Pixel Cafe [Switch] Review – Take a Byte! – Gamezebo

As someone who grew up playing many of those restaurant tycoon and cafe management flash games, I’ve been endlessly searching for a game that ticks those boxes once again. And then I played Pixel Cafe…

Ready, Steady, Cook

It’s got all of the elements that you’d expect from a restaurant management game. Impatient customers who storm off, complicated orders, and food that seems to cook way too fast when you’re busy. That’s not me being negative by the way – it’s all part of the genre’s charm. Addictively challenging is how I’d accurately describe it.

As you progress through Pixel Cafe, you’ll unlock a variety of additional products to sell. With this comes more responsibility, and a lot of extra things to keep track of. You need to make sure your drinks don’t overflow and your food products don’t burn on the grill, otherwise, it’ll go straight in the bin – costing you time and money.

The Story of Pixel

I don’t know if it’s just my brain, but I find completing customer orders pretty satisfying. I also really enjoy the overall feeling of progression as you unlock new toppings, meals, and upgrades. Completing a full diary for a cafe/restaurant will then open up the next chapter of Pixel’s career, granting you a brand-new establishment to work for where new items become available.

Throughout each level’s diary, you’ll have some cutscenes that take you through Pixel’s story, as well as the ‘night shift’ levels that have a much higher difficulty. On the topic of the main storyline, it didn’t overly grab me, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. I went into Pixel Cafe with more of a focus on the restaurant management gameplay rather than a narrative experience.

Upgrade Everything… and I mean Everything

image from pixel cafe of the home upgrade screen as pixel sits on a chair on her laptop wearing headphones in the living room, there is a bookshelf, tv, hoover, and a large window that showcases a cityline view

You’re encouraged to spend your hard-earned cash on restaurant upgrades and house upgrades. The restaurant upgrades are what you’d expect, with extra cooking stations and larger milk bottles as a couple of examples. While improving the restaurant’s facilities is of utmost importance, you shouldn’t neglect redecorating Pixel’s abode.

The more expensive the furniture is, the more happiness points you’ll obtain for Pixel. These points can then be spent to purchase upgrades for Pixel herself, such as a boost to Drink Preparation, Trash Cost reduction, and a lower chance of drinks overflowing.

Why You Should Give Pixel Cafe a Go

On top of all of that, Pixel Cafe is also a treat to look at. With charming pixel graphics and cosy vibes, it’s the sort of game that I like to play in bed with a warm toasty drink. Keeping up with every order can get tricky, but it’s all part of the fun! I didn’t find the game overtly tough or punishing, and I was more than happy to dive back into a level to try and get 3 stars.

I was really impressed by the option to change between buttons and touch-screen too. I found the touch-screen mode a little more arduous than using the buttons on the Switch, but it’s a neat addition – this may be because I found the touch-screen option later in the game, so my muscle memory had already gotten used to the button controls.

If you’re nostalgic for the classic fast-paced restaurant/cafe management games, you’re bound to love Pixel Cafe. It offers hours of fun and is one of those rare games that reminds you of fond old favourites from back in the day. With a low price tag, it’s worth checking out.

The good

  • Lovely pixel art
  • Fun and challenging restaurant management
  • Plenty of player progression and upgrades
  • Option to change between button controls and touch-screen

The bad

  • Storyline didn’t quite grab me