Simulation games are a great way to escape the real world. You can become anything you want to be, and with some practise you will be a champion in your field. One theme that I find strangely relaxing is anything related to food. I have played many games where food is the core concept; Cooking Simulator, Cook, Serve, Delicious 3, and Overcooked. Each has a different approach, and I enjoyed my time with them for a variety of reasons. When I was offered Brunch Club I thought, “why not give it a go, I’m sure it’ll be relaxing and fun!” It was certainly fun, but relaxing….. absolutely not!
Developed by Foggy Box Games and published by Yogscast Games, this physics-based food title has a simple premise, but it’ll drive you insane with its difficult controls and challenging tasks. Being a chef would never be an easy job, but Brunch Club takes the proverbial biscuit. Couch co-op games tend to cause arguments, and this one will cause all-out warfare. Be warned, no matter your level of patience, you will want to rage quit or scream almost immediately.
Brunch Club makes cooking an upsetting task.
The real kicker with Brunch Club is the way it sets itself up. Each of the stages appears so easy to play, and the tasks all look simple to complete. In reality, however, you’ll have more luck trying to catch a slippery eel. I now know why chefs shout so much, cooking is an upsetting and tough job.
It’s a solo or couch co-op game that wants you to complete the simplest of tasks; butter toast, crack some eggs, griddle steaks, or use utensils. It shouldn’t be an issue, but gravity and some weird controls make everything a challenge.
The levels are quite sparse and nearly every object can help you reach your goal. Food will roll, slap, and slip its way around. Bowls and pans must be used to cook and fry. Tools will cut, mix, and flip anything they go near. You will need to place objects to form ramps and plan how you’ll produce the perfect meal.
Play with, or against your friends.
It wouldn’t be a competition if there wasn’t something to aim towards. A leaderboard records your time and compares it to your friend’s best efforts. You can choose to work together to become the best team or fight each other to identify the alpha chef. I bet you’d never thought you’d get competitive over frying an egg, well now’s your chance.
Most of the levels work well in co-op mode. Good communication is key to ensure that you don’t get in each others’ way. If you can work together, you’ll achieve your goals. It’s mindless fun, and on the lowest difficulty offers enough of a challenge to push you to your limits. If you have a death wish, you can make it harder. Doing so will add traps, bombs, and snipers. Foggy Box Games get off on upsetting people, as this pushed me and my family over the edge.
Bright and crisp design.
Before you step into the madness of the cooking world, take some time to admire the graphics. A fun cartoon style combines detailed objects with bright colours to make it an enjoyable game to look at. Each item is instantly recognisable, and this helps when the clock is ticking away. The clean UI and bird’s-eye perspective makes navigating each stage a simple task. Each player is represented by a coloured hue, and though this takes a little getting used to, it was a well throughout approach from the developers. It prevented the screen from becoming cluttered, allowing you to focus on the action.
What wasn’t so pleasant was the chirpy music that buzzed around in the background. The annoying songs soon became tiresome, and I was glad that the music was drowned out by the constant arguments of my family. The sound effects provided some lighthearted relief, with comical noises accompanying many of the actions. It’s fair to say, that the audio isn’t the finest element in Brunch club.
Tricky toast and stubborn steaks.
No matter how much you practice, you’ll find this to be a difficult beast to handle. From explosions that throw the food everywhere, to objects that get stuck, it’ll test your resolve from start to finish. The weird physics-based flapping of each item is almost hypnotic, and after a while, you’ll be able to tame its odd ways. Think of the movement in Humans Fall Flat, and you’ll know how this handles. It’s unpredictable and amusing, but it’ll make you grit your teeth and want to scream.
When a game combines many difficulty levels with timed challenges, you know it’s going to have replay value. The question you must ask yourself is, do you want to go through it all again? If you have any controllers or friends left, then why not treat yourself to another session of; making sandwiches, rolling sushi, or buttering toast. After all, what’s the worst that can happen?
The first rule of Brunch Club is…..
Brunch Club is one of those games that hides away in your library waiting to be played. No one talks about it as they know it’s guaranteed to cause a fight even if you are having fun. Though I found it to be much harder than expected, I enjoyed my time becoming a virtual chef. I’d recommend that you give this a go, so buy it here! Friends become enemies, and your enemies become your friend. Work together, or battle it out to get the high score on the leaderboard. No matter what happens, remember that cooking is supposed to be relaxing!