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Playdek starts a Food Fight on IOS

Over the weekend, a new Playdek game turned up in the App Store- an implementation of Cryptozoic Games’ Food Fight. I bought it sight unseen for $3.99 because of how utterly fantastic Playdek’s Ascension app is. These guys know how to do an IOS card game, particularly a multiplayer one.

It’s fun. The art style is very Garbage Pail Kids/Wacky Packages, and you’re trying to assemble (ahem, “plate”) sets of five cards to do battle with other militant foodstuffs with names like General Chicken and Door Gunner Dinner Roll over cards representing one of the three daily meals. Sorry Taco Bell, “fourth meal” just didn’t take. It’s a simple drafting game where you’re trying to assemble a good set of cards including instant-play bonus cards to go after the meal you want to win while other players are also drafting from the passed-around set of cards. Once everyone has an army and picks five cards, they’re shuffled and yumminess numbers are compared. Your cards are played randomly out of your mini-deck, and the winner of each battle gets a dinner mint. Whoever gets the most dinner mints wins the meal. If you decide to go after a meal card that no other player has chosen, you get to fight the dog. And if you’re taking bacon to the fight, the dog eats it automatically. Yeah, it’s that kind of game.

After several games, it’s kind of disappointing but only on the asynchronous mulitplayer front. The game is fun, silly, and kind of obnoxious so that’s a plus but it really is best as a single-player, casual game. Because of the nature of the gameplay, it isn’t as well-suited to asynchronous play because your turn might be literally pressing “done” to not play an instant or drafting a single card. Games take a while to play like this, and although there’s an option to play without the drafting that speeds things up that option kind of sucks. The multiplayer front end is exactly the same as Ascension, which means it’s easy to manage and find games. Still no stats tracking or chat of any kind. Get on that, guys.

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The single player game is good though, despite the strange omission of AI difficulty levels. There’s a great campaign, where you battle different chefs across a map that’s really well done, and makes me wish that they had done something like it with Ascension. It’s oddly addictive and there’s a lot of it, so it makes up for the not-so-great multiplayer fairly well.

Worth $4? Yeah. It’s very well made, very polished and thoughtfully implemented. There’s nothing cheap or flinty about it- no system fonts, half-assed graphics, or any bugs that I can see. But I’d definitely recommend it as a solo game over a multiplayer one. So keep playing Ascension, and have this on hand for a goofball diversion. It’s strange to me how well food translates as a game theme sometimes.

Bill Abner

Bill has been writing about games for the past 16 years for such outlets as Computer Games Magazine, GameSpy, The Escapist, GameShark, and Crispy Gamer. He will continue to do so until his wife tells him to get a real job.

2 thoughts to “Playdek starts a Food Fight on IOS”

  1. Haven’t played it in any format, but after playing another of Cryptozoic’s games, the wonderful Penny Arcade: Gamers vs. Evil, I imagine this would be worth a shot, but with a physical copy. It sounds like multiplayer would work a lot better in a face-to-face board game capacity, since short turns would be a positive there rather than a negative (since on a phone, having many short turns means more between-turn downtime than in a game with fewer, longer turns).

  2. Would agree with your review – the game is a reasonably fun filler as a single player experience, although I would appreciate more cues in the ui as to who is winning the current round and hand. I should point out however that there are three difficulty levels in the skirmish single player, denoted by the burger and chips buttons on the outer edge of the ai selection screen, although none in the campaign as far as I can tell.

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