Battle Chef Brigade

Game review by
David Wolinsky, Common Sense Media
Battle Chef Brigade Game Poster Image
Breezy platformer/puzzler takes itself too seriously.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Even against computer players, game creates space that can foster friendly competition, showing how it can bring out the best in everyone.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Nearly all characters are singularly driven to win contest they're all there to take part in; there's little else to their characters.

Ease of Play

Simple controls, easy to learn.

Violence

Cartoony violence, with all monsters, animals you hunt "poofing" into a pile of ingredients. No blood, gore.

Sex
Language
Consumerism

With inspirational cues taken from Food Network in general, it's possible players might be motivated to buy, read books about chefs and their life stories.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Alcohol is referenced, but only in context of its use in cooking. Same is true of smoking, referring to meals being as satisfying "as a good cigar."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Battle Chef Brigade is a downloadable action-adventure game available for the Nintendo Switch, Mac, and PC. The game is a mix of creature hunting and cooking-themed gem puzzles with time limits, likely perfect for younger players as both modes are very approachable and not too challenging. Don't let the word "hunting" throw you off too much, because all that's shown is some cartoonish violence that results in conquests "poofing" into a pile of ingredients, without blood or gore. There are also some references to alcohol consumption, but only as far as its usage in cooking. The same is true of smoking, referring to meals being as satisfying "as a good cigar."

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What's it about?

BATTLE CHEF BRIGADE follows two contestants, Mina and Thrash, as they journey through the fantasy realm of Victusia's titular gauntlet of cooking competitions. Members of the Battle Chef Brigade are revered for their ability to skillfully take down monsters and transform their kills into delicious cuisine. As you climb the ranks, you'll encounter a motley crew of cooks also competing in these rustic, high-concept cookouts. 

Is it any good?

It takes a while to wrap your head around, but this game is really a fun and fast-moving puzzle game disguised as a somewhat generic platformer. Truly, Battle Chef Brigade's biggest problem is that it takes itself far too seriously, given what it is. In a vivid world where you meet magical cooks and friendly monsters, the stilted tone of the writing might trick kids into thinking the game is far more boring than it really is. The abundance of plot and people continually talking -- and the fact that you can't do anything in these exchanges --  doesn't help. But once you get past that, there's a very kid-friendly game that moves quickly and has a decent amount of versatility at its core.

Most of the game boils down to hunting monsters with a mixture of magic and melee attacks and then solving Bejeweled-style puzzles during timed competitions. Since you (of course) can't taste anything yourself, flavors are represented in dishes by colored tiles arranged a grid. When three (or two, of some types) of tiles are lined up, they will condense into a single, denser version of that flavor, which can also be combined with other dense tiles. The flavors you get come from the animals and beasts you hunt, so each match is a judgment call of how long you should be in the field versus how long you should be over your range. There are daily cook-offs that give randomized challenges, but right now, barring any future updates, that's about the extent of the shelf life the game offers. Although the overall product is a little lacking, there's still some fun to be had here with its imaginative setting and unusual assortment of action.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the popularity of cooking entertainment in our culture. Many have observed that we rarely cook for ourselves anymore, but why do you think that is? What might we miss from our lives, overall, if we stopped cooking for ourselves completely? 

  • Do only people who win in competitions walk away with victories, lessons, or gained knowledge? Why are these more likely outcomes not as quickly embraced or explored? 

Game details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love puzzles

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