be a regional variation.

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I make meatloaf with

barbeque sauce instead of ketchup (I absolutely hate ketchup -- blech)

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I actually don't put ketchup in meatloaf. Or barbecue sauce. Both sounds gross. I make a homemade portobello mushroom sauce and top it with that.

On a more related note, I love that cooking games are becoming more popular. Order Up! for the Wii is still the best out there, and I'd love to see something like that for the PC.

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Woofdog Author Profile Page May 23, 2011 4:21 AM

I think it gets quite boring after you get the hang of it- or are used to more complicated tycoon games.
Though the concept and art is quite nice.

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Loved this game...just the perfect mix & speed for me. :)

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beatricekiddo Author Profile Page September 30, 2011 4:21 AM

There's a lot to like about this game. But I think the sheer challenge of running a restaurant is missing. It's quite easy to get a Perfect service once you have upgrade and get full, trained staff. Something on the lines of trophies would have acted as a nice incentive and added some level of challenge. But still, I really enjoyed the game. And for once, I didn't mute the music. Plus I like that the dishes are detailed out when served to customers instead of being some unidentifiable mass like some other games have. Personally, I really enjoyed the guessing the ingredients bit of it. I guess being a foodie helps when playing this game :)

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Grace Wolfren December 11, 2011 2:10 PM

What is the best way to arrange tables in the Japanese restaurant?

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I didn't have any problem finishing the game in 1 day, after I figured out that one of the tasks, buy so many rooves was roofs *L*. However, once I opened all the restaurants the map said 29/30. I can't find another one. I don't know how to get the last thing. But I will figure it out *L*.

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