ChefVille Aftertaste: Why won't Zynga take my money?


As we spend more and more time with ChefVille, Zynga's newest cooking game on Facebook, we've come to really understand the in's and out's of what makes the game tick. While most of the game is a highly polished and equally entertaining affair, there are some fundamental flaws within the game that are head-scratching to say the least. Perhaps the biggest example is the current inability to speed up the generation time of ingredients.

With so many food stalls, stores and plants, it's not as though any ingredient is truly impossible to earn (even if earning an ingredient means asking your friends to send some to you), but some take so long to recharge that an option to speed up this time with cash or even large amounts of coins would definitely be appreciated. Wait, am I actually asking Zynga to add additional ways to spend real money in ChefVille? Yes, I am.

For many ingredients, like Tomatoes, Flour or Bread, the recharge time is rather fast, or we're simply given the chance to own multiple items that generate them (many players currently own three Bread Racks, for instance). However, in the case of ingredients like Eggs or Salmon, you're looking at a wait time of 30 or 60 minutes for a single unit, respectively. What if I'm trying to cook Grilled Salmon, which requires four Salmon, and I currently have none? It would take at least four hours to collect all of the salmon I need, so why can't I simply click on the Pond that generates Salmon and spend a few Chef Cash to make the Pond "instantly" ready again? Or, why can't I spend coins or Chef Cash on an additional Pond that will at least allow me to produce two Salmon in the same amount of time?

In the interest of fairness, players can click on a cooking appliance and purchase missing ingredients for dishes, but there's no way to purchase an individual ingredient if you need more than one. And once the cooking appliance is in use, or you've satisfied the requirements of the recipe, you lose that option altogether. What happens if someone wants to stock up on such ingredients because they think or know they'll need them later on? Should they still be forced to wait an hour or more for specific ingredient stalls to become "ready?" Furthermore, this would require players to micromanage their restaurants more than they might have time to, as most have other real world responsibilities, or at the very least a desire to play other games each day.

To solve this problem, a simple "speed up" option should become available, similar to how players can use spices to speed up the cooking time of an active dish. Charging one or two Chef Cash per Broccoli Stall or Farmer's Market is a small price to pay when players want to "grind out" the last few dishes for a mastery star, and it simply seems silly that Zynga hasn't given us the option to pay that price already. If anything, most Zynga games come with too many options for players to spend money and not enough ways to get ahead on our own, so it's odd to see that this is actually the opposite here. Since ChefVille is still so new, there's always the chance that this issue can be rectified in the future, but for now, I suppose we're all left to leave ChefVille open in the background as we work to stock up on Cheese, Lettuce and more.

Do you think the lack of an ingredient generation boost is a problem in ChefVille? Would you pay a few Chef Cash to avoid waiting for a single ingredient that you need in bulk? Sound off in the comments!