Game Info:

Little Dragon's Cafe
Developed by: Toybox Inc, Picola Inc.
Published by: Aksys Games
Release date: November 15, 2018
Available on: PS4, Switch, Windows
Genre: Adventure
Number of players: Single-player
ESRB Rating: E 10+ for mild fantasy violence and language
Price: $59.99
(Amazon Affiliate Link)

Thank you Aksys Games for sending us a review code!

Ren and Rin are a set of twins who live in a café that their mother runs. Unfortunately, their mother has fallen ill and won’t wake up. That’s when an older fellow, that goes by Pappy, brings them a dragon egg to raise and some guidance on how to run the café in their mother’s absence. Since their mother is half-dragon, they’ll have to feed and raise the dragon to get its help to revive her. The townsfolk like to be fed at the café as well, so you’ll need to keep everyone fed and happy.

At first, there are not too many customers and the café is run by the twins. You get to pick the twin/gender you’ll play as and it’ll be up to your character to forage for recipe fragments and ingredients to cook with. When four recipe fragments are found, you’ll have to bring them to Pappy to fuse them together. Completed recipes can be prepared and added to the menu as long as you have a good supply of the necessary ingredients handy. Customers will storm out of the café if the item they try to order is not available.

To cook an item, you’ll have to choose the ingredients which are usually narrowed down by type (grain, meat, fruit, vegetable, seasoning). The higher quality ingredients used, the better star ranking it will receive. The cooking process is done rhythm game style by pressing the proper directional arrow when the ingredient lines up with the circle on the screen. There are a few different songs used during the cooking process and they have a wide variety going from acapella to regal sounding tunes.


Strong Points: Cute and colorful visuals; likable characters
Weak Points: Repetitive gameplay; popping visuals make it hard to see what’s ahead; significant difficulty spike; pricey
Moral Warnings: Some questionable characters including a fortune-teller, a thief, and a ghost; mild language (d*mn); cartoon violence

Completed dishes can be fed to the dragon to change its color and replenish its stamina. Alternatively, some customers may ask for a dish you have in your inventory for take-out and will often repay you with a nice ingredient. Feeding your dragon will lead to the creation of dragon manure which can be applied to various shrubs, your garden, and your fishing net to speed up the harvesting time frame and produce higher-quality ingredients.

There’s a wide variety of ingredients to collect and multiple quality calibers to work with. Many different types of egg birds inhabit this island and they can lay white, green, red, black, and golden eggs. The problem with egg birds is that you have to re-catch them every few days. Given how hectic things get later on in this game, this becomes quite a nuisance.

In the beginning, things are relatively peaceful as you have a few regular customers and plenty of time to explore the island to collect ingredients and recipe fragments. It doesn’t take long to meet and hire what will eventually become your chef and two members of your wait staff. Those are the only employees that you get and unfortunately, they often slack off and you have to return to the café to snap them out of it and get them back to work. Thankfully, you can warp back to the café quickly but having to deal with their constant slacking without consequences is rather annoying.

As your café’s reputation increases, various travelers will stumble upon it and your dishes and kindhearted staff will help them with their various life issues. For example, one girl is a runaway who needs to give her grieving dad a second chance after the loss of her mother. Another character is a witch who loses her magic abilities and looks down upon all humans. Other notable guests include a fortune-teller who foresees the world’s end in a few days and a ghost who is trying to look after his girlfriend from the afterlife.

Little Dragon's Cafe
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 78%
Gameplay: 14/20
Graphics: 8/10
Sound: 8/10
Stability: 5/5
Controls: 4/5

Morality Score - 77%
Violence: 8/10
Language: 7/10
Sexual content: 10/10
Occult/Supernatural: 6/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical: 7.5/10

After each character’s issues are resolved, they will depart and spread the word about the café and bring in more daily customers as a result. Around three quarters into the game, the difficulty spikes dramatically as you’ll need to collect more ingredients for the dishes, but have less time to do so because the staff keeps slacking off. If you downgrade your dishes to use more plentiful ingredients, the customers will take notice and voice their concerns. Something has to give and this game doesn’t give you much leeway other than rainy days slowing down the customer intake. I found a Cheat Engine table that provided infinite dishes and ingredients that reduced the stress and complexity quite a bit. Quite frankly, it made the game more enjoyable again.

The colorful visuals and likable characters are sure to draw the attention of younger players, but this title has some issues worth mentioning. There is some cartoon violence as the annoying ghost character often gets smacked in the head when he says stupid things. Unfortunately, the same ghost character likes to say the word d*mn on multiple occasions.

In the rare places where you have to enter text, the game will not allow you to use a gamepad for a little while. Also, if I did not have my controller turned on before launching this title, it would not be detected. Other than those minor issues, this game ran fine for me.

The $60 price tag is a bit steep in my opinion. I recommend picking this game up on a sale and not paying full price for it. I did enjoy the story and characters. The day to day tasks can get repetitive, but the story is good enough to stick it out. However, without cheating, I doubt I would have finished the game due to the uphill battle of providing for more customers and less time to gather the necessary ingredients.

About the Author

Cheryl Gress

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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