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Gourmania on Atarata

MSRP: $6.99 / $0.99 on mobile platforms

Platforms: PC, Mac, iOS, Android

Release: 10/24/08

Gourmania is a mix between a time management game and a hidden object game.  The story is so thin as to be non-existant, but you have the opportunity to work your way from an employee at a fast-food restaurant, to the owner of several different types of restaurants.

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Customer orders come in at the top of the screen, and you need to find and click on the ingredients to fill them.  Ideally, you will fill one order at a time for bonuses, but if you’re having issues finding certain ingredients, you can certainly skip around. You can also use the hint button, then click on an ingredient in the list to be shown one instance of that ingredient. Items don’t move around – each level in the same scene will have ingredients in the same places. They will respawn in the same spots as needed throughout a given level, so you will never run out of a needed ingredient.

Every fourth level is a bonus level where you can earn extra money and new recipes. The bonus level requires you to click on ingredients at the bottom of the screen, and place them into the corresponding open shapes in the bars above.  Placing multiple items on the same line will net you bonuses, and there doesn’t seem to be any fail condition.  However, once you’ve picked up an item, you’re stuck with it until you either place it or put it in the trash bin on the lower left hand side of the screen.

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You can use your earning to buy better and/or additional equipment, as well as to purchase other restaurants. It is not necessary to finish all the levels in a single restaurant before moving onto a new one, and you can also replay levels at any time for higher scores & more spending money.  The recipes are weird enough that in many cases, they border on nonsensical, but if you enjoy the game mechanics, that shouldn’t impact enjoyment.

Currently, the game is available for free (with ads) from the link above for PC/Mac.  In about an hour of play, the only ad I saw was before the game actually started, as part of the loading screen, and after closing the game. However, once you fully close out the game, it will open a webpage to another game on Atarata. It’s not the most invasive use of in game advertising I’ve seen, although the came can also be purchased from Amazon ad-free.

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