Mastering Island Chef Academy
Do you keep burning your dishes? Can’t keep your ingredients straight? Are your waiters ready to take over the kitchen themselves? Sounds like you need some help in Neopets’s newest game, Island Chef Academy. This guide should turn you into a top rated chef in no time!
Island Chef Academy is a fun, fast paced game, where it is your responsibility to manage your kitchen and cook several dishes at once. The game play design is simple; prepare your ingredients, add the required ingredients to the pot, frying pan or baking dish on the stove or oven, then wait for the dishes to cook and serve. Sound easy? Well, like all good games, there is a catch: you need to prepare two dishes at once to be successful in Island Chef Academy!
Each waiter (shown at the top left corner) needs two dishes to serve to the hungry patrons. The pots and pans on your stove will glow a certain color. Matching color pots indicate that both of these dishes go to the same waiter. Your goal is to cook these two dishes so that they are finished at the same time. Think about going to a restaurant yourself. You wouldn’t want your friend’s food to be cooked 10 minutes before your dish. Your friend’s meal would be cold and mushy, not very yummy! That is the challenge of Island Chef Academy: prepare multiple dishes at the same time.
How to Play
The controls of the game are simple: Click on the ingredients to prepare them. Once prepared, drag and drop the correct ones to the pots in the middle of the screen. When the dish has all the ingredients it needs, it starts cooking. Once it has finished cooking, drag the dish to the top of the screen where it will be plated. Then click and drag the red spice bottle over the dishes to sprinkle them with special spice for bonus points. Now for the challenge, making two dishes finish at the same time!
To the bottom right of each dish is a number. That indicates the number of seconds it will take to cook. Find a pair of dishes; those highlighted with the same color. Now add the ingredients to the dish with the larger number since it will take longer to cook. That little number will start counting down, again indicating the number of seconds left in the cooking time. When that number matches the number of the second dish, start the second dish! Now both dishes will finish at the same time.
Take this example: The first dish takes 9 seconds to cook, and the second dish takes 5 seconds to cook. Start the first dish, then wait 4 seconds (the gap-time) and start the second dish. Having both dishes finish at the same time is the key to earning a high score because not only do you get bonus points for accurate timing, but once cooked, each dish starts to degrade. Above the dish are five circles which indicate how long till the dish burns or becomes too cold to serve. If a dish is left too long on the stove or on the plate it must be thrown out. Thus if you cook one dish too far before another, the first might be thrown out before the second is even done cooking! This might require that you start over with both dishes, in order to have them both be ready at the same time.
The first few days as chef, your dishes will only contain one ingredient each. Follow the steps above: start the first dish, wait till the time on the first dish matches the second dish, start the second dish. Soon you’ll be hit with the next level of difficulty, dishes that have two ingredients. You will want to follow the same logic as before just with multiple ingredients.
I find it easiest to turn your multi-ingredient dishes into single-ingredient dishes; add one ingredient to two-ingredient dishes, so you are left with each dish only needing one. Try to have that ingredient be different in each dish. If both dishes need the same ingredient to start, and have a small gap-time between them, it can be difficult to get them to finish at the same time.
Additionally, if that ingredient runs out, and you need to order more, it can be quite difficult to have the second dish finish before the first dish burns or becomes too cold. Keep playing long enough and you’ll get three-ingredient dishes. The same strategy applies; there is just more challenge in keeping up with ingredient preparation.
There are two ways to score. First, if two dishes highlighted by the same color finish at the same time, you get a two point bonus per dish, for a total of four bonus points. The second way you earn points is from completed dishes. Each dish has a set of five circles above it that indicates how long the dish has before it burns or gets too cold to serve, in other words the dish quality. When the waiter picks up the two dishes you get the same number of points as the circles left above the dish. Additionally if you sprinkle the dishes with the special spice you get twice the points! Thus a dish with four circles left, sprinkled with the special spice, earns eight points. There are no bonuses for time remaining at the end of the day, so do not feel too rushed. Of course the more dishes you can finish per day, the more points you will get.
On the left hand side of the screen there is a blue bar with a “Focus” button. Clicking this button activates your inner focus, which slows time down allowing you to catch your breath and think about your next action. The focus bar continually recharges and can be used multiple times during a day. Don’t forget to use the focus!
After you completed a few days, you will be given the option to select one of two different upgrades: “Prepare Faster” and “Focus Longer”. “Prepare faster” makes your ingredients available faster when you click to prepare them. “Focus longer” makes the amount of time the focus works for longer. Personally I like starting with the “prepare faster” option, then alternate between faster prepare and longer focus. Experiment when you play to find the one you like better. If you find yourself forgetting to use the focus (which you shouldn’t do as the focus can be quite helpful) stick with upgrading the prepare faster option.
There is no maximum number of days in this game. Instead the game ends when you fail to reach your goal for the day. At the top of the screen there is a box labeled “goal”. The number on the right indicates how many points you need to gather this day to move to the next day. The number on the left indicates how many points you have received so far. The required points continue to increase, as well as your dishes become more complicated. When you fail to make your point goal, the game ends.
-Prepare your ingredients ahead of time! Whenever you have a few seconds to spare click on any unprepared ingredients so they are ready when you need them.
-Prepared ingredients carry over to the next day, so try to have all of your ingredients prepared when you finish the day. On the later levels you’ll be hit with four dishes that require two to three ingredients each. Having everything ready to use will help dramatically.
-Always use the spice! Place two meals on their plates then spice them together. You will have time and it doubles your score per dish. Not only that, but the spice slightly raises the quality of your dish, increasing your score even more.
-Remember to use the focus. It can be easy to forget about but it is very helpful.
-You need to multi-task. Don’t just stare at your dishes watching them cook (no matter how fun the animations are!) Take that time to make sure all your ingredients are prepared. Check to see what the next pair of dishes is: which one needs to be started first? How much gap time is between them? Plan out your moves ahead of time.
-Try to never pay for the express deliver. It costs 20 points, and considering the max points you can earn per waiter is 24 points (4 points for 2 dishes finishing at the same time, 10 points x 2 top quality dishes with special spice), it’s rarely worth the extra cost.
-Don’t forget that you can pause the game. In the bottom left corner there is a pause button that can be used any time.
Hopefully this article will help you become a master at Island Chef Academy. It can be a great game once you understand the rules. Remember to plan ahead, multi-task and think quick and you’ll be on the high score board in no time! Good luck!