Instant Chef Party Switch Review: Shifty Bananas

Instant Chef Party: A party game for up to four players as you race to thee finish line, sprinkled with mini-games.

Far from the culinary expertise one might imagine from a title called Instant Chef Party, expect to play a game rolling dice rather than learning ancient, mystical recipes or instant cooking that involves a Pot Noodle.

The closest comparison that comes to mind would be Mario Party or perhaps the lesser-known Sumikko Gurashi. Four players battle it out on a board, rolling the dice to reach the destination first.

Each player rolls the dice, and between turns or depending on where a player lands, you’ll enter a mini-game that makes use of the joy-con. Finally, a party game that goes back to the promises that 1-2 Switch initially offered.

Instant Chef Party Switch Review

One thing is clear: Instant Chef Party, from BreakFirst and Just For Games, is a game best served with others, it doesn’t work as a one player, and it was nearly heading for a much lower score if it wasn’t saved by playing with the kids.

Instant Chef Party - Dicey
Dicey. Source: Nintendo

There are two main options: Fun and Career. The latter would be assumed for solo play, and that’s a fair assumption. Still, the available games are extremely limited as solo artists can only opt for the mini-games, naturally. You also need at least another player to unlock each mode.

The absurdity was so funny as we were frantically shaking the joy-cons to get one up on the other person

Heading down the path of Fun, you get to choose one of three boards; a small, medium and large consisting of more spaces to cover until the goal, hence a longer game. Still, the game can be prolonged regardless of the size of the board as winners of the mini-games can move forward, and losers move back. It’s not endless, but a game can go on a little longer if players are evenly matched.

A 3D dice will spin on-screen, and you press the A button on your joy-con to stop. Depending on how far you get, you can collect themed dice. They don’t appear any different but may result in you throwing a minus number, thus falling further back on the board.

Mini-Games Are The Strong Point

The presentation on Instant Chef Party is alright, nothing special but it is let down a little by the animation and uninspired soundtracks. When moving around the board, characters occasionally hover, and if throwing a high number like eight, they’ll run a bit, slow down and run again. It’s a little erratic.

My eldest child was getting a little bored and said it was too much like Sumikko Gurashi, a game that she holds in high regard, so I was slowly losing her attention. However, a mini-game featuring a cut-out banana changed the pace and mood.

Instant Chef Party - Shifty banana
The shifty banana. Source: Nintendo

The task at hand was simple: chop as much yule log as possible when the cut-out banana wasn’t looking. Yes, really. The absurdity was so funny as we were frantically shaking the joy-cons to get one up on the other person, but not stopping in time, getting the evil eye from the banana.

Other mini-games with similar energy were enjoyable too such as chopping lemons on a conveyor belt in a frenzy, without ‘overheating’ and using up all stamina. 

Meet Your Chef

Expect to see a different variety such as dishwashing as you turn the joy-con as if it were a dial or memory games where you move your character to a tray and reveal the contents, matching it to a similar tray faster than the other player.

Instant Chef Party is entertaining, and there are more than enough mini-games to keep most younger players from getting bored. Naturally, some are stronger than others and may come down to preference. Nevertheless, it’s a good selection.

Instant Chef Party - Memory
Hope you’ve got a good memory. Source: Nintendo

The available characters are pretty stereotypical; and Italian chef named Giavanni, Mai the Chinese/Japanese cook, Pedro, the Mexican(?) dressed in a luchador-like leotard. It’s all very generic, unfortunately, but the character modelling differs, but purely cosmetic – there aren’t any unique traits.

Instant Chef Party is entertaining, and there are more than enough mini-games to keep most younger players from getting bored.

Party games work well in this household due to our ages and interest, but the consensus is usually something quick-fire, entertaining and straightforward to play. Yes, Instant Chef Party ticks all of those boxes, but like most party games, it has limited longevity and unlikely you’ll be playing this one game after the other. You certainly won’t be doing as a solo effort.

Instant Chef Party Review Summary

I more or less wrote this off as a one-player as the options were far too limited and it had zero appeal to me. When the kids were involved, the experience improved, though in small doses. It’s ok, but it won’t be one of our go-to titles.

The score totals a 6 out of 10