Elex’s Food Fantasy is now available for mobile gamers around the world and it offers a unique twist on the hero collection genre. It’s a refreshing experience but not without a number of shortcomings.
The idea behind the game is simple: it’s a mix a hero collection RPG and a restaurant management game. Players summon ‘food souls’, anthropomorphised representations of different dishes, and take them into battle to gather ingredients that help them develop and improve their restaurant’s dishes.
Food Fantasy’s battle system mostly follows the most simplistic hero collection RPG formula: heroes attack on their own and the player chooses when to activate their special abilities. However, there are a number of changes made that make it a more active experience than games like Heroes Charge of Giants War. Players will occasionally need to tap on their heroes to unfreeze them, tap on boss enemies to interrupt their special attacks, and activate the player’s special abilities in order to trigger a 4th wall breaking skill. It’s not the deepest battle system out there, but it is a step up from the most basic.
The restaurant component has players develop recipes using the ingredients they find in battle by guessing (though there are ample hints) which ingredients can be used to create a dish. Initially your options are quite limited and early dishes like boiled lettuce are hardly impressive but there is a sense of discovery when trying to experiment with different combination.
Once players discover a recipe they can use their extra ingredients to improve that recipe further, maximizing the dish’s quality, or have their chef’s prepare the dish for any customers that decide to dine at your establishment. The game doesn’t force players to be incredibly active in micromanaging the restaurant and instead relies on food souls assigned to work there to handle most of the heavy lifting. Players will need to intervene whenever a dine and dash customer comes in or when a Rube’s Mischief that will drag down your restaurant’s attendance if not dealt with appears.
Both of the game’s core components are far from being the deepest of their respective genres. The battles feel far too simple at times while the restaurant management doesn’t have as much player involvement as one might hope. There are also issues with the game’s text only taking up a small portion of the massive dialogue boxes used and sub-par voice acting. Without getting far in the game, it’s impossible to tell just how much of an impact the game’s in app purchases will have on gameplay. Food Fantasy certainly has some pay to win elements, as does just about every other gacha games. It also contains premium currency only restaurant items, and various other minor boosts that can give paying player something of an edge.
Overall the combination of hero collection RPG mechanics and a restaurant elements make for a refreshing take on the gacha game category. The gameplay is complemented by a presentation that includes cute characters represented by 2D sprites, a passable story, and pleasant soundtrack. Food Fantasy’s gameplay mix make it easier to recommend to casual users than most RPGs out there and the graphics do a good job of having appealing characters without relying on copious amounts of cleavage.
Interested? Check out the gacha game on Google Play.