“Cafe World,” Zynga’s popular restaurant simulation game on Facebook, involves serving up food and drinks, decorating your restaurant and interacting with other users, all while trying to “level up.” To new players, this game appears to be fun and challenging, but “Cafe World” veterans will tell you otherwise. Here are five things Zynga can improve to make it more enjoyable for everyone.
1. Tone down the begging! Nearly every mission involves begging your neighbors for stuff. Utensils, bakeware, food, secret ingredients-you name it, you’re probably going to have to beg for it. Sure, you can bypass the begging by completing these missions with Cafe Cash, but who wants to waste real money on this stuff? And, granted, you can simply choose not to do the missions at all. However, they sit on your side bar, taunting you to complete them. Even if you’re not interested in the mission’s reward, if you want to remove them from your sidebar, you’ll have to do them.
2. Speed up the loading time. I play a few different Facebook games and out of all of them, “Cafe World” is by far the slowest. Before I’m ready to play, I often point my browser to the “Cafe World” page, let it start to load and go off to do other things. And visiting a neighbor’s cafe? No thanks! It takes far too long to load. Even if it’s required for a mission (i.e. “Spice 5 neighbors’ stoves”), I only complete the mission if I want the reward.
3. Enough with the “Cook is busy, please wait” messages. If you try to use a special spice on one of your stoves and you’ve also queued up your cook to schlep all your completed dishes to the counters, you’ll have to wait until she’s finished delivering all of them. This could take a while. Why can’t the game engine spice a stove in the queue?
4. Don’t make me decorate my cafe to complete a mission. Sorry Zynga, but that ugly Leprechaun fountain you made me buy to complete a St. Patrick’s Day Mission is hideous, has no place in my cafe’s decor, and I trashed it as soon as I completed the mission.
5. Enough with the one-off cooking appliances! So now we’ve got a deep fryer, a pizza oven and a toaster oven. Of course, we can only purchase ONE of these machines, making it near impossible to master the appliance-specific recipes. It’s annoying. Let everything be cooked on the stoves. I don’t need all these one-off appliances cluttering up my kitchen. I ended up trashing my pizza oven and I never even attempted to build the toaster oven. Deep fryer, you’re next!
These five things aside, at least it’s good to know that Zynga DOES listen. We’ve complained enough about the cookbook design, and they’re in the process of fixing it. I’m tired of clicking a trillion times to get to the Escargot/Chinese Candy Box recipes at the end!