When you read the title of this game, Food Fantasy, you will most likely think it features some sort of cooking gameplay, like where you control a chef at a restaurant and make meals for points, or something like that. Well, prepare to be more wrong than you ever were before in your life, as this game will bring you everything opposite of what you might expect from the title.
Developed by Elex, Food Fantasy is an RPG adventure and what is popularly called ‘hero-collector’ game, as you collect heroes which are all the personifications of food. Yes, you read that right.
The ingenious and deceptively simple, at least judging by the title, this game brings you hundreds of food recipes from cuisines all around the world and marks the collaboration of many renowned voice actors and artists. All characters in this game are the personifications of food types, with personalities, appearance, design, and stories inspired and made to match the corresponding food recipe in a way.
As mentioned, it is not a game where you work in the kitchen, it is a game where the food is the group of heroes you collect and control, as you go on to battle opponents in turn-based battles and earn rewards, but…at the end you do manage a restaurant.
The gameplay combines the hero-collector genre with restaurant management, but in the most creative sense of the word.
As with many hero-collectors, in Food Fantasy you choose your points of interest on the map and go on to battle for experience and other rewards. But, there is a little more depth than that.
You compose your team, made up of four heroes, or should we say food types, as you strive to combine their skills and abilities. As you enter the battle phase, you can check what that particular stage drops if you win, and even factor in weather conditions.
The Battle (Food Consumption)
This game doesn’t feature an auto-play mode, and it is for multiple reasons. Firstly, the gameplay style is interesting and engaging, with much more depth than other similar games. Secondly, boss battles demand a little more from the player, than other hero-collectors do.
In Food Fantasy, besides standard abilities, your heroes interchange with the enemy, there are extra special abilities which activate during the fight. For instance, a boss will begin casting a special ability at a certain point of the fight, and most of those abilities one-shot your entire team. But, you can interrupt it and this is where the fun part is. You interrupt those deadly abilities usually by clicking two or more points on the screen, often found within the boss’ silhouette, which turns empty and dark during the channel.
This means that you will have to be engaged in the combat, and can’t just sit back, relax, and set it on auto-play like in other similar games.
You go through stages, trying to get as many stars as you can, three being the max. You also get loot rewards, which is in the form of food groceries for your restaurants, like pork or potatoes.
In the second phase of the game, you actually really do restaurant managing, where you combine different recipe materials and try to either cook a known meal or develop something new. The more ingredients you have – the more you can experiment and cook, naturally. You can also improve, develop, refine, and even make magic food. This other aspect of the gameplay is equally interesting as the battle is, as you serve your customers with your specialties.
The Game’s General Atmosphere and Appearance
If you are a fan of Final Fantasy, you will probably recognize the voice of Ray Chase from FF XV, or if you are an anime fan you must know Christina Vee, from practically every anime out there.
This game looks very nice, with some pretty advanced artwork and refined models, which look amazing on a mobile device screen. Food Fantasy features anime-style artwork, as Elex actually is a developer from China. If you haven’t heard about athem, they developed games like Clash of Kings and Love Nikki, which are both major successes.
This game is probably an instant ‘gotcha’, because its dual themed gameplay, fantastic artwork, and engaging combat hooks in pretty quickly, but also keep the player interested. Food Fantasy has just the right balance of combat vs. out-of-combat gameplay, as its core experience is turn-based fighting and restaurant managing, which is the first time we’ve seen it.