There are classic rivalries the world over and the nature of hunter and prey is a brutal reality for many creatures. However, have you ever considered this concept for inanimate objects? Amuse me for one moment, if you will! Chefs spend their days hacking and slicing food while wielding brutal tools. What would happen if the food suddenly sprung to life? Would it assume the role of prey, knowing its life was over before it began? Or would it fight back and take control? Cheftastic: Buffet Blast explores the latter option with brutal consequences.
Developed and published by Not A Goose, this is an exciting top-down arcade shooter. Created by a small team of four people, I initially got hands-on with this at EGX 2021. It was one of the standout games for me and I loved its concept art style and simple yet moreish approach.
Cheftastic: Buffet Blast keeps things simple yet challenging.
I love it when I can pick up a gamepad and jump into the action and that is exactly what happens in Cheftastic: Buffet Blast. With a little practice and a glance at the controls, I was ready to take on each wave of zombified vegetables that decided to attack me.
The game comprises three unique biomes, seventy different stages, three enemy types, and a range of weapons and traps. The strange story that forms the backbone of the action is odd and has little consequence to the ebb and flow of the action. The Isle of Verdura has been overrun by swarms of mutant vegetables that are hell-bent on killing every chef they meet. You must destroy every enemy you meet while collecting power-ups, lives, and activating traps.
Swarms of enemies, powerful weapons, and a leaderboard.
The never-ending swarms of enemies attack you in unrelenting bursts called waves. As each attack subsides, you must collect cooking utensils and deserts (how very apt) that are strewn across the map. These items adds to your score that is reflected upon the leaderboard. Other than this, there is no incentive to waste your time by collecting it. This was a shame, as I’d like to see the scoring system relate to in-game performance. Maybe a better score could improve your arsenal of weapons or it could be spent on extra lives. This would have added a tactical element that is currently lacking from this fun title.
You start each playthrough with a handy, yet uninspiring rifle. With a little luck, you’ll collect timed power-ups that provide you with new weapons, shields, traps, and extra lives. You’ll collect flamethrowers, rapid-fire, shotguns, bouncing bullets, and more as you attempt to stop each wave. Pepper pots circle your player and form a moving barrier that helps to keep you protected. Traps spawn from the floor, and you must drag your foes to these deadly blades while dodging their projectiles.
Aggressive enemies and challenging stage layouts.
Every level is loaded with angry and aggressive foes! You’ll fight carrots, tomatoes, and onions, and each has a unique attack that requires a different approach to take them down. The current roster of enemies is good, but I would like to see more added. A larger pool to fear will force you to consider a new style and will keep the gameplay fresh. I would also like to see bosses implemented. This would create unique events and would further increase the challenge.
Where the developers have excelled is the wonderful stage design. The interesting layouts that vary significantly all offer unique challenges. You must quickly study each stage to ensure you understand the vegetable’s weak points and the areas to avoid. I loved the additional difficulties this added to the action and the vast quantity of maps on offer.
Cheftastic: Buffet Blast is a well-polished indie title.
Considering the size of the team, the end product is extremely well put together. With smooth gameplay, few frame rate issues, and limited problems, this is a well-polished title. Cheftastic: Buffet Blast’s simple style complements the bullet hell, top-down arcade approach. Its fixed-screen perspective is key to ensuring the action doesn’t overwhelm, and this was another great choice by Not a Goose.
A hectic all-out blazing game deserves high energy audio filled with booming sound effects, and this is exactly what you get. Its overpowering audio works beautifully with the theme and genre and I loved its lack of complexity.
Responsive controls and partial gamepad support.
There is nothing worse than a fast-paced shooting game that has sluggish controls! Fortunately, this is responsive and well balanced. The sensitivity is well-considered and its button layout is simple to understand and easy to master. Thanks to its partial gamepad support, it’s more inclusive, and this enables more players to pick it up with ease.
In its current build, I was only able to play one mode. Yet, this was enough to get me hooked and to keep me returning for more. I’m hopeful that it will have multiple gameplay options in the future and a full achievement list to add further challenges. A hardcore mode is essential for this to reach its full potential, alongside this I expect to be able to set a plethora of in-game rules. Options to limit lives or weapon choices would be nice, but an increase in difficulty and maybe additional objectives would extend the longevity.
If the developers introduce their planned points system, the game will have much more depth. On full release your score will be used to upgrade equipment and to unlock further levels. This will be a fantastic mechanic that will improve replay value vastly.
Cheftastic: Buffet Blast is simple yet effective.
I was drawn to Cheftastic: Buffet Blast because of its developer’s energy and its simple core concept. I loved how effective its basic premise was and I could easily play it for hours. Yes, I would love to see it evolve to fulfil its potential, but not if it ruins its wonderful gameplay. I loved it and recommend you to wishlist it here! Zombie vegetables must learn their place in life! Grab a weapon, visit the island, and mow those zombies down.
Cheftastic: Buffet Blast is an exceptionally fun game in its current build. Its gameplay is interesting, the enemies are challenging, and it has limited issues. However, a few minor tweaks and additional content will enhance it further and will make it stand out against its peers. It’s a jam-packed genre but I’m confident its fun concept will make it a game you’ll want to play.
(Previewed on Steam. Available Q1 2022.)