Food: It's one of the most important basic needs of human life. Human beings and just about every living being on Earth can live without any luxury, but cannot survive without food. We celebrate food. We spend large amounts of money on food. We explore diverse cultures through the food people eat. And, most importantly, we make video games based on eating food.
Eating in gaming has been around for as long as this favorite pastime of ours has been created. Apparently, fictional video characters have to eat, too! The following are the best examples of video games based on doing what we all do best: chowing down.
10. Major League Eating: The Game (WiiWare, 2009)
What is more shocking, the fact that there is an extreme sport about competitive eating, or the fact that there is a video game based on the extreme sport about competitive eating? Regardless, Major League Eating is a WiiWare title that features some of MLE's most recognized stars, including Takeru Kobayashi, Joey Chestnut, Tim Janus, Patrick Bertoletti, Crazy Legs Conti, Sonya Thomas, Rich LeFevre and Juliet Lee, as well as a Kodiak Bear. You guys should seriously look these guys up, it's amazing how thin some of them are. In the Japanese release of the game adds two professional Japanese competitive eaters Noboyuki Shirota and Hatsuyo Sugawara.
Although the premise of the game is basically about eating an insane amount of food, it plays more like a fighting game. No surprise here, considering that the development team stated that Street Fighter II and Mario Kart as main influences of the game.
9. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (Playstation 2, 2004)
Naked Snake, the protagonist of the 3rd installment of the Metal Gear Solid series, is all alone in the jungles of Russia. Here, he has to do whatever it takes to survive--stitch his own cuts, disinfect his wounds, and most importantly, catch his own food. If the title of the game didn't make it obvious enough, the central theme of the Snake Eater is about eating all sorts of creatures in the wild in order to survive. Snake will eat just about anything. Seriously, anything. hornets' nests, rats, flying squirrels, bats, crocodiles, and believe it or not, instant ramen. In Super Smash Bros Brawl, he even considered eating Yoshi from the Super Mario Bros series. That would have been a totally different game if he could.
8. Kool-Aid Man (Atari 2600, 1983)
Oh, Yeaaah! Kool-Aid Man for the Atari 2600 originally started off as a free game that was obtainable by sending in 125 Kool-Aid points (remember those?), and was a clever example of advertising disguised as a video game. The game takes place in a swimming pool, in which these annoying creatures called "thirsties" attempt to drink all of your pool water. Luckily, it's Kool-Aid man to the rescue, as he smashes through walls and blasting them away with what is most likely Kool-Aid. Sure, we all know that sugar actually dehydrates you, but why let that get in the way of a perfectly good advertising campaign?
7. Root Beer Tapper (Arcade, 1983)
The original Root Beer Tapper, previously known as Tapper, featured a large "Budweiser" sign in the back, making this another example of advertising disguised as a video game. However, once the popularity of this game caught on, the game was renamed Tapper to broaden the appeal.
The game may be now called Root Beer Tapper, but we all know what they're really serving. The point of Tapper is simple, just like all classic games--fill up mugs of "root beer," slide them down the bar, and make sure these drunken people keep their filthy hands off of you.
6. Cooking Mama (Nintendo DS, 2006)
She cooks, cleans, tends to the garden, and takes care of kids. She's a stereotype of the perfect woman, and she's the star of the "Mama" series of video games. In Cooking Mama, the game that got her first big break, the point of the game is to cook various dishes by performing a number of minigames. A single dish can be as short as one minigame, to as long as a dozen. These minigames consist of throwing ingredients together in a rhythm-game like fashion, or drawing parallel lines to cut up vegetables.
5. Fat Princess (PS3, 2009)
Let her eat cake! Fat Princess is a PSN game in which players must rescue their princess from the enemy's dungeon. However, the big hook of the game is that players are able to fatten up the opposing team's princess by feeding her cake, which will make her heavier and more difficult to carry. The game is online-only, and it's cute, colorful. . . and extremely bloody.
4. Fast Food (Arcade, 1987)
Believe it or not, but the game Fast Food for the Atari 2600 is about--you guessed it, eating fast food. The game involves a floating, disembodied pair of lips that devours just about every fast food item imaginable; hot dogs, burgers, root beer, and fries among other things. The higher the calorie count is, the higher your score. If only eating in real life worked the same way!
According to the game's manual, "Get Fatter! Consume as many calories as you can before you get your fill of purple pickles and the snack bar closes." What does gibberish mean? Well, in the game, the player has to avoid eating purple pickles. It's probably best to avoid something like that in real life, as well. Down six of these things and it's game over.
3. Eat 'Em Beat 'Em (Atari 2600, 1982)
Eat 'Em Beat 'Em is a family-friendly game in which players control two female characters who eat ice cream that is being thrown off of the roof of a building. Everyone loves ice cream, right? Make sure that this ice cream is eaten before it hits the ground though. Otherwise, the wasted ice cream "could have been a famous doctor or lawyer," as stated by the instruction manual of the game. How ice cream can turn into a famous doctor or lawyer is beyond me. A score of 69 points (and multiples of 69 afterwards) rewards the player with an extra life. After each completed level, the female characters lick their lips, to clearly show how great that ice cream was.
2. BurgerTime (Arcade, 1982)
Originally called Hamburger, BurgerTime is all about a cute little chef named Peter that has to make giant hamburgers that are made up of buns, patties, lettuce, and tomatoes. The level is complete once you properly form hamburgers for each plate. Sounds simple, right? Think again. Anthropomorphized food items such as eggs, hot dogs, and pickles are constantly trying to murder our poor chef. The only way to defeat these evil food items is to sandwich them in between the hamburgers you make, so someone can eat eventually eat them.
1. Pac-Man (Arcade, 1980)
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Everything in the Pac-Man game is about eating. In fact, there are very few moments in the game in which that yellow guy isn't eating anything. Pac-Man himself looks like a pizza with a missing slice. As everybody should know, the goal of Pac-Man is to eat every freaking item on the screen. Once in a while, special items appear on the screen, and guess what Pac-Man has to do to those things? Yes, he has to eat them, too. The bonus items are usually strange, and it's a mystery why Namco decided to choose items such as a bell and keys for him to consume. However, the level doesn't end until everything's been devoured. Pac-Man ends up eating those yellow dots, ghosts, power pellets, the aforementioned bonus items, all of your quarters, and your childhood.
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