Unlike us, video game characters don’t need to eat to survive, but despite that, they sure do pack away a lot of digital food. Most of the time, it’s neatly prepared sandwiches and roasted meat that appears at the bottom of trash bins, but not every protagonist can get away with finding a bagged lunch at the bottom of a dumpster.
Some of them need to cook their food before they stuff their face. Sometimes those sandwiches have to be assembled before they’re ready to be scarfed, and other times you’ll be building the oven before you can even begin to bake your bread.
Then there are other times where, if you’re not constantly creating dishes, you’ll lose. Games wherein you’re the chef and you have to please other people, whether it’s hungry customers or an overly critical mother figure.
For example, Pressure Cooker has you assembling burgers on a conveyor belt by catching them as they’re launched across the kitchen. Cooking Mama has your mother breathing down your neck as you try and master various minigames to create delicious dishes. In Overcooked, you and possibly some co-op buddies try to work together to please restaurant patrons with different dishes.
More frequently, games will employ a crafting system to allow you to create culinary perfection and jam it into your face. The survival genre that popped up in the wake of Minecraft is almost entirely centered on crafting systems. Here, you simply take various ingredients, toss them in the pot, and devour whatever pops out.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has a similar feature, and has you throwing a vast array of ingredients into your giant wok to create everything from delicious risotto to monstrous concoctions. Games like Divinity: Original Sin, features a similar cooking system so you can buff your party with some pizza, and even have you crafting each ingredient independently (by turning tomatoes and garlic into a sauce, for example).
In Bite the Bullet, we’ve taken the crafting system and beefed it up a bit. Instead of simply throwing some wheat and chicken into a bowl, you put those calories, fat, and protein to good use by upgrading your guns. Mowing down on an infected enemy starts the “catalytic fermentation” process in your gut, which lets you put a little more fire into your firearms. Just be prepared to clean up some vomit after you’re done tuning up.
Sometimes, cooking in games helps you be a better cook outside of games too. Food Network: Cook or be Cooked gives you 12 authentic recipes to try out on your Wii. There’s also more educational games. Personal Trainer: Cooking is more of a guide than a game, letting you choose recipes based on what ingredients you have on hand or how many calories you’re prepared to pack in. Personal Trainer: Cooking is part of a longer series in Japan called Shaberu! DS Oryouri Navi which covers even more recipes including pastries.
And then there are games like Final Fantasy XV, wherein you command your party member to feed you and they whip up lavishly detailed dishes. Seriously, that Ignis guy can cook. His meals always look so delicious that my mouth is watering just thinking about it.
So make sure you’re keeping your favorite video game characters well fed. Use the proper ingredients, the right apparatus, and you’ll be viewing mouth-watering digital food in no time.
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