Battle Chef Brigade is an action arcade game featuring numerous logical puzzles. The game revolves around the "cook-offs", set in a fantasy world. The game has been developed by Trinket Studios, a small team known also for creating the mobile productions such as Orion's Forge and Color Sheep.
In the magical world of Battle Chef Brigade for PC, PS4 and SWITCH, one's skills are measured in only one way – namely, how efficiently he prepares elaborate and exquisite dishes. At the beginning of one's adventure, he has to choose one of the four available characters, tasked with winning the grand cooking competition. Each character exhibits unique approach towards cooking and acquiring the best ingredients – e.g. Thrash, Orc Berserk, specializes in using fire and is partial to grilled ribs, while Minda the rogue uses the air magic and prefers preparing dishes out of bird eggs. In order to participate in the grand tournament taking place in the capital city, a player has to become a famous chef and prove his worth by beguiling the jury in consecutive cook-offs, preparing better dishes than the opponent.
Gameplay revolves around the aforementioned cook-offs, which resemble popular TV shows, such as Iron Chef. In the beginning of the competition, a player gets to meet the jury and learn which ingredients have to be in the recipe. The host sets a time limit and starts the countdown, however, instead of a larder full of ingredients, players have to go through an open door and single-handedly collect fresh ingredients and hunt for the pray they are interested in.
Acquiring ingredients resembles the old-school 2D brawler games – the in-game world is divided into particular biomes featuring specific fauna and flora. A chef features a number of attacks with his signature weapon (twin chef blades, the large chopper, and the bone knife) and special moves typical for the type of magic he specializes in. Even though killing minor enemies is relatively simple, larger beasts pose a greater threat, however, from these opponents a player can acquire better quality meat. Moreover, the in-game world has its own ecosystem, which affects all the collected ingredients. For example, when a player cuts down a Venus flytrap, he lures a chicken, which after eating the plant, lays an egg (only if one does not kill the chicken first). If on the other hand, one decides to weaken the chicken first before luring it to the plant, it then eats the chicken and grows a pair of wings (which taste excellent).
Upon returning to the kitchen, the game introduces a number of different gameplay mechanics. By using the oven rings, one creates small fields for the "match-three" puzzles. For example, previously acquired rabbit carcasses contain 2 tastes – a red one and a blue one. When put in the kettle, they can be turned. Joining three identical tastes reduces them to one supreme taste. The more tastes in a dish there are, the higher the score a player receives. One has to remember that each one among the jury has his or her own preferences and favorite tastes, thus the 'perfect dish' for one, might be an average meal for another.
Between the cook-offs, a player gets to visit the town and all its shops. There, one can practice his cooking skills, acquire better cooking and hunting tools, and talk to fellow chefs.
Battle Chef Brigade for PC, PS4 and SWITCH features beautiful hand-drawn visuals that might remind one of the games developed by Ghimbli. Pleasant to one's eye painted backgrounds well contrast the action, animals, and characters with smooth animations. The audio layer, on the other hand, is quite monotonous and does not memorable.
The game has been financed via a Kickstarter campaign. The studio has received over 100,000 USD over the planned 38,000 and has expanded their game with additional biomes, voices, narrator and another protagonist available at the beginning of one's adventure.
PC / Windows
Minimum: Intel Core 2 Duo E4500 2.2GHz, 4 GB RAM, graphic card GeForce 240 GT/ Radeon HD 6570 1GB, 332 MB HDD, Windows 7/8/10