Number Chef is a completely original puzzle game, a modern tribute to classic oldschool puzzle games that require skill and dedication from the player.
The player is working for the mysterious Chef and fulfilling orders they get from the customers.
The core gameplay mechanic can be summed up in a sentence: Odd numbers add up and even numbers subtract.
Sounds simple but it forms the backbone for an unique set of logical puzzles that form a very complex challenge.
Number Chef is a game of pure skill: every level is instantly solvable on the first try, in most cases in more ways than one. Winning or losing is all up to the player: there is no way to buy to complete a level or to get a lucky break from the game engine.
At launch, Number Chef game features 150 painstakingly hand-crafted and -tested levels, split into 9 episodes. Each episode introduces new types of blocks and functionalities into the game.
The game is completely free with exactly two single permanent in-app purchases available: one that adds undo functionality for the user and another that unlocks all the game levels instantly.
The game is free of a wide range of currently popular mechanisms aiming to tempt the player to spend money: there are no consumable coins on sale, no timers or restrictions on how many times the player can play, no random mechanics that allow the user to 'almost complete a level', or no ways to make a level easier or to get more moves by paying the game.
"Everybody of course loves money but with Number Chef I wanted to make a skill-based game. Paying is not a skill so you cannot pay your way through this game", Roope comments.
The game is firm believer in creating the feeling of achievement and triumph through pain and failure. The challenges presented are hard, rewarding creative problem solving. The game also begins to introduce the mysterious and talkative "Chef" character, motivating the player to progress in the game.
Roope Rainisto has been playing computer games on and off most of his life, starting with the lowly Commodore 64. He’s been always thinking about making a game but never really got around to actually doing one.
After playing mobile games for a couple of years, a couple thoughts started forming in his mind: “Hey, how hard could making one yourself really be?” and “could one do a good mobile game without filling it with these pay-to-win mechanics most mobile games nowadays seem to ruin themselves with?”
Number Chef is his first game. It is like your favourite block-based game mated with a deviously simple mathematical puzzle. Through a lot of iteration on the game logic, level design and testing the result is a pure and unique challenge, wrapped in a quirky and simple package.
Number Chef is a pure experience. It doesn’t give or expect to get mercy. The levels in the game have no replay value, purposefully. “They are meant to be solved once and then you can move on in your life. Best not to wear out your welcome. I want the players to win - but I want to make it feel like a proper achievement.”, Roope says.
Number Chef is done by a team of one. “Having to learn to work with Unity and to code with C# and to think of what the game should actually be like and look like - all the same time - turned out to be a bit more work than what I expected”, Roope Rainisto notes in a slight understatement.
Roope’s day job is doing user experience design at Microsoft. “I’ve done lots of work on non-game experiences but it is definitely a completely different problem to think about what would make for a fun and challenging game experience.” "As an outsider to the game industry I felt free to play by my own rules. Number Chef does a lot of things 'wrong' - but I think that's what makes the game unique."
The game was done the second half of 2015, during late nights and weekends.
Selfhug Studios is a one-man indie game company, located in Helsinki, Finland.
Selfhug Studios (Roope Rainisto)
October 28th, 2015
FREE (iOS, Android)
1.29 USD (Windows Phone)
Youtube: <iframe width="420" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/-DEbrKWnUr8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Vimeo: <iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/142797865" width="500" height="667" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe>