Main Street Mobile Arcade: Iwaju: Rising Chef

Main Street Electrical Arcade
4 min readFeb 29, 2024

Wow, it has been quite a while since I had a blog entry focusing on a mobile game. Surprisingly, there has not been a regular deluge of mobile games based on various Disney properties. There have been some games that have released on mobile platforms and other platforms such Disney Speedstorm but games that you strictly play on a phone or a tablet just haven’t been happening. There are possibly a couple more coming our way in 2024 (there’s as of now still an Avatar game coming to mobile at some point) but yeah surprisingly conservative release schedule from Disney and its mobile partners.

Anyways, Iwaju is a new animated series that just recently dropped on Disney Plus, and it’s very unique in that it’s based in a futuristic Nigeria and focuses on Nigerian culture. I’ve watched a couple of episodes and the look and animation are pretty interesting but it is definitely a show aimed at the younger set without the wider appeal some other Disney animated shows have. I learned there was a mobile game tied to the show dropping this week, so I thought I’d at least check that out.

For the record, Iwaju: Rising Chef is $1.99 on the app store of your choosing (I played it on my Ipad), which instantly separates it from the pack of mostly free-to-play mobile games. In the world of mobile, if you are even daring to charge anything at all, you better be offering a pretty good package, the audience is far more sensitive to even paying just $2 for a game, and even many paid games still have microtransactions (which granted, isn’t much different from many much higher-priced console games at this point).

Also, if you can’t tell from the title, Iwaju: Rising Chef is a kind light cooking and restaurant management game. You put together dishes to serve hungry customers, and on the surface, there’s not much more to it than that. The interesting part is that there’s really nothing about cooking in the Iwaju animated series, it’s a series about a little girl and her adventures with her pet robot lizard that sort of serves as her protector. She doesn’t cook, she’s a very wealthy girl who has servants. So why a game where you serve up Nigerian dishes to customers is what they thought should be a tie-in game is a real mystery. But at the end of the day, the question is if Iwaju: Rising Chef is any good and warrants a purchase.

Right off the bat, I will say Iwaju: Rising Chef is not a genre of game I typically play. The closest experiences I can relate are a couple games that are far older like Diner Dash. So I admit I may not have the best experience comparing this to other similar titles.

But I do feel like Iwaju: Rising Chef has a surprising depth to it. You can level up your dishes to earn more money or be prepared faster, you have little robots that can help you out with things like extra tips, and customers often want multiple dishes in one order so it’s not simply tossing out one dish after another and stages sometimes have stipulations like you can’t burn anything or toss a dish you made by mistake. And as you go level by level this all gets more complex.

And I think that’s where, at least for me personally, Iwaju: Rising Chef encounters some issues, especially for a game arguably made for children to play. It all becomes A LOT very quickly to keep track of and there isn’t any way to slow things down if you are getting overwhelmed. I feel either the difficulty ramp-up should be slower or especially for a game you are paying money for, there should be difficulty tweaks of some sort to be more generous or possibly some sort of leveling mechanic where even if you are failing that hey you get experience and you can use those for buffs or assists of some sort that makes things a little easier.

However, at the end of the day, If you enjoy the type of game Iwaju: Rising Chef is and you want a game like that with no annoying microtransactions and that even teaches you a little bit about Nigerian culture and dishes, which is a cool and unique aspect, I think Iwaju: Rising Chef is a worthwhile purchase. It probably won’t be your next long-term mobile obsession, but it could easily entertain you and/or your kids for a week or two and that’s probably well worth $2.

That’s all for today, I have purchased Star Wars: Dark Forces Remaster so look for thoughts on that in the next few days, see ya real soon!



Main Street Electrical Arcade

All about Disney games, past present and future. Mix of reviews, opinion pieces and anything else that fits here.