Food items as a part of video games are not a new thing, I’m not too proud to admit that I spent many hours playing the Burger Time arcade game as a kid. For those of you unaware, burger time was game where you, as a portly chef, walked across a board eerily similar to Donkey Kong, and dropped over sized burger fixings on anthropomorphic eggs and hot dogs, all while trying to make burgers. I can’t really do it justice.
Between that and Tapper
I sure had some some fun as a kid.
Fast forward 20+ years and you have cooking games like Cooking Mama and its many sequels and spin offs, where cooking like activities are the game. If that doesn’t get your motor running then surely Mama herself will entice you to play.
OK maybe not.
Once cooking games started to gain some popularity, food network got into the act with Iron Chef America: Supreme Cuisine for the Wii. Mix together cooking based game play with the Wii’s motion controls, an extra portly Mario Batali and a demonic looking Alton Brown and you have hours of fun.
That was followed up by the mildly succesfull Food Network:Cook or Be Cooked. Mastery of the controls can give you skills in cooking tasks such as pouring milk, or flipping a burger.
This type of cooking simulation gets enhanced by games like Personal Trainer: Cooking and What’s Cooking? With Jamie Oliver where in addition to playing a game you get to learn recipes and add them to your personal recipe box as you unlock them.
Once you get to this point the line is pretty blurred between game and virtual cookbook, which is actually kind of cool. Any tools that might teach people, especially kids how to cook and have some fun with it is a good thing.
It is a long journey from Burgertime to here, but along the way there is some fun to be had with food video games.