Daylight Studios are certainly no strangers when it comes to creating satirical titles, creating fun and cheery dialogue for everyone to enjoy. The Holy Potatoes! series has certainly provided a lot of laughter and still continues to do so in the latest installment titled Holy Potatoes! What the Hell?! Fans of the series will definitely get a kick out of the title but what about newcomers to the series? Holy Potatoes! What the Hell?! takes a step away from the intergalactic adventures you found in its previous title Holy Potatoes! We’re in Space, and now puts players inside Hell’s Kitchen (literally) in order to provide mouth watering potato based foods for the gods in order to survive in the circle. Anyone who fancies a nice cooking simulation game will certainly find this one to be charming as well as frantic, since a lot of your time will occupied by multitasking different recipes over time.
What to Expect
As with any cooking related title, your first objective is to ensure you have a base understanding of how to cook (we don’t mean real life although if you do, it’s probably a plus anyway), and the game teaches you the ropes along the way. Expect to be put through hell as you must constantly come up with new recipes to please the gods, while slowly making your way up the ranks to get to the higher circles. Daylight Studios is known to keep things simplistic with regards to their in game UI so you’ll need not worry about dealing with overwhelming words all over the place. All that matters is that you understand the fundamental aspect of Holy Potatoes! What the Hell?! and that’s to cook as fast as you can so that you don’t miss an order. Pair that with all the witty remarks and great references to real life chefs and celebrities and you’ve got a fantastic recipe on your hands. Will you be able to manage your team and coordinate effectively? Or will you burn in hell like all the other sinners? Only time will tell in Hell!
You star as an aspiring chef by the name of Sweeny Tots, who finds himself in the afterlife and is on a mission to know the details to his previous life. Sweeny finds himself in the fiery pits of hell, with no recollection of what happened and you arrive late on the first day. You’re given a vague breakdown of what needs to accomplished before the staff throw you along with two other cooks into the kitchen in order to fix up meals for the hungry gods. Now you must work alongside new cooks as you make your way through the nine circles of hell, each one more hellish than the next. Will you make it out alive or will you be just another baked potato?
Get on the cooking gloves because it’s time to hit up the kitchen! As we stated earlier, Holy Potatoes! What the Hell?! is a game centered around cooking and so you’ll be managing what goes on within the kitchen. Each circle that you encounter is full of its own unique challenges and as you progress, more research must be conducted to ensure that the gods are satisfied every time. This is where the fun comes in because there’s never a shortage of thrills within the game, as there’s a constant flux of recipes that come flying at you and learning to keep up in order to complete the day shift can be addicting over time. Sure, in the beginning things will feel a little easy and somewhat of a chore but wait until you get past circle 5 or 6 when things really start to heat up.
The earlier circles are more of a footstool if you will, providing you some leverage in order to have a better understanding of the games overall mechanics, and to ensure you don’t screw up too much along the way. You do get penalized for missing meals which affects your overall favor that you receive from the gods. The more you miss meals for the gods the more favor will be docked from your score and that can really put a toll on you, especially when it comes time to do any sufficient upgrades. The great thing however is that there’s no true game over in that you have to start all the way from circle one for example, so you won’t need to stress yourself in order to get deeds done. It’s just very fun because as you progress and more becomes available to you, learning time management becomes such an imperative rule and so you’ll be clicking a lot faster than usual. Each god you encounter will reward you with specific buffs in order to make cooking easier such as giving you a 5% speed buff on preparation, and if you purchase certain items at the Starchbucks they can make cooking for sinners a sinch. Knowing what each god provides with regards to their buffs will be something to pay a great deal of attention to, since as you get higher in the circle you’ll be cooking for a group of them. Each of the gods needs will be different so paying close attention to certain patterns will make the overall flow a lot easier, and will prevent you from getting penalized for missing meals during crunch time.
Making good use of your prep time is where much of the reward comes from since you can gather all that you need quickly so that when lunch starts, you’re not racing to get everything. Planning two steps ahead can add up to a lot in the long run and as such, we recommend keeping tabs on the clock at all times. There were some real tense moments where a few of our meals were missed and patience started to run very thin for each god we served, but we managed to make up for all of it and cleared the day. Let’s say you do make a few slip ups and manage to not clear the day, that’s fine because the game will keep a record of what you’ve already done and will carry it over to the next day. So for example if your objective was to prepare 8 meals and you only manage to get 6/8, you can continue and get the last two you need in order to move on. The game is lenient in that regard so as to not stress you too much but the game is very challenging, so keeping your head in the game is pivotal to success and impressing good old Mr. Yamsay. There’s also some reference to Shokugeki no Souma during the more intense showdowns, so look forward to that if you’re into cook offs!
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
Holy Potatoes! What the Hell?! isn’t a long game compared to that of We’re in Space but it still provides a great deal of fun which lasts for hours on end. The replay value is very high, especially if you’re really into cooking sims and even if you aren’t it’s still a hell of a game to play. The game teaches you real life valuable lessons that can help to ensure you don’t burn your own kitchen down at home, such as paying close attention to the clock, multitasking and creating new recipes in a short period of time, but also being patient with everything as it all unfolds. That’s the perk that we took away from playing and it honestly felt rewarding to accomplish so much in so little time. We don’t expect to open up a five star restaurant after playing this but one thing is for certain and it’s that, Holy Potatoes! What the Hell?! cooks up a wonderful recipe that’s full of flavor and hits your palette with just the right amount of spice to keep you coming back for seconds. The narrative is fantastic and witty, the character personalities almost match that of their pop-culture counterparts, and just watching your kitchen grow into this incredible masterpiece is titillating. We only wish the game came with some multiplayer features and perhaps some online ones too so that the replay value could carry on with other players around the world.
Incredibly funny and exciting gameplay.
Cooking sims never disappoint especially when they’re well made like this one.
Easy to pick up but will take time to master.
A plethora of recipes to choose from and learn.
Hundreds of sinners that you’ll be cooking!
Lack of multiplayer options kind of steals the shine.
No online features also.
Honey's Final Verdict:
Whether you’re just an amateur or a seasoned veteran at cooking sims, Holy Potatoes! What the Hell?! is an experience that practically anyone can enjoy. Hours will pass by without you knowing and the gameplay just gets better and better the deeper into hell you travel. You’ll meet a lot of familiar faces and have a laugh along the way, so be sure to pick this one up because you will not be disappointed. Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Twitch to know when we go live and perhaps play some Holy Potatoes! What the Hell?! for you! Of course, be on the lookout for other game related news and reviews as the fall season continues and more exciting titles will be released.
As always, for all things sweet, with news straight from Japan, be sure to keep it locked here on Honey’s Anime.
Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.
A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and watch me play on twitch.tv/honeysgaming ! Take care!