Gamer

I Can't Believe The Mak Ciks In This M'sian-Made Diner Dash Gave Me A Hard Time

  • Mak Cun’s Adventure is a mobile game available on iOS and Android based on the Bahasa Melayu TV show Mak Cun.
  • The game was produced by Media Prima Digital, and mimics the gameplay of popular management simulator Diner Dash.

Gaming on my phone has never held much long-term appeal for me—I’ve lost count of the number of games I’ve downloaded a game onto my device, only to see it get deleted a week later.

The only two games that I can recall playing for more than a month were Supercell’s Clash of Clans and Marvel’s Contest of Champions, and that only because of the FOMO factor (the fear of missing out while my other friends have fun).

So when a buddy told me about a game based on the hit Bahasa TV series Mak Cun (a TV sitcom centred around a female entrepreneur), I was hardly compelled to download it onto my phone. First, I had never even watched an episode of Mak Cun in my life, and second, I was in no hurry to invest into another game I was sure I’d get bored of soon enough.

But as it worked out, it was boredom that eventually drove me to download Mak Cun’s Adventure—with nothing to do during a lazy Saturday afternoon, I’d decided I’d just give the game a try to see just if a Malaysian version of Diner Dash would be any fun.

Tough Customers

Mak Cun’s Adventure puts the player in the shoes of the TV show’s titular character Mak Cun, where the objective is to help her advance her kampung-based business empire by serving customers in her warung-style cafe and fashion boutique.

Players first starting off will be put in charge of running the cafe, where the objective is to complete each level by earning the minimum target of coins per round. The mechanics are simple enough—customers approach you and tell you exactly what they want, and you serve them their orders quick enough before they get impatient and leave.

Every few levels, Mak Cun introduces a new dish to be served, each one taking longer to prepare and thus making the task of juggling customers more difficult. The same principle applies to the fashion boutique which you unlock once you progress far enough in the warung, only this time, you’re serving up fashion accessories instead of food and beverage.

The three beginning levels of the cafe were easy enough, with customers only ordering nasi lemak and kopi o’, two things that were relatively easy and quick to prepare. During these opening levels, I managed to grab 2-3 stars each level and overhit the coin targets.

But level 4 and above was where things started to get challenging, with patrons coming in for dishes such as roti prata with dhalcha or char kuey teow, dishes that required a bit longer to prepare.

This is where the game throws the upgrade mechanics at you, with options to improve components in your kitchen or seating areas having an effect on customer wait times. For example, if you choose to add a stand fan to the seating area, you’ll have an added 15 seconds to serve each customer, making it less likely that they’ll get impatient and leave.

You can upgrade items in your cafe or boutique to give you extra valuable seconds to serve your customers.

It’s also at this point that the game begins to feel frustrating. In order to progress to the next level, these upgrades must be made, and they become more expensive the higher up you go. Eventually, it comes a point where they become too expensive, meaning that you’ll either need to replay previous levels to earn more coins, or outright buy coins using real money.

If you choose to go the pay-to-win route, Mak Cun’s Adventure gives players the simple option of paying real money to buy coins or jewels—both of which can go to buying more components for your businesses. While I don’t begrudge them the chance to make a buck off their game, my point of frustration is with the game’s difficulty level.

This especially goes for the second portion of the game—managing Mak Cun’s boutique shop. Even during the first level, I found myself struggling to keep up with customer demands, and often became frustrated when a customer made a demand that would cost me precious extra seconds and eventually cause me to lose customers, and subsequently lose the round.

The boutique portion of the game is incredibly difficult, even from the first level.

If you’re the type that likes an unfair challenge, this game might be something you relish. For others, the difficulty may only serve to frustrate.

Well-Made All Around

Moving onto overall game quality, I found Mak Cun’s Adventure to hold a degree of polish befitting a game made by top-notch game devs. While the gameplay was admittedly simple, and while the artwork was fairly basic, Mak Cun’s Adventure ran as smoothly and as cleanly as one could expect.

Mak Cun’s Adventure has little to no grammatical errors, and hardly any performance issues to boot.

Menus were ordered nicely, there was no noticeable lag, the music selection was apt, and I was especially pleased with the game’s grammatical accuracy and lack of spelling errors—something I’ve found to be a problem with other games from local devs.

Overall, I must say that Mak Cun’s Adventure is a great time-waster, perfect for spare moments with nothing to do. While the concept isn’t original, nor is its gameplay necessarily fair, the amount of fun to be during the early stages had merits it a game worthy of at least trying out once, and I’m happy to see local game developers putting out games with higher degrees of polish.

  • You can try out Mak Cun’s Adventure for yourself by downloading it on iOS or Android.

 

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