Oh to be a robot with a dream. A dream of becoming more than he was, more than he is, more than he could be... a dream, dare we say, of becoming the best chef in the galaxy! Because even a lowly robot needs to feel good about himself. Needs to strive for a goal, needs to become a master of his craft, needs to point-and-click his way to become... Titanium Chef!
Designed by mod7 for the British Columbia Dairy Foundation (BCDF), Titanium Chef is a point-and-click adventure in four parts. You play a lowly chef-bot who, along with his best friend Moxie (a floating pink ball of fur), escapes his humdrum job and ventures out to become the best chef-bot in the galaxy. Unfortunately, the galaxy is filled with more dangers than the poor chef-bot was counting on. To understand why you need a little history lesson.
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away... er, anyway, a while ago, an evil ruler by the name of Rogulus swept across the galaxy with his evil troops, leaving in their wake a massive swath of destruction, fast food cartons, and puppies (apparently it can be difficult to supply evil troops with food and cuddles when one is bent on subduing the galaxy). Rogulus was the enemy of all that was good and wholesome and apparently nutritious. But due to the efforts of a few heroes, Rogulus was beaten back and peace reigned in the galaxy once more. But as our hero discovers as he makes his way from a backwater planet on his quest to become Titanium Chef, something is amiss. Evil forces are at work once again, and suspicious things are happening that evoke the dark days of Rogulus' reign.
No matter. The lowly chef-bot discovers hints and clues to the bigger picture while working his way towards several cooking competitions, learning about food groups, portion sizes, and balanced nutrition, all the better to help him win and eventually become the best chef-bot of them all.
Yes, as you might guess, this is indeed an educational game. Created by the BCDF as an interactive way for kids aged 10-13 to learn about nutrition, Titanium Chef is still, on its own, a beautiful, involved, informative point-and-click adventure. Each chapter has two or three segments, designed to be played in 30 to 40 minutes, the length of a single class period. Taken all together the final game will have at least six complete hours of gameplay.
Analysis: Forget the educational aspect for a moment and inspect Titanium Chef as a pure game. The graphics are beautifully rendered in 3D, the movement through the scenes easy and smooth. The chef-bot can scan items, manipulate things, talk to people, and generally interact with his environment, everything accomplished by a simple click of the mouse. An on-screen inventory keeps track of the chef-bot's increasing supply of food information cards, recipes, cooking equipment, miscellaneous items, and clues towards the unfolding story. Taken just as entertainment, Titanium Chef has to be one of the best-designed, best-looking flash games out there today. And frankly, we could all use some education when it comes to eating right.
Parts I and II of Titanium Chef are available now, with part III due on October 6, and part IV due 2 weeks after that. The game itself can be played in English or French, a nod to its Canadian origin. You can save your game at any point and come back to it later, but for the feature to work you indeed have to register at the site. Registration is quick and easy so you can quickly get to the cooking action.
Within the game (and really, the purpose of the game) are three nutrition mini-games: a sorting game (where the player sorts foods into their food groups), a menu game (where the player solves the nutritional value of meals or snacks to unlock their recipes), and the ultimate, the cooking game (where the player designs a whole meal plan, whether for a suspicious alien in a seedy bar or a judge in one of the stadium cooking competitions).
Setting aside the education aspect, this is one amazing, fun point-and-click adventure with a snarky sense of humor. Adults can enjoy it as a pure adventure, and frankly parents should encourage their kids to play as well. This is something that everyone should experience — proper, balanced nutritional information disguised as casual gameplay. And for us older folks, well, we could stand to learn a thing or too as well. So gear up, put on your chef's hat, and battle the evil forces of bad nutrition!
Special thanks to Sharlene Sobrepena of mod7 for patiently answering all our questions.