Cooking Companions Review – Yum Yum Fun!

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It’s a lovely day to take a walk in the forest with your friends, but what’s this? You’re too far from home and not sure what lies ahead. Good job, this quaint little cabin is here for you to take shelter in! What a stroke of luck. Time to hunt around for supplies and cook your friends some delicious food with the help of some quirky sentient foodstuffs called the Chompettes. Hooray! It’s time to play Cooking Companions by Deer Dream Studios!

I’ve long wanted to dive into the world of Cooking Companions. I saw a YouTuber playing it before it was officially released, and I immediately thought to myself, “I must play this. It looks like my flavor jam.” I only watched the first few nights of gameplay before stopping to avoid spoiling it for me. I saw just enough to discover the deep, dark nightmares that lurk beneath the cheery Chompettes.

Cooking Companions the gang
Image Credit: Deer Dream Studio

With a sequel in the works, it seemed like the perfect time to play it for myself finally. First of all, for those expecting a wholesome visual novel about cooking, this isn’t that. In the same way that Doki Doki Literature Club isn’t a dating sim, Cooking Companions isn’t a cooking game. However, both games do an excellent job of proving that looks can be deceiving.

Cooking Companions Is About Much More Than Cooking

Your friends Karin, Mariah, Anatoly, and Gregor accompany you in the cabin. Somehow you become the designated cook while the others busy themselves either foraging for more supplies or cleaning up the dusty old cabin. Each day you will have the opportunity to search the cabin and talk to your friends. You can only choose one room and friend a day, so choose carefully. There is a mechanic to build relationships, and if you max out your relationship with a character, you will be rewarded with unique dialogue and events.

Cooking Companions The Chompettes
Image Credit: Deer Dream Studio

This adds to the game’s replayability, along with trying to gather all the clues and secrets hidden around the cabin. You weren’t the first people in the cabin and won’t be the last. When you explore a room, check everything multiple times to ensure you find everything and try to piece together the history and the truth of the place you find yourself in.

Then there are the Chompettes. Shortly after your first day begins, you search the kitchen for supplies. Inside one of the drawers are some very happy and cartoony sentient foods. Cabbage, Bread, Onion, and Raspberry greet you merrily, while Potato seems less enthused. The Chompettes enthusiastically offer to help you in your culinary adventures and even give you a recipe card to get you started.

A Rich Narrative Is The Highlight Of Cooking Companions

You are remarkably unfazed by this and continue about your day. Everything is rosy for a few days, but unfortunately, the meals you cooked initially were too extravagant, and supplies are running low. To top it off, a storm has rolled in, and the whole area is flooded. No more scavenging, who…whatever will you eat now?

Cooking Companions Nothing to be scared of
Image Credit: Deer Dream Studio

As the days go by, things become decidedly more tense. You can hear strange sounds—flashes of something in your peripheral vision. Strange nightmares haunt your sleep. This is a fraction of what lies ahead of you in the cabin. There is so much to piece together, and the horrors unveiled are truly disturbing. The growing certainty surrounds all of this that something else is happening in this place.

Wrapping Up

The atmosphere, layered narrative, and the slow transition to absolutely nightmarish character sprites create a compelling horror experience. There’s one particular little fellow that can be seen in the kitchen sometimes that is particularly disturbing. These things also combine to make a supremely replayable experience as you attempt to collect every scrap of detail and unravel the mystery of the isolated cabin. There’s also a chance to discover the Chompettes’ origins, which is a charming story and not horrific in any way.

Deer Dream Studio will launch a Kickstarter for the sequel alongside a demo on June 1. Cooking Companions is out now on Steam.


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Cooking Companions Review – Yum Yum Fun!
Cooking Companions may look like a cute and fun cooking simulator, but it's premise guides you into an impressive, immersive, and deep narrative adventure that you won't soon forget.
The creepy cute aesthetic is perfectly balanced.
Interesting and rich narrative.
High replay factor.
Sentient foodstuffs.
Can be confusing on your first run-through depending on what you have uncovered, specifically the ability to play the Chompettes origin story before you finish your first full play-through.
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Written by Emma Oakman

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