Food Fight is a hybrid between a deckbuilding card game and a turn-based strategy card game, with card drafting as a core mechanic. The app developers, PlayDek, should be well known to readers here, having provided us with the excellent Ascension and NightFall deckbuilding card games already. Food Fight is a port of the physical card game created by Cryptozoic Entertainment, who also make Hex: Shards of Fate.
When I first read the title of this game, it conjured visions of throwing food at unsuspecting victims and generally getting very mucky! In Food Fight, instead of throwing custard pies and handfuls of meat at one another, the foods are living creatures who actually fight for you. With a clever bit of word play, our foods don weapons and take part in an all out war to be the best meal on the plate, mixing our mealtime favorites together to create the most bizarre combinations of food you’ll ever see in one plaice… Err, I mean place!
Does Food Fight have the right flavors, or is it all just a sticky mess? Read on to find out…
Food Fight carries one of the strangest themes I have ever seen in a game in this genre. First off, the name implies that we’ll be throwing food to win. Instead, we get funny foods and army combat mixed together with some hilarious results. Each mealtime (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner) is represented by different Troop types. Locked & Loaded Spud, Big Bad Bacon, and Private Pancake are some of the Troops we’ll be “plating up” in order to create the best mealtime possible.
Food Fight has several ways to play, with a campaign mode alongside two multiplayer options. All modes have two different ways to start the game: Draft and Boot Camp, but the overall gameplay is the same. Boot Camp deals random cards from the available pool of cards, while Draft mode is where you pick one, pass the rest on to the next player, pick one, pass, and so on, until you have nine cards.
Out of nine Troop cards we can choose five to “plate up” and serve. These are then played at random with all opponents playing their Troop cards at the same time. The winner of that fight is the player with the highest ‘Yumminess’ rating among the foods. Winning gets the player an ‘after dinner mint’, which signifies a victory point for that meal. Win the most mints out of the five fights that round and you’ll win that match’s meal card.
The objective is to win as many meal cards (a.k.a Battlefields) as you can, which have different victory point values. The game ends immediately once any player reaches 10 victory points from meal cards. There are always two battlefields to choose from before the match starts. If nobody else chooses to play in the same battlefield as you, you’ll go up against the game’s generic deck which is a character called the Dog. As we all know, dogs will try and eat any food put in front of them! In case of a tie-break, the food that matches the mealtime wins that fight.
Most of the Troops have a variety of different special abilities, but some are just plain, with a Yumminess value. Playable Instant cards add to the mayhem with additional effects or boosts. The artwork on each card is incredibly funny, with some very memorable ones. I don’t think I can ever look at some of these food dishes in the same way again!
MODES AND FEATURES
As I mentioned before, there are several game modes featured within Food Fight. Campaign will see you fight your way through various different locations in order to build up your food army. You can separate the collected Troops into Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner along with any Instants collected. This, along with a generic deck, will form the main pool of cards you’ll use during the campaign.
Single player and multiplayer modes can be done via one device. You have the option to go up against A.I. controlled opponents, real people, or a mixture of both. Food Fight supports the pass and play method seen in other PlayDek games on the market. During the online asynchronous play, you take your turn and are notified when all players have completed their move. I didn’t find the online mode too appealing due to the time you have to wait between turns, but if you’ve got a friend or two who will respond quickly, this could be a lot of fun.
Lastly, the game has a card gallery that serves as a way to view all the cards in the game. The rulebook is also both useful and insightful for those that wish to bypass the tutorial. I did go through it and it was brief enough to not feel boring or a waste of time.
DECKBUILDING AND STRATEGY
Food Fight has no central deck, so to speak. Instead we build the decks on the fly when playing Draft mode or use a core deck generated at random by the game in the Boot Camp mode. Obviously there are strategies that can be formed when selecting the five Troop cards you’ll be plating up for battle.
Being aware of which battlefield you’ll want to contest will play a major role in what you’ll draft or pick to plate. It’s no good selecting a breakfast Troop if the two available fields of battle are lunch and dinner. You also need to consider whether or not the other players will be contesting that battlefield. The obvious move is to go for the one with the higher victory points, yet you could only be up against the Dog should you go for the lower valued mealtime.
The tempo of gameplay offered in the campaign and single player modes is extremely fast, and I found myself playing a large number of games in quick succession without even realizing just how much time I was playing for. The campaign has enough to keep you going for a while and poses enough of a challenge that you won’t breeze through it too easily.
Music and visuals are suitable for the theme on offer. The color palette could be a tad brighter, but it does the job well enough. The cards have a sort of “War Time” propaganda poster aesthetic, hence the colors. I loved the little sound effects or sound bites that would follow when a Troop or Instant is played. Having the Medic Mustard exclaim “Give me 10ccs of yumminess, stat!” always raised a smile from me.
Food Fight is a fun game with a lot of humor. The game has a great balance of game modes that are sure to suit most tastes. It’s not as deep as some other offerings in this genre, but this one is for the more light-hearted or casual card game players, especially as a multiplayer game to play with some friends in a casual social setting, where the game really shines. If this sounds like your flavor, give it a go. I’m sure it won’t leave any nasty aftertaste!
For more screenshots, click here.
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