As with most gamers, I've been playing some games on my phone. Actually, I mostly only play two, and I've been playing them for quite some time.
King of Thieves is my favorite. I love it so much that I play three different accounts. Or was it four...?
The other is Cooking Fever. I really enjoy its arcade-style, multitasking-based gameplay. There are many different "restaurants" available, each with 40 levels of increasing difficulty, and all of them play a little differently. But as with most free-to-play phone games, it's heavily based on upgrades that are tied to in-game currencies and purchases. You don't need to buy all of these upgrades to complete all of the levels with 3 stars (the maximum), but you'll need quite a few of them. And after the first few restaurant locations, you'll find that upgrades are required to advance even past the first few levels. And, they all seem so expensive! The truth is, it's still possible to play and enjoy this game, even if you're not sinking a fortune into it. Here is the information that everyone should know about this game.
There are two currencies in this game: coins, and gems. The cheapest upgrades only cost some coins, but most upgrades and all location unlocks will cost some amount of BOTH currencies.
What you should know about coins is that they are worthless. NEVER, EVER spend real money on coins. When you serve customers in-game, they pay you in coins. You get coin bonuses every few levels. You also get daily coin bonuses, both for just starting the game up, and from each location you've unlocked where you've cleared at least 1 of the 40 levels (the bonuses increase with the number of levels cleared). You can replay levels anytime you want, an unlimited number of times, to earn more coins. Some locations also pay even more coins than others (FC Barcelona Sports Bar and Breakfast Cafe, for example). So basically, coins are easy to obtain and your supply is unlimited. As an example, I've cleared about 60% of this game's locations and I get over 10,000 coins just in daily bonuses. So yeah, never buy coins.
When you see upgrades that only require coins (no gems), treat them as free, because that's what they are. Buy them ASAP without even thinking about it. You can get the coins back, and guess what? You'll need to buy those upgrades eventually anyway.
Now, let's talk about gems. Gems are the valuable currency in this game. They are easy to spend and hard to obtain. Most of the game's upgrades require some number of gems to purchase. All of the game's locations require gems to purchase. And they can only be obtained in 4 ways:
1) Buy them with real money.
2) You will receive 2 (two) gems once per day as a daily bonus, but only from the 7th consecutive day onward. If you miss a day, you have to wait 6 days before you can take advantage of this bonus again.
3) Each time you level up you will receive up to 7 gems. You receive XP every time you collect coins from a customer.
4) You can win a maximum of 15 gems at the Casino, once per day only (see below).
The cheaper upgrades only cost 1 or 2 gems, but you'll soon find single upgrades that cost 5, 10, or even 20 gems. And to clear all of the levels (especially with 3 stars) you will need a lot of these upgrades.
But before you say "I guess I have to spend money," think about this: buying gems doesn't give you that many, either! Spending 5 USD only gets you 60 gems. 20 USD, which is more than most people are willing to spend on a mobile game, gets you 300. It is possible to spend 300 gems in this game within mere moments.
I'm not going to say "never buy gems" because the developers have to eat. I have spent money on this game because it's a good game and I enjoy it. But if you choose to spend money on this game, only spend it on gems. Also, know that every so often, they have sale deals that either drop the gem prices by half or give you double the gems for the same price. You may want to wait for a sale before you pull the trigger, as your dollars will get you much further.
So you're sitting on tons of coins, but gems are nowhere to be found. Oh look, there's a casino. It only contains a single slot machine, but we'll call it a casino anyway. The purpose of the casino is to convert all of those worthless coins into actual, valuable gems.
You have the option of spending 100, 200, or 500 coins on a spin. Ignore the 100 and 200 options, they are a waste of time. Mash the 500 button over and over. Remember, coins have no value.
Here are the possible winning combinations:
Single Coin x 3 = 600 coins
Double Coin x 3 = 1000 coins
Single Gem x 3 = 15 gems
There are Triple Coin, Double Gem and Triple Gem symbols on the slot machine also, but just pretend they're all blanks, because they're impossible to win. I wish I was kidding. It is really not possible.
As you can see, the coin prizes are worthless because they barely give you anything. The gem prize is what you want. The chance of winning it is completely random. Keep hitting the 500 button until you get it. When you do get it, leave the casino. There is a 24-hour wait period before the game will allow you to win the gem prize again. (Some folks believe that the wait period may be 12 hours and not 24, but I can't confirm this.) The wait period is not displayed in-game, and there's no way to determine whether it's expired just by looking. If you attempt to spin again before the wait period is over, your chance of winning more gems is ZERO!
On average, I usually spend 20k-30k coins before winning the gem prize. Sometimes I get lucky and it happens almost right away. Some days, I'm not so lucky and it costs 40k-50k.
This is really personal preference, but the only way to progress in this game without spending a fortune is to NOT binge on it. Do not try to complete all of the levels quickly, because the rate at which you can earn gems is slower than the rate that you must spend them to obtain all of the necessary upgrades. You can go back and replay levels you've already completed as much as you want, but really, this game is best in small doses. Launch the game once a day, every day, to collect the daily bonuses, as this only takes 1-2 minutes. But other than that, play at a slower pace. You'll be able to play the game for free or cheap this way, enjoy everything it has to offer, and not be frustrated by how expensive the upgrades are.
CHALLENGE MODE IS A SCAM
One of the updates released some time ago adds a Challenge Mode to the game. Basically, the Challenge consists of 15 extra levels for a location you completed already. Unlike normal levels, these do not have 1-, 2-, or 3-star levels of completion; there is only 1 income goal, and you either achieve it or you don't.
It sounds fine, until you understand that it is a total scam.
Challenge Mode appears randomly. For me, it's every 1-2 weeks or so. You'll see a "Challenge" button on the menu over one of the locations you already completed, with coins and gems occasionally flying out of it, promising a lucrative prize. When you click this button, you'll see the prize amounts, but you'll also find that it actually costs coins and gems to attempt! The prize is at least double the investment, so you think, "well, maybe it's worth it." A time limit is also displayed. This is not the time you have to decide whether to attempt it or not; this is the time limit you have to complete it entirely. The clock starts at a few days and ticks down.
If you take their bait, you'll soon discover a horrible truth. I mentioned above that it is possible to complete--and even 3-star--all of the levels without buying all of the available upgrades. The Challenge levels, being MUCH more difficult, actually require that you go back and buy all of those upgrades you didn't need before. Because these are the most expensive upgrades, they cost far more than the gem prize you were offered to complete the levels.
Unless you had already purchased all of the upgrades (unnecessarily) before you began the Challenge, the likely outcome is that you'll run out of gems and won't be able to upgrade everything within the 2-3 days you have to complete the Challenge, unless you spend real money to get more. That's exactly what happened the one time I attempted it, and I elected not to buy gems. When time is up, the game will take pity on you and give you a few of your gems back, but you'll still feel dumb for having tried it in the first place. Challenge Mode then disappears, until next time, when it tries to bait you again.
Challenge Mode is a scam. To maintain your enjoyment of this game, it's important that you ignore it completely.
There are two different types of upgrades in this game: kitchen upgrades and interior upgrades. Neither is necessarily more important than the other. Rather, it depends on the specific location and situation.
For example, the Breakfast Cafe throws more customers at you than most other locations. The interior upgrade that adds Extra Clients is extremely useful at some locations, but is useless at the Breakfast Cafe because you barely have enough time to serve the customers you already have. Rather than add customers that you'll have no time to serve, you should instead spend your gems on upgrades that will translate into more income. Tip Amount Increased is generally one of these, but some locations give you less time with your customers than others, and that translates to less tip time, even if you upgrade it. In those situations, upgrading your ingredients in the kitchen is a better idea.
When upgrading ingredients, obviously it's best to upgrade the ingredients you use most. You can never go wrong with Plates, as that is a guaranteed increase on every dish. The upgrade is more expensive, but you get what you pay for.
Remember, you don't need to upgrade everything. If you can't 3-star a level, try again; maybe you needed to go just a bit faster. If you did as well as you could and still couldn't 3-star it, an upgrade is required. Take a look at what you're serving and how quickly you were able to do it, then choose the upgrade that will help most. If you were nowhere near the goal, you'll need at least two upgrades. But don't just upgrade 6 things at once if you don't need to. You might save yourself from having to replay a couple of levels, but remember: replaying those levels will not only make you some more coins, they will also help you pace yourself, and not play the game too quickly.
Kitchen upgrades are instant, but interior upgrades take some time. You can skip that time and finish them immediately by spending gems. Never do this! This is a single-player game, so doing this won't give you any advantage. You'll just be unnecessarily spending the valuable gems that you could have spent on something else.
Occasionally, you may be offered a special "Cooking Machine" upgrade at one or more of your locations. Usually, it automatically cooks one or more of your main ingredients, in a way that prevents it/them from overcooking. Usefulness varies by location, but on average, this only makes the game a little bit easier, and generally, this upgrade is not worth the gem cost. Think about it only if you're having a great amount of difficulty in that location.
There isn't going to be much here, to be honest. The game tells you what you need to do; you just need to do it quickly and correctly. But there are a couple of strategies here that may help.
Customers requesting a single item should be addressed first, even if other customers arrived earlier. Notice the little time bar to the right of what they're asking for. When a customer asks for two or more items, you can extend the customer's time by filling part of their request. If you serve their whole order at once, you're pretty much guaranteed to get a good tip. But when a customer only requests one item, there's no way to extend their time. So to get a good tip, you need to fill their order as soon as possible. Take care of them first.
Some locations, like the Ice Cream Bar, give you way more time than you need to complete the level. In these situations, you can slow down the flow of customers by leaving money on the counter. A new customer won't appear in a spot until you collect the money left there...this gives you more time to focus on the other customers and serve them more quickly (getting higher tips). So instead of picking up all the money on the counter, grab just two spots' worth instead.
Some levels at some locations (like the Breakfast Cafe) are just plain hectic! They barely give you enough time to complete them. A winning strategy is to start by cooking as much stuff as will fit on your tabletop. Then, as customers request things, start cooking the replacements before you serve what's on your tabletop. Only cook items to replace things you're about to serve, but do it continuously. It's not easy, but if you get used to doing this, and get into a rhythm, you'll find that you're spending less time waiting and more time serving, which is exactly what you'll need to do to complete these types of levels.
If you burn something, and it's towards the end of the level, just leave it on the stove. Yeah, that sounds crazy, and nobody would do it in real life. But this isn't real life. If you throw out the burned item, you lose coins. But if you leave it where it is, you don't! And since it's towards the end of the level anyway, you can likely get by without that spot on the stove.
Hope you enjoyed this guide. I also hope that you'll check out my arcade-style games at http://yyrgames.com =)