Zynga has announced that their ChefVille game will be shutting down, forever, on April 30, 2015. It was a game where players could create virtual food by gathering up the correct ingredients and using the stove that contained that recipe.
I can’t explain why I thought this game was fun, other than to say that as someone who has a lot of food allergies, there is something about playing with virtual food that I found appealing. I started playing ChefVille after I quit Facebook and no longer had access to Zynga’s CafeVille game. I’d been playing ChefVille on the Zynga website, and it is kind of a bummer that the game will soon disappear.
I wanted to put together a blog with some screenshots from ChefVile before the game becomes inaccessible. It surprised me that I felt disappointed to learn that the game was going away. There’s a few quests I hope to finish before that’s no longer possible.
The above screenshot shows Zynga’s announcement about ChefVille shutting down. It will pop up for players who try to play ChefVille after April 1, 2015. It might be hard to read, so I’ll write out what it said:
ChefVille will be shutting down on April 30, 2015. If you have coins in your account, you can use them to access the game’s current content until then.
For centuries, friends and family have gathered around the dinner table to share a meal and connect. Over the last 2 years, we’ve cooked up exciting recipes together, and now it’s time for us to dish up our final meal and close the kitchen. Thanks for being a great member of the ChefVille community – we loved delivering you a fun experience. We don’t take the decision to sunset our games lightly but we made the tough decision to close ChefVille so our team of game makers can put their passion, energy, and time into developing new games.
The rest of the announcement explains how current ChefVille players can get a special “Thank You” gift that can appear either in FarmVille 2 or in CastleVille Legends. If you play CastleVille Legends, you will get an exclusive statue of Madeline to decorate your castle. It is unclear exactly what the gift is for players of FarmVille 2.
Madeline is one of the NPCs (non-player characters) in ChefVille. She gives quests and becomes the player’s first “friend” (that the player can visit and obtain ingredients from).
I decided to select the CastleVille Legends option. I think it might still be accessible through Zynga’s website and I might have tried it before. It remains to be seen if I will enjoy that game enough to continue playing it.
One of the reasons I was surprised to learn that ChefVille would be shutting down was because, the day before the announcement, Zynga came up with an improved way for players to scroll through quests.
That scroll bar enabled players to quickly view all of their quests and to select the one they wanted. It was a huge improvement over the previous version, which forced players to individually click either the “up” button, or the “down” button, many times, in order to find the quest you wanted to do. This new system not only worked much more smoothly, but also showed how close a player was to completing each quest. It is exactly what I wanted to see in ChefVille.
This is my restaurant in ChefVille. Or, at least, it is the section that a player starts with. I’ve altered it a bit since then. The gold statues behind the counters are something a player must earn by completing certain quest chains. It declares that you are an “expert” on a certain type of food. Functionally, each statue will give a player some coins if he or she clicks on it.
I liked the way that many of the stoves looked like a set. They all appeared to be made of brass, or copper, and were shiny. It made things look more aesthetically pleasing than the stoves that related to a certain type of food (Chinese, Thai, Indian, Irish, German, etc) that were different shapes and colors.
This section started out as “locked”. A player had access to the stove and the cake case that matched each other. They couldn’t, however, put those items into this section right away. Instead, players had to bake each of the 11 cakes in the case a certain number of times, and with a specific amount of “special” ingredients in order to get the right amount of “Gourmet”… points, I guess? It was only after the player had earned enough “Gourmet” points that he or she could unlock the section that corresponded with the cake stove and case. It took a long time!
The Tart section was also “locked”, at first, and functioned the same way that the cake section did. Players had to do the whole “bake each item until it earns the Gourmet award” thing before they could put the corresponding stove and tart rack into the section it was designed to be in. It took a long time.
This part is the Ice Cream section. I should note that I am not using the proper names of each section. I’ve simplified it in order to have it make more sense to me. It functioned just like the Cake section and the Tart section. It, too, took a long time to complete.
As you can see, I’ve completed this section. Somehow, I’ve still got a couple of quests that are related to it that I haven’t finished. The reason why is simple: I had difficulty finding the quests because of the poor functionality of the way players had to sort through quests (up until yesterday, that is).
UPDATE: I finally finished all the ice cream quests! It would have been nice if I’d seen them back when I started working on the ice cream stuff.
This section is the Easter Bunny’s House. The stove, matching mixer, and maxing prep table, went with this section. A second set of Easter quests included the little booths, the box of sprinkles at the front of the section, and the cart with colored eggs on it. (I stuck them into the Easter Bunny’s House section because it seemed the best place to put them). The pastel colored stove is the “Spring Stove” which has nothing to do with this section, but I felt it fit in there anyway.
Players had to use the stove (and mixer, and prep table thing) to complete quests that appeared when this section opened. The ultimate goal was to earn enough Mastery Stars, on the food that one can only cook on that particular stove, to level up the Easter Bunny’s House all the way. Oh, and the chocolate Easter Bunny was a special item that gives the player some of the ingredients that the recipes that the stove in this section required.
It took a while, but wasn’t as tough as the sections that required Gourmet awards. Players could pick and choose which recipes they wanted to work on (and which they would rather skip).
These two sections were a lot of fun. See the crab shack at the bottom? Some of the stoves in this section connect to it. The goal was to complete quests, and earn enough Mastery Stars, to unlock the crab shack. (It dispenses ingredients that the recipes on the stoves connected to this part require). Check out the little table with a crab sitting on it. Use it, and the crab moves. It suddenly has salt and pepper shakers in its claws, and it shakes it until the food is seasoned. This amused me!
I also added in a group of “Mermaid” stoves that came from a different set of quests. The fish tank in the other section was something players had to build. (It dispenses some ingredients that the fish related stoves require). The round aquarium on the wall is fun because the stuff inside moves around a bit. I’d have to say that, of all the things in ChefVille, it was the fish related stuff that was the most fun.
This is another fish-recipe area. It started out “locked”. Players had to earn enough Mastery Stars (from any recipe on any stove), gather enough coins, and hand out enough roses to NPC’s in order to unlock this part. This section includes the building (which dispenses fish-related ingredients), and the pile of crabs. I’ve added in the rest because I felt it fit with this section.
The boat is something that took a lot of work. Players had to level it up. Each level required a player to have their friends send them a specific thing. Each level also required a player to use the “Mermaid” stoves to complete recipes that would give the player some special items. It was another “time sink”, but it was fun.
The farm section was another one that started out “locked”. (I added some stuff to it.) Players had to have a certain amount of Mastery Stars, gold, and Reputation points (earned by handing NPC’s roses). It unlocks a silo of a particular kind of rice that is required for recipes on a bunch of different stoves.
The other part, with the farm animals, did not start out with those in it. I added them. The pigs came from a truffle gathering series of quests. The cow came from another quest (and dispenses heavy cream – something players need in order to complete recipes in the ice cream and pie sections). This section opened up one day with a series of quests for players to complete.
The nearby crop sections were where I put a bunch of the plant items that dispensed a certain kind of ingredient. I think it was open space that the player could use as he or she pleased (after “unlocking” it, of course).
This is what I think of as the Thai section. I managed to unlock this section very recently. To get it, a player needs to use the Thai stove to cook recipes until he or she earns a certain number of Mastery Stars from the recipes on that stove. The good part is that players could pick and choose how they got there.
I’ve managed to unlock the Pie section, but I’m not done with it yet. The pie case holds some covered tupperware cases of pies that I have earned the Gourmet points on. There are four more to go! By the time this section appeared in game, I’d earned enough Gourmet points from the cake, tart, and ice cream section to open the pie section before being done with it all. I just discovered the corresponding quests that go with it, and am unsure if I will have time to finish it before the game disappears.
UPDATE: I managed to finish the quests that went with the Pie section and get Gourmet Mastery on all the pies. The pie case changed from showing closed containers to showing the pies. The reward for completing it a fruit jar display (that dispenses ingredients).
This is the Wedding section. It was the first section that appeared one day with some corresponding quests. The quests involved helping a bride to prepare for her wedding. The quests had a “timer” on them and would disappear after a few days (whether or not the player completed them). It was confusing, at first, because it was the first full section that players could obtain by doing quests. I didn’t finish all the quests, and still unlocked the section.
UPDATE: I managed to gather enough stuff (by asking other player for it) to open up the gigantic present in the Wedding section. It contained a bunch of ingredients. I also opened the smaller gifts. The section looked a lot less cluttered after that.
It took me a really long time to finish the Cavendish Restaurant stuff in ChefVille. I completed some, but not all, of the quests. From there, players had to keep cooking stuff on the stove that went with the section until they earned enough Mastery Stars. Once they do, the building hits Level 7 and is completed.
There are plenty of sections in CafeVille that I have not included here, either because I haven’t completed them yet, or because I never bothered to start them. It has been fun making virtual food, especially on days when my allergies are so bad that I can barely eat any real food. I’m going to try and complete a few more things in the game before it disappears on April 30, 2015.
There is one thing that I will not miss about ChefVille.
This happened way too often, and it was always frustrating. It didn’t seem to matter which computer I was using (as I’d upgraded more than once during the time I was playing ChefVille). Every time this happened, a player had to refresh the page, wait for it to re-load everything, and then re-do whatever it was he or she did right before the “problem”. This never got fixed.
UPDATE: I managed to finish building the “No Spoil Statue” on April 18, 2015. It prevents all the virtual food from spoiling for a total of 7 days. It gives the player peace of mind knowing that they don’t have to rush back into the game before something went bad.
LAST UPDATE: In the last few days before ChefVille ended, I managed to finish building the Bear statue. It was part of one of the Mother’s Day series of quests. I’d lost interest in the entire Mother’s Day thing, and that left the uncompleted bear statue headless. That just felt odd, so I finished building it. The bear is sitting next to a previous Mother’s Day statue that also required building.