HomeReviews4/5 ReviewPlateUp! Review

PlateUp! Review

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Have you ever thought that fulfilling orders, bussing tables, and mopping up grease stains would make for an exciting game? Because for some reason it works incredibly well as a roguelite.

In PlateUp! you are responsible for managing your very own restaurant. You start by selecting from a few random layouts and by picking your main course. Once those are set, you start the run. Each run consists of days where you have to seat and feed several customers.

plateup review 1
You should get ready to PlateUp!

At the beginning of every day, envelopes spawn around your restaurant. Opening them reveals items that you can buy to add to your restaurant. These include tables, sinks, new burners, and so on. You’ll also see how many people you can expect to visit, as well as how large the groups of guests will be.

When the day starts the guests start coming in. Each one will take some time to think about their order. Once ready you need to take the order, make their food, and feed them, all before their patience runs out and they decide to leave.

Fail to meet everyone’s expectations and your restaurant will shut down. It’s a pretty brutal system, but the game even tells you that part of playing is failing. And while it is a bit disappointing to lose your kitchen and upgrades, you can cycle the available maps at the beginning of each run until you find the same, or a similar, map.

There is also a grace period for each run. If you fail within the first three days, you can restart at the beginning of the day you failed on. On top of that, there are certain bonuses you can start each round with. These can be items that you get right away, like a dishwasher or upgraded burner, but there is also a perk that lets you fail one time without your restaurant closing down.

What makes PlateUp! a truly great game is its co-op. Fun co-op games feel few and far between, and with each year that passes, it seems to get worse.

plateup review 2
What will you accept?

As said before, part of the game is failing. Being able to laugh with friends and find humor in everyone panicking as the clock ticks down is one of the most enjoyable aspects of the game. Each day is hectic and wacky, and even after failing, it’s difficult to stop. My friends and I went from, “let’s play a quick game at 10pm” to “we really need to call it a night, it’s 1:30 in the morning”.

With it launching on Game Pass, it’s incredibly easy to get a few friends together to play PlateUp!. Having three people flailing their arms and shouting about how a table needs two steaks cooked to the consistency of shoe leather, while customers are angrily waiting in the rain is hilarious.

We each adopted our own caricatures of our roles, and the more we got into it the more we laughed. It’s not like we were amazing at the game, failure was a common problem, but it was still a blast.

The runs are fun in single player too, but you do have to do every role yourself, which means you are constantly bouncing between the kitchen and the dining area. As you get far enough there are ways to automate tasks, like chopping, serving items, taking orders remotely, and so on. But it’s not quite as enjoyable as coordinating roles with friends.

As much fun as things are, PlateUp! is not without issues. The most prominent is that the grabbing can be inconsistent. This doesn’t ruin the game, in fact it was pretty funny when playing with friends, but we all had several instances where we would try to pick up an item and turn around with nothing in our hands.

plateup review 3
PlateUp! shines with friends

There are also some mechanics and items that aren’t explained the best. This meant the best way to learn how some items worked was by purchasing them for use during the next day. Thankfully, there is a practice mode that allows you to do a dry run of the day, but buying and trying to figure things out blindly isn’t the best system. We lost one restaurant because we introduced an au jus to the menu, and it caused us to completely fall apart.

When all is said and done, a full bottle of wine is sitting on the stove, the trash is overflowing with burnt steaks, and our customers shut us down, PlateUp! is still pretty funny, but also a bit frustrating. In single player, you can check recipes by pausing during the day, but that isn’t an option in multiplayer; a group pause option, or some better catalog for recipes during the day would be helpful.

Before PlateUp! released, I never would’ve thought that running a restaurant would make for a fun roguelite game, but I am glad it has proved me wrong. While it is a fun game to play by yourself, it really shines when you add a couple of friends to the mix. There are a few hiccups, but otherwise PlateUp! is a great game that is well worth playing.

SUMMARY

Pros:
  • Wacky fun
  • Cracking soundtrack and game mechanics
  • Amazing online and couch co-op
Cons:
  • Tutorials/item descriptions aren’t always clear
  • Grabbing items doesn’t always register
  • Not as fun by yourself
Info:
  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Yogscast
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PS4, PS5, Switch, PC
  • Release date and price - 15 February 2024 | £16.74
Ryan Taylor
Ryan Taylor
Grew up playing the Nintendo 64 where I fell in love with the Legend of Zelda series. As I got older though my console of choice changed, first to PS2, and then finally to the Xbox 360, which I've been playing on for over a decade now. And since my first day booting up my Xbox, I've upgraded consoles and even built a gaming PC. Because at the end of the day I just love gaming.
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<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>Wacky fun</li> <li>Cracking soundtrack and game mechanics</li> <li>Amazing online and couch co-op</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>Tutorials/item descriptions aren’t always clear</li> <li>Grabbing items doesn’t always register</li> <li>Not as fun by yourself</li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Yogscast</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PS4, PS5, Switch, PC <li>Release date and price - 15 February 2024 | £16.74</li> </ul>PlateUp! Review
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