Archives by Day

Lost Recipes

Platform(s): PC
Genre: Simulation
Developer: Schell Games
Release Date: Jan. 27, 2022

About Andreas Salmen

I'm sure this is all just a misunderstanding.


As an Amazon Associate, we earn commission from qualifying purchases.

PC VR Review - 'Lost Recipes'

by Andreas Salmen on July 4, 2022 @ 12:00 a.m. PDT

Lost Recipes is a VR cooking game that places players in the heart of historically-accurate kitchens, featuring recipes from Greek, Chinese, and Mayan cultures.

Schell Games has grown to become one of the more renowned development studios focused on smaller-scale experiences, such as the recent I Expect You To Die and the upcoming Among Us VR. Lost Recipes is another small indie effort, developed and published by Schell Games exclusively on the Quest 2. I want to emphasize "small." Lost Recipes provides a historically accurate kitchen environment to guide you through some essential recipes from different regions: China, Greece, and the Mayan region. While not stocked with content or challenges, Lost Recipes is a short but sweet cooking experience, especially if you're looking for a laid-back, interactive VR adventure.

You're asked to cook some traditional recipes for the ghosts of ancient civilizations, starting with the Greeks and working your way to the Mayans. While the stakes are rather low, the ghosts will taste and score the meal you've created by following traditional recipes. The game is fully voiced, sporting some authentic accents and anecdotes as your ghostly companions guide you through their cuisines. Things start relatively simple with the baking of pita bread, but before long, you'll be putting together more elaborate food items. If you've ever wished to time travel and enjoy local foods of the past, Lost Recipes is likely as close as you're going to get.

All of this takes place in detailed kitchens that match the era. The Greek kitchen has a nice view of a volcano in the distance, Greek plates and bowls, and stone ovens. The Chinese environment stocks its respective traditional cooking utensils in a more bamboo-dominated look, with lanterns hanging from the roof. Each location goes through three distinct recipes, so you'll create a total of nine dishes.

There's some mild replay value in that you are ranked by the ghost you're cooking for. It's not easy to get a perfect score, but if you follow the instructions of the little floating ghost figure, you'll get a good score every time. You can marginally improve upon your score with more scrutiny when adding spices or mixing liquids in the correct ratio, but beyond that, there's likely nothing that will hold your interest for much longer. Depending on how long you take, you can experience all that Lost Recipes has to offer in less than three hours. It's time well spent, though.

Lost Recipes won't be for everyone. Its focus and step-by-step guide to cooking are probably best suited for VR newcomers or those looking for a relaxed, interactive experience. Cooking can have a meditative quality, and Lost Recipes captures that quite well. There are no time limits, and you are encouraged to focus on accuracy. Things can burn or undercook under your watch, but it never gets stressful or overwhelming, and you always have a clear idea of what to do next.

The fun comes from executing those steps. Everything in your kitchen can be interacted with, and every step of a recipe involves cutting, cooking, or grinding something and then throwing together the final product. Some of the steps involve cutting meat into pieces, mixing a marinade, and putting everything on a skewer. Then we need to load the coal into the grill, put the skewer on, and rotate it to get an evenly cooked souvlaki. Don't forget the pita bread in the other oven, and you serve everything together so your undead companions can judge your culinary skills.

The game makes it relatively easy to complete each step by automatically filling liquids to certain points when you pour them. As a result, you have relatively precise control over your mixing efforts, but you can still mess things up when you're not paying attention. If you've filled bowls with too much of an ingredient or spill something, your final score will suffer.

Later on, we switch over to a Chinese setting. This not only changes the kitchen we cook in and the utensils we use, but it also changes the companion ghost we cook for and the kind of food we're preparing. While the Greek setting features a ton of food that's familiar to me, the later stages provide more intriguing environments and recipes. The educational components of the game cannot be understated, but at the end of the day, be aware that the content is charming but rather thin and limited. A few more environments and recipes, and perhaps an even more challenging game mode would've greatly improved the experience, but what's here is enjoyable.

I've characterized Lost Recipes as an ideal beginner's experience in VR, and that's for a few distinct reasons. It has a simple setup, with fully interactive kitchen environments, simple gameplay, and a focus on accessibility. Players can choose to teleport to different sections of the kitchen or to physically grab and drag themselves through the environment. Both control methods limit motion sickness, so even if you don't have your VR legs yet, Lost Recipes should provide a comfortable experience. A better way to use smooth locomotion to move around would've been welcome.

It isn't quite a looker, since it runs natively on the Quest 2, but its colorful and painting-like appearance works very well for the experience. The different environments and dishes usually look decent. It ran smoothly and was mostly devoid of technical hiccups. Objects could sometimes be a bit difficult to pick up, and carrying plates caused us to drop food on the floor when teleporting through the kitchen. Otherwise, Lost Recipes fully delivered on the promise of a short but sweet educational and relaxing cooking experience in VR.

Lost Recipes isn't a very long game, but it has undeniable charm throughout its runtime. Clearly geared more toward VR novices, it provides good-looking interactive environments and some interesting recipes to cook, but it doesn't offer a lot of content or challenge to be captivating beyond the first playthrough.

Score: 6.7/10

More articles about Lost Recipes
blog comments powered by Disqus