Cooking in real life can be a chore for some but fun for others. Who would have thought then that virtual cooking could be a good stress reliever? I sure didn’t – not until last year when I seriously got into cooking games like Overcooked 2 and Waku Waku Sweets on the Switch.

I actually found myself enjoying the virtual act of breaking eggs, rolling out the dough, and chopping ingredients. I’d say it’s probably because there is less mess involved and no cleaning up! I would wind up spending hours in these games trying to progress, unlock recipes, and just generally enjoy myself. They’re great time-wasters and also give me a break between more fast-paced games like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

It’s nice to take a break from faster-paced gaming

Don’t get me wrong, I love my action games, but sometimes I need a bit of a slowdown. That’s where these cooking simulations come in. Now Overcooked 2 is definitely more chaotic than Waku Waku Sweets, yet I still enjoy it. Some may say it’s lazy that we enjoy cooking in a video game but not in real life. I don’t think so at all. Cooking requires patience, time, and prep.

Virtual cooking takes some of the real-life elements and makes them easier to digest. As a console, the Switch is well-suited for these types of games. Control-wise, you get into the motions of simulating the prep involved with putting dishes together.

I found Waku Waku Sweets to be the more enjoyable slower-paced cooking game I would end up spending a good few hours in. There’s a built-in contest aspect, many different recipes to collect, items to decorate your home with, and oh yes – you also have a job.

The food may not look real but you will still want to grab a snack

These games by no means make the food look realistic or edible. For some reason, I still find myself hungry after playing them.

I also think the sheer cuteness of Waku Waku Sweets is designed to make us feel relaxed. While some games heighten our senses and demand that we pay attention, cooking games allow us to breathe a little easier and just kick back. You will find yourself enjoying the experience instead of trying to rush through to complete the game.

That’s what I learned after spending more and more time with these games. The Nintendo Switch’s portability is a perfect fit for sim games to take with you on the go, especially while on vacation.

Simulation games are nothing new and there are tons out there. Cooking titles are just the ones that stand out the most to me. People who love to cook in real life may enjoy these games even more than those of us who would rather order takeout. Their variety is almost endless, and I can’t wait to go and find more to try out on Switch this year.

Who knows, I may even be inspired to get more involved in the kitchen! Whatever game you choose to spend time with, as long as it brings you joy, at the end of the day, that’s all that matters.

Tarah Bleier

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