Battle Chef Brigade (Review)
After our interview about Battle Chef Brigade, the developers sent us a review copy so we could see just how the different elements of this genre-blending cooking game come together.
Any fantasy world filled with monsters needs heroes to defeat them… and in the realm of Victusia, people realized defeated monsters shouldn’t go to waste. As a result, Victusia is home to the Battle Chef Brigade, elite warrior chefs that fight monsters and then prepare them into fantastic dishes. To enter the Battle Chef Brigade, hopeful cooks come from all around to compete in an intense cooking competition.
In practice, this presents us with two very different styles of gameplay. First, you’ll need to hunt monsters and defeat them in 2D action combat. You have a few different moves at your disposal, including magical attacks, but the combat is primarily a means to an end. Defeated monsters leave behind parts you can use as ingredients in the kitchen. Cooking is reminiscent of match-3 puzzle games, as you rotate “taste gems” from your ingredients to make matches and strengthen them into more powerful gems. More advanced aspects include baking your dishes for gradual improvements, chopping out unwanted ingredients, and avoiding toxins. Your loadout will determine additional things you can use in combat and cooking.
The gameplay is basic enough, but when you’re on a timer during the tournament, it turns into an intense race to create an impressive enough dish to out-score your opponent. In addition to tournament challenges, there are also three side activities you can perform: more puzzle-oriented cooking for alchemy, hunting monsters, and replicating patterns to serve quick meals in a restaurant. Each awards you with money, which you can use to buy new items for your loadout.
But the gameplay is only part of it. Battle Chef Brigade is a story-driven game that follows a young cook named Mina on her quest to join the Brigade. It’s entertaining, especially due to the lovable cast of characters she meets along the way.
The only disappointment is that the second playable character doesn’t have a full-length campaign, but only one chapter in the main campaign. Nevertheless, it’s an enjoyable story, and through it all, the presentation is fantastic. Anyone who has ever enjoyed cooking shows like Iron Chef should get a kick out of the dramatic competition setup, the art is good, and there is voice acting in every important scene. In addition to the campaign, there are also standalone challenges to enjoy.
Overall, Battle Chef Brigade is just as wacky and delightful as its premise sounds, and it brings its two different gameplay styles together into an addicting experience. If a story-driven cooking competition in a fantasy world sounds appealing to you, Battle Chef Brigade is worth your time.